4 First Steps to Becoming a Veteran-Friendly Employer
Congratulations on your interest in including Veteran in your workforce. You’ve taken the first step by deciding to actively pursue Veteran candidates, but may be a little unsure of how to incorporate that commitment into your company’s culture and hiring processes. Below are four “first steps” your firm can take in order to become a more Veteran-Friendly employer.
- Include a Veteran Landing Page on Your Website. Many large organizations have a dedicated page on their company website that serves as an all-in-one destination for Veterans employees and potential applicants. These sites include links to open positions, details on any Veteran-Friendly Workplace programs and affinity groups within the community, as well as testimonials from Veterans currently employed by the company. This Veteran-specific resource should clearly communicate your organization’s commitment to supporting Veterans, with the goal of identifying more potential Veteran applicants when filling open positions.
- Put Your Veteran Preference Policy in Writing. More and more states are offering private employers the option to legally give preference to Veterans (who left service under honorable, general, or medical conditions) in regards to employment opportunities. Veteran Preference does not guarantee job positions for Veterans, but rather insures that if two equally qualified candidates apply for a position, the Veteran would be given more consideration than the civilian. Employers utilizing this ability must establish a written Veteran Preference policy included in their Human Resources processes prior to exercising Veteran Preference. AVFE recommends consulting legal counsel to ensure your policies comply with all federal and state anti-discrimination laws.
- Appoint a Veterans Affairs Liaison. Many companies find it helpful to have a Veteran Affairs Liaison, someone who is versed in the intricacies of Veteran issues and benefits, to help employees with questions or concerns that arise after their transition out of the military. These Liaisons can help navigate any personnel issues or concerns with employees, and often work with both internal Human Resources staff and local Veteran Affairs offices to share information and details of programmatic changes that can impact employees.
- Discuss Company Culture and Structures During Interviews. Veterans are accustomed to working in a structured environment, with clear organization lines and a defined promotion structure. Discussing how your organization operates (including things like expected work schedules, company attire, promotion methods, performance review metrics, open door policies, etc.) at the onset can set expectations, reduce uncertainty, and answer questions a Veteran candidate might not ask during an interview.
- Observe Patriotic/Military Holidays. Observing patriotic holidays holds special importance to Veterans. Companies who do more than a ‘token’ observance tend to be more respected by Veteran employees, as they feel more valued by their employers. Understanding the meaning of these holidays and the differences between them allows for more meaningful ways of marking the holiday for your employees.
If you are interested in learning other ways to make your business a more Veteran-Friendly employer, drop us a line and let's see how we can help!