Switching industries can be hard for anyone, but for veterans returning to the workforce after deployment, it can be particularly tough. A veteran may have never had to apply or interview for a civilian job before. Reintegration has many challenges, from reconnecting with family to relating to people who do not understand military life or deployment.

 

But there are very specific things that employers can do to smooth the way for veterans looking to enter the workforce and to help them thrive once there. “If you really want to attract top veteran talent, then you need to analyze your company’s job posting for veteran suitability,” says Chris Crace, veterans advocacy leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Crace recently shared some tips with Fortune’s Industry Now panel. He recommends removing “any industry requirements that could be exclusionary to them, such as years of industry experience, certifications, etc.”

 

Now, have you started thinking who better then to manage event operations than a vet who has handled triage without blinking? Perhaps the best person to oversee multiple vendors, delivery dates and client registration is someone who managed multiple teams with different agendas in the field. You are not wrong!

 

Here are a few steps to get you started, as well as some federal resources to make general outreach and hiring easier.

 

Step 1- The Buddy System. Promising candidates should be matched with internal advocates who can help prepare them for interviews and re-think their resumes to fit specific roles. These advocates play multiple roles: they can share the benefits of hiring veterans with the company’s managers, who may need some convincing—especially if the veteran candidate doesn’t hit every box on a checklist.  “And they can provide personal touches and welcomes during pre-hire and on-boarding,” Crace adds.

 

Step 2- Successful Retention. Hand new hires an org-chart and review business units on week one to make sure they know how they can succeed and advance.  “Veterans are used to having a set career path and can anticipate organizational leadership, reporting and salary increases, so we expect as much clarity and transparency as possible,” Grace says. Veterans live and breathe teamwork’s value and importance. They have the strongest management and operational experience in the marketplace. They embrace the chain of command, but also excel at taking personal responsibility for performance and results.

 

Step 3- Meaning Matters. “We will always search for the feeling of pride and motivation that we had while serving our country, so feeling connected to your company’s culture and values is important,” Crace says. Once hired, a veteran will need small wins as soon as possible. “We want to add value and not feel like a burden to the company or team because we need additional time to assimilate, as anyone would.” Do what the military does: define objectives, set overall parameters, and then decide how to best accomplish those objectives. Every soldier feels they are a part of something bigger than themselves.

 

To incentivize the private sector, President Obama signed the Veterans Opportunity to Work to Hire Heroes (VOW) Act into law. There are two tax credits associated with this law that may also assist your bottom line:

  • The Returning Heroes Tax Credit is a hiring tax credit that provides an incentive for businesses to hire unemployed veterans. Depending upon the length of a veteran’s unemployment, the employer may receive up to $2,400 (or 4 weeks) -or- up to $5,600 (for 6 months or longer.)
  • The Wounded Warrior Tax Credit will double the existing tax credit for long-term unemployed veterans with service-connected disabilities. A credit of 40% of the first $24,000 of wages (up to $9,600) for companies that hire veterans with disabilities who have been unemployed longer than 6 months.

 

In addition, the White House and Veterans Affairs have sponsored two programs that assist civilian companies with posting job opportunities directly to military community.

  • VetSuccess – www.vetsuccess.gov
  • VetSuccess is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. It provides the opportunity for veterans to post their resumes, and for employers to post job openings, and links directly to Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) national employment resources for employers.
  • Warrior Transition – http://www.wtc.army.mil/about_us/eei_for_employers.html
  • Civilian employers can access information about hiring wounded warriors from the Warrior Transition Command’s Employment, Education and Internships website. Private sector employers can gain access to severely wounded Veterans who have separated from the Army and are ready to transition to the civilian workforce.