Between 12,000 and 20,000 veterans leave the armed services each year and venture into the civilian workforce. Yet a large percentage of them are struggling to find their perfect job role. Thanks to 31% of recruiters being reluctant to hire ex-military personnel, according to reports by SSAFA. The number one reason? Many of them worry about being adequately prepared to provide the right support for veterans. However, employing ex-military personnel can benefit your organisation in so many ways, like adding all-important diversity to your workplace, a great work ethic and providing your business with highly skilled employees.
One of the barriers stopping the recruitment of ex-armed forces employees is the recruitment process. They don’t always take into account the unique skill set that ex-military candidates may possess. Many of them do apply for jobs and end up never getting past the first stage of selection. Simply because their CV does not look like that of a standard traditionally trained professional. Yet, the skills they can bring to the job can be easily transferable and extremely useful. To combat this, focus on training your recruitment team to identify and understand the transferable skills that an armed forces CV can offer.
Research by SAAS showed that some of the positive skills possessed by service leavers include being a strong team player, resilience and being good problem solvers. However, there remains a gap between recognising these qualities and employment practices, according to Jessica Rose at Business in the Community. You can also run regular workshops in your business covering topics such as CV preparation and assessment of employability skills.
Offering personalised benefits can attract the right talent, including military personnel. To do this, you must first understand the needs of your workforce. If you are going to be adding ex-military personnel to your workforce, it may be a good idea to do research on the key benefits that matter to them. For example, recent research has shown that levels of PTSD are on the increase for veterans. This indicates the need to prioritise mental health benefits, including psychotherapy, hypnotherapy and family therapy.
In addition to prioritising mental health benefits, you will want to focus on other benefits, such as disability and health insurance. A large percentage of the military population retire or leave the armed forces with an injury or disability that may affect their job performance. Securing cover means they feel better having a safety net, and your business is also covered for the possibility.
Most online compensation calculators offer disability and veteran considerations to help you accurately estimate veteran impairment ratings and compensation categories. Another suggestion is to offer direct links to organisations focused on supporting veterans with PTSD and their families. The more uniques support you can provide, the better you will look in their eyes.
The United Kingdom is littered with employers all doing their best to support ex-armed forces. They do this by either offering veteran recruitment programs, retraining or other recruitment initiatives. The one thing they all seem to have in common? They publicise their efforts and willingness to employ military personnel.
Whether it is creating a dedicated careers section for military applicants, offering a veterans employment program, or announcing your vacancies on the social networks of military support organisations, this can ensure your business is noticed by the right people – the veterans.
As a business and employer, this is a responsibility to secure the best talent you can for your organisation. This usually means striking the right mix and balance of differently skilled employees and should include service leavers.
However, you must be prepared to adequately support ex-military personnel, just as you would for any other class of employees. Whether you are just launching your veteran recruitment program or are already an employer of service leavers, it is certainly worthwhile taking the time to design your HR function with them in mind.
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