Veterans are key to Indiana’s future tech workforce (and you should recruit them)
Most military veterans leave their tours of duty with skills and training that make them ideal candidates for civilian employment. But more than 15 percent of U.S. veterans are underemployed compared to job seekers without military experience.
Why? Because too few companies fully understand how to market employment opportunities to veterans, and too few veterans know how to effectively market themselves to hiring managers. Overcoming this dual challenge doesn’t have to be difficult. Helping companies do this is a key part of Recruit Rooster’s daily mission.
Effectively recruiting veterans to Indiana tech careers will help TechPoint accomplish its Mission41K, the initiative that seeks to add 41,000 workers to Indiana’s tech workforce by 2030. The Recruit Rooster team is excited about helping with this effort and sharing advice to others about how to ensure they’re part of the solution, as well.
How to effectively recruit veterans
Research shows veterans and transitioning service members prefer to apply for jobs with employers who make it clear that veterans are welcome. Tech employers can appeal to veteran candidates with marketing materials including through their career websites, company commitments and messaging (videos, blog and social media).
Adopting a skills-based approach is a great way to illustrate veteran-friendly hiring. Veterans often have the skills employers need, but it’s often assumed that those skills come only with college or university degrees. By detailing skills rather than requiring diplomas, veterans can easily see how their experience makes them qualified candidates.
Additionally, civilian and military operations often describe jobs and positions differently. By focusing on the actual skills needed, both job prospects and hiring managers can more easily understand qualifications and requirements.
Beyond technical expertise, veterans have coveted “soft skills” and are often lauded for their leadership and teamwork abilities. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what these specialized personnel bring to civilian work. Many also have:
- International experience: Veterans often bring with them a greater proclivity for understanding multiple languages while also having higher levels of cultural sensitivity, both of which can be invaluable to employers looking to cultivate workforce inclusivity.
- Adeptness at remote work: Veterans are trained to be able to think on their feet, trouble-shoot as necessary and accomplish their missions creatively if necessary.
- Culture cohesion and team-building skills: Military candidates are known to have a mission-driven work ethic that places trust and reliance on co-workers and organizational processes. This is great for team-building and alignment with core values.
- Abilities to adapt to changing business climates: Military personnel are skillful in reacting to different and challenging situations, which can be great for dynamic businesses, like startup environments, that are regularly changing and serving a variety of customer needs.
- Exposure to highly advanced technology: Technical training with complex systems is common for today’s military population, which is great for easily learning automation software used by corporations.
How to attract qualified veterans to your company
Companies that seek veterans as employees must establish a workplace where veterans feel welcome and supported, and also work to sustain a reputation as valuing veterans as part of their team. That means marketing campaigns that showcase any awards or accolades the companies have earned from the military community, messaging that makes it clear qualifications and skills are highly valued and that veterans are encouraged to apply for careers with the company.
Create a military-specific career site
Present the key components of your employer value proposition that resonate with military-connected talent on a career site that’s dedicated to your veteran recruitment efforts. Take the opportunity on this page or designated area of your career site to display benefits, commitments, resources and opportunities for veterans. In a pinch, you can always utilize your most valuable asset – your current veteran employees – to help you determine what is most appealing about your brand to the veteran community.
Learn military lingo
Implement a military skills translation tool, like Recruit Rooster’s Military Crosswalk 2.0, on your career site to make it easier for veteran job seekers to search for positions within your company. A Military Occupation Code (MOC) or Military Occupation Specialty (MOS) translator improves candidate experience and helps align skills from military service with civilian job-related skills.
Create veteran talent pipelines
Integrating a candidate relationship management platform or other CRM software with your career site will help you build a pool of passive and active veteran candidates who are interested in your company and to whom you can target your career opportunities.
Veteran career page examples
- Brown-Forman: The Brown-Forman Corporation, the parent company for renowned brands like Jack Daniels, Woodford Reserve and Old Forester, offers an excellent example of a military-focused career microsite. This organization’s dedicated veteran recruitment site includes a military skills translator, information about their veteran employee resource group (ERG), military-related corporate partnerships and awards. https://brown-forman-veterans.jobs/
- American Red Cross: American Red Cross is known and recognized as a military-friendly employer brand. To represent the trust the organization has built with the military community and its dedication to hiring veterans, the American Red Cross career page features an MOC/MOS translator with ability to search by military base location—which can be very helpful for military spouses, families, and military-connected talent. https://www.redcross.org/about-us/careers/military-occupational-specialty-translator.html
- Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance: This veteran career page provides a great candidate experience by including targeted job postings, Veterans Crosswalk MOC/MOS search ability, and a Talent Community, so the organization can proactively market to a pool of interested job seekers. https://jobs.infarmbureau.com/veterans-crosswalk/
When it comes to tailored employment experiences, your career site is your first opportunity to attract and engage the diverse and highly experienced veteran talent who can help your company thrive. Don’t wait to access this pool of potential employees. Your competition is probably already implementing these ideas.
Learn more about how your team can help inclusively grow Indiana’s tech workforce by visiting and learning more about Mission41K. Take the pledge and join the movement toward sills-based hiring.