Veterans Day is right around the corner (Sunday, November 11, to be exact), and what better way to celebrate it than to hire veterans to help fill your vacant roles! Here, we’ll look at the ways companies can improve their recruitment strategies for hiring this highly skilled talent pool.

Monster recently conducted its exclusive 2018 Veteran Hiring survey, which features 305 veterans who have been out of active duty for less than 10 years. The survey can be used to help all employers better understand what they can do to attract this important source of diverse talent.

Understanding How Employers Can Better Serve Veteran Needs

The results of this survey underscore the need for robust veteran recruitment programs, highlight the communication gaps that continue to exist between employers and veteran jobseekers, and provide guidance for companies looking to improve veteran representation as part of their diversity and inclusion initiatives.

According to the survey data, the majority of veterans look for a job after leaving the military (94%) and most veterans (66%) said they prepared for a job before leaving active duty, but 63% spent just 3 months or less preparing to find their next job.

Veterans are most interested in pursuing jobs in information technology (IT)/information services (17%), defense technologies (16%), and government (15%). Together, these three industries comprise nearly half of all veteran job searches after leaving active duty (48%), which presents an opportunity for businesses in those sectors to demonstrate their veteran-friendly recruitment programs.

When it comes to translating military skills and communicating those skills to employers, more than two-thirds of respondents (67%) said they did not feel like they found work at a comparable level to their military service, and more than half (55%) felt recruiters and HR professionals didn’t understand their military skills. One in three veteran respondents (33%) still feels underemployed today.

“These survey results tell us that while employers want to hire veterans and veterans want to find work, the employers are not fully aware of the skills the veteran is bringing with them from the military,” says Steve Jordon, retired U. S. Navy Captain and Executive Director of Veterans Employment Initiative for the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC).

Jordan also leads the U.S. program—a collaborative effort between NVTC, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), Monster, and—which is focused on accelerating veteran and military spouse employment. “This is a classic case of ‘lost in translation’ and both sides need better tools to understand each other. The data also tells us we have an opportunity to find new ways to equip military personnel for their job search before they leave the service,” adds Jordan.

Interestingly enough, while most veterans (66%) said they prepared for a job before leaving active duty, 63% spent just 3 months or less preparing to find their next job. This data illustrates there is an opportunity to find new ways to reach, train, and equip military personnel for their civilian job search before they leave the service.

Veterans also revealed—possibly because of the limited time spent preparing for their career transition—the factors that they consider when looking at potential employers. Among their top considerations are companies that:

  • Accept military training in place of civilian credentials (79%);
  • Have a proven track record of hiring veterans (74%);
  • Have recruiters who are veterans themselves (64%);
  • Offer special veteran onboarding programs (60%); and,
  • Provide a support group for veteran employees (60%).

This information can be a useful starting point for employers that are trying to build a veteran recruitment program.

“When companies engage with and hire transitioning service members and veterans, they gain more than just a dedicated employee for their business,” says Evan Guzman, founder of The MiLBRAND Project, an agency dedicated to helping businesses and employers attract and retain veterans and military spouses.

Guzman adds, “The vast majority of Americans hold our military in high regard and when businesses showcase their commitment to veteran hiring and retention, it’s great for their business on so many levels. The companies on this list understand how important it is for businesses to let veterans know they are eager to hire them and communicating the ability to understand their skill set is crucial to attracting this talent pool.”

Best Companies for Veterans

In addition to the survey, Monster and unveiled its fourth annual Monster Best Companies for Veterans list, which celebrates companies that offer stellar veteran hiring, onboarding, and retention programs. These companies include:

  1. ManTech
  2. CACI International Inc.
  3. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
  4. Booz Allen Hamilton
  6. Lockheed Martin Corporation
  7. Intelligent Waves LLC
  8. Union Pacific
  9. BAE Systems
  10. Schneider

The list—which crosses IT, defense, government, transportation, and consulting—is based on nominations by veteran hiring experts and self-reported data from the nominees on hiring and onboarding practices, with a focus on the percentage of 2018 hires that were veterans and a total percentage of the workforce composed of veterans.

For each of the companies listed, at least 18% of hires in 2018 have been veterans (up 20% over last year) and 17% or more of their workforce are veterans (up from 15%). For more information on this list, or to view the full survey methodology, click here.