Recruiting Veteran Job Applicants: Tips for Your Small Business

11.11.2021 Ashley White5 min

More than 9 million veterans are currently engaged in the U.S. workforce, and many business owners are eager to make sure those veteran workers have a job.

Businesses stand to benefit in a number of ways when hiring veterans. First and foremost, many local businesses are drawn to the skillsets, work ethic, and attention to detail that so many veterans have been trained to embody. In addition, many business leaders consider veterans to be of high character and deserving of job opportunities in the civilian workforce.

Small businesses also have a financial incentive for hiring veteran workers: thanks to the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, businesses can receive a tax credit in exchange for providing those veterans with a job. But regardless of what your reasons for hiring veterans might be, the current labor shortage in America is making it difficult to recruit qualified workers from any background, including former military service members.

If you’ve struggled to attract veteran applicants to past positions, you likely need to revise your advertising strategy—especially if you want to remain competitive in an increasingly difficult hiring market. Read on for some tips to build connections and bring more veterans into your company.

Utilize Veteran-Specific Recruiting Boards, Resource Centers, and Advertising Channels

Eager to attract veteran applicants to your open positions? Target your job listings and advertisements to online websites and destinations where you’re most likely to connect with those job-seekers.

Certain job listings websites are built specifically for veteran job-seekers, or they may allow applicants to identify themselves as veterans, making it easier to connect. Resource centers and organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes program, may be able to help you connect with those workers.

Small businesses should also utilize digital marketing channels, including social media, paid search and display advertising to target ads specifically to veteran job-seekers. Search queries and behavioral data can help you deliver hiring ads to veterans looking for a job.

Promote Your Desire to Hire Veterans

Eager to hire veterans? There’s no need to be shy. Many small businesses pride themselves on their active interest in providing jobs to the veteran workforce.

As you seek out veteran job applicants, this reputation can bolster your recruiting efforts: local veterans may recommend your business as a possible employer to other veterans looking for work, and you can create advertisements that emphasize this desire through specific messaging targeted to veteran job-seekers.

Provide Accommodations for Disabilities or Limitations

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 26 percent of military veterans have service-connected disabilities. These disabilities may range widely in their severity and in their impact on that veteran’s job performance, but with so many veterans struggling with some kind of disability stemming from their years of active service, any employer eager to hire U.S. veterans should be prepared to account for certain disabilities or limitations those workers may bring to the table.

Given the risk of job-seekers receiving multiple offers, your ability to accommodate these needs could give you a leg up in attracting veteran talent. Approach conversations with prospective applicants with an open mind and it may lead to greater hiring success.

Let Veterans Know Why You Value Their Background

Like all job applicants, veteran professionals want to be valued for the skills and experience they can bring to an open role. But it’s even more important to articulate this value given the benefits a veteran can offer your business in the form of a tax break. Since many veterans know your business stands to reap financial gains from hiring them, they may be resistant to employers whom they suspect to be in it for the tax break, rather than the resume.

With many veterans facing the prospect of multiple job offers, you can’t afford to let this apprehension cost you a worthy job applicant. By letting the veteran know why you want to hire them, and how you envision them contributing to your business. You can move one step closer to securing a coveted, “Yes.”

Whether your business is focused on recruiting military veterans or qualified applicants in general, businesses are facing fierce competition for top job-seekers. A digital advertising strategy can help your veteran recruiting efforts rise above this competition and improve your odds of increasing veteran applicants and turning those applicants into new hires. Contact Cox Media today to see how we can help.

About the Author

Ashley White

Ashley White is the Lead and Demand Generation Marketing Manager at Cox Media and has spent more than 12 years as a professional marketer telling compelling stories designed to help brands increase engagement and ultimately drive more leads into the pipeline. She’s almost as passionate about filling the funnel with high value prospects as she is about her morning coffee routine. When she isn’t strategizing how to help Cox Media exceed their revenue goals, she can be found chasing her kids and Springerdoodle in sunny Arizona.

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