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Emily King, on how to hire a veteran

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The annual conference for the Society for Human Resource Management is right around the corner, and this year, SHRM is dedicating a special program to issues facing military veterans in the workforce. One of the speakers for the Military Veterans Program is Emily King, founder of MyMilitaryTransition.com and a recognized expert on the transition from military to civilian leadership.

I’m a civilian hiring manager or HR pro. Why should I consider hiring a veteran over someone with no military experience?

Unlike a new hire out of school or industry, the veteran brings a reliable skill set based on military experience — not just job experience. For example, veterans bring an expectation of excellence and integrity to the civilian workplace and can influence others in that direction. Also, the veteran has lived and worked in a 24/7 culture where mission comes first, regardless of what the clock says. Going above and beyond to get the job done well is standard operating procedure for most veterans.

What’s the best way to recruit current or former military folks?

The first and best thing an organization can do is to enable the success of the current and former military already on board. Word spreads fast among veterans. The military community is well networked and quickly identifies the best and worst places to work. When you put things in place to support the current or former service member, recruitment becomes simple, and the best and brightest find their way to you. The best recruiters of veterans set clear and accurate expectations during the interview process and establish an incentive for employees to refer their friends.

What is the most common mistake you see hiring managers and HR pros make when onboarding vets?

It’s something that many managers and HR pros overlook.  Too many HR pros assume that veterans’ needs will be the same as those of other new hires. Success begins with customized onboarding. Issues related to performance and retention that crop up later can usually be tracked back to the earliest days and months of the service member’s civilian employment. HR pros can make a measurable impact by anticipating and addressing the needs of recently hired veterans by helping them transition to the civilian workforce.

For more great advice gleaned from SHRM, sign up for SmartBrief on Workforce. We’ll be working with Monster, Charlie Judy, Jennifer McClure, Ben Eubanks and  other great HR bloggers to bring you daily coverage live from San Diego June 27 to 30.

Image credit, LifeJourneys, via iStock