Widening the net. Build a more diverse talent strategy for Veterans


The 2021 Integral Employee Activation Index showed that 26% of participants ranked job creation as a societal issue that is important for their organization to make a positive difference on, however veterans issues generated 13% of participants. 

A lack of job creation is an issue that impacts veterans. According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau’s Labor Statistics, in 2020 581,000 Veterans were unemployed compared to 284,000 in 2019 (more than double).


Broaden your opportunities to diversify hiring

You may be developing a solid Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategy already – but if you’re only thinking about race, you’ve got a blind spot: missing out on the richness that comes from diverse backgrounds and life experiences.

As you plan your recruitment strategy, you can discover ways to hire and retain veterans entering the corporate world. You can develop or join outreach programs to hire veterans and make it part of a wider DEI initiative within Talent Acquisition. 

There is already a clear disadvantage seen in race and ethnicity as veterans retire from armed services and look for job opportunities. “Minority veterans have a 44% higher risk of unemployment than non-minority veterans” and can experience higher rates of homelessness, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs, National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics.


Think transferable skills and situational application

Veterans can have decades of experience in the military that may not directly translate to experience in civilian roles. Most civilians have no clue what a Captain or Scout in the Army does. Yet, when recruiting, we can start to think about how skills that veterans gain from their time served in the armed services can contribute to your company goals. Veterans with military training in data analytics, engineering and logistics are great for the corporate sector.

Also look at their transferable soft skills. Anyone who has spent time in the field will be able to look beyond what is immediately visible, have resilience and grit, an ability to deal with ambiguity and tough situations.


Wondering where you can learn more about Veteran Hiring?

I had the pleasure of attending a webinar on Building a Veteran Hiring Strategy. Kristin Sailing Director of Army People Analytics of the U.S. Army states, “We’re asking the army for the first time to figure out how to promote their skills, which is something we haven’t asked previously and it’s something that doesn’t come naturally necessarily to a lot of our folks. I think this will help when they’re looking to transition because they can actually come up and say, ‘Hey, here’s what I’m good at’, rather than having somebody look at a centralized file to make that determination.”

Sailing has also explained that currently, career coaching is an area that will be introduced as an “area of expertise in the army” since it’s been identified that armed service members are excelling in that space.

As the Army looks to do their part in providing training and resources when active personnel retire from the armed services, recruiters can start to strategize ways in which they can help veterans.

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Shantel Risher
Client Relationship Manager
Shantel is an experienced project lead who thrives in a creative, digital media landscape. A “jill-of-all trades,” she enjoys creating and producing content while maintaining her passion for organization.

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