As a recruiter, you’re always looking for creative ways to bring in the right talent. And as a company in the skilled trades, there is a consistent struggle to find those quality prospects. Well, well… I have one question for you. Are you actively recruiting veterans?
Why? Simple. Veterans make great hires. They are trained leaders who are also team players. They not only work well, but THRIVE in stressful situations. And they make decisions based on integrity.
But my goal here is not so much to convince you of the awesome skills of returning servicemen and women. Instead, I want to outline how their abilities are uniquely suited for the skilled positions you’re always filling. And better yet, how launching a veteran-hiring program is a surefire way to both fill your talent needs and build your company up for long-term growth.
A Talent Shortage in the Skilled Trades
Now, let’s talk about our field.
It’s no news that the skilled trades are suffering a labor shortage. Whether you recruit electricians, construction workers, boilermakers, or engineers, finding dependable workers is no easy task.
What’s up with this shortage of talent? And what can be done about it?
We can point fingers at America’s education system that’s pushed students into the 4-year college path. And given them the wrong idea that a trades career is not a viable career.
Or we could blame our country’s stigma on blue-collar work. A misperception that skilled labor is somehow less respectable. Heck, we can even blame economics.
But pointing fingers doesn’t solve YOUR struggle to find the labor needed to supply your projects, sites, facilities, factories, etc.
That’s where veterans come in.
Veteran Talent: The Solution
About 200,000 servicemen and women come home each year. These individuals are not just skilled. They are particularly well-equipped for the skilled positions you’re always filling. How? Given their world-class education, they are tuned into global technological trends. That kind of ability sounds pretty well-suited for fields that are in the midst of a tech revolution, right?
Not to mention, these men and women are accustomed to following policies and rules. This means they respect the organizational structures of, say, your company. And the extensive drug testing and background checks that all veterans undergo? An additional guarantee that you’re hiring reliable candidates.
While you’re interviewing prospects, is candidate-to-company culture match a prime concern? If so, bear in mind that that servicemen and women have often traveled the world. They’ve become comfortable with all kinds of cultures and languages. Bringing in this kind of experience makes your company diverse enough innovate and grow despite a volatile economy.
And did I mention the attitude factor? Employee morale is one of the primary drivers of performance and productivity. By recruiting focused, positive, and mission-oriented individuals, you’re putting good juju into your workforce’s performance.
So we’ve got a labor shortage. And we’ve got a consistent inflow of highly skilled veterans. It seems like a veteran-hiring program is just what you need to build the workforce of your dreams. Where do you start?
Launching Your Veteran-Hiring Program
Alright. You’re sold. You’re ready to launch a veteran-hiring program. And recruit the skill and ability you need. The following resources will get your gears turning. Go ahead and review each bullet with your recruiting team to pick and choose what works for you!
- Check out the U.S. Department of Labor’s step-by-step toolkit and start building out the pieces of your new initiative
- Register with an account on Helmets to Hardhats. Their staff is committed to connecting retired military personnel with quality careers in the trades
- Connect with your local One-Stop Career Center and speak with the Local Veterans Employment Representative (LVER). There you’ll have the opportunity to advocate on the behalf of veterans, making your commitment real
- Highlight positions in your job postings that you feel veterans would perform especially well
- Post job openings, search resumes, and connect with candidates on one of multiple military-oriented job board (Military.com, Hire Veterans, Recruit Military, Veteran Job Listings, etc.)
- Become an Employment Partner on Hire Heroes USA to connect with transitioning military members and spouses
- Consider offering an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). This helps employees with post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction issues, or even family stress
- Check out the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Employment Toolkit for tips on supporting your new hires
A Strategy for Long-Term Growth
By launching a veteran-hiring program, you’re not just meeting short-term talent needs. You’re building a long-term, reliable workforce. Boy, doesn’t that sound sweet. And as they say: a company’s success depends on the strength of its workforce. How about building yours with our nation’s bravest?
Heck, within a few years, you could become a top veteran-employer. Now THAT’S something to be proud of.
Rebecca writes about trends in the skilled trades. From vocational education to veterans in the field. Women in the trades to the economy. Her job is to tell the story of her industry. She serves as Marketing Lead for CraftForce—the employment agency specializing in the skilled trades.