The Keys to Hiring Veterans

The upcoming surge of job-seeking veterans presents a great opportunity for small business owners nationwide—one you might not see again in your lifetime. Hiring a veteran means you’ll have an employee with a unique skillset, offering experience in:

· learning new skills and concepts with minimal training

· administering and using a variety of hi-tech systems

· leading staff at different skill levels

· remaining calm and productive under intense pressure

And that’s really just scratching the surface. To attract and retain veterans to your business, we’ve identified the two pillars for making your business a magnet for military hires:

1. Develop a veteran-specific differentiation for your business

2. Capitalize on the Veterans Hiring Toolkit

Focusing on these building blocks for your veterans recruiting efforts will give you an edge over your peers—and help you compete with the big boys.

Differentiating Your Business

You can compete for veterans by showing the advantages of working for your business, and small business in general, from their perspective. The key is differentiating how your business, and not a large-scale competitor, can help unemployed veterans:

· achieve higher levels of success in their desired fields, and

· enjoy more freedom in your work environment than they’d be afforded elsewhere.

You can probably answer these questions for any candidate. But as you target veterans, you can impress them with:

· your knowledge of the skills and training they’ve already acquired, and

· how they can use and build upon that knowledge at your company.

By researching military careers, you’ll learn what aspects of your open jobs align with certain veterans’ experience. Yes, this will take some work on your part, but the benefit of being able to present yourself and your company as experts in what veterans have learned and gone through—and having the research to back it up—outweighs the cost of your research.

Once you’ve finished differentiating your veterans-friendly business, include the message in all steps of your recruiting: from the ad, to the phone interview, and all the way to the hire offer.

Following the Veterans Hiring Toolkit

The U.S. Department of Labor has released a Veterans Hiring Toolkit that provides useful and actionable steps to create a business that addresses veterans’ wants and needs, including ways to accommodate wounded veterans and military spouses.

The Toolkit breaks down the most important aspects of hiring veterans into six steps:

1. Designing a strategy for your veterans hiring program

2. Creating a welcome and educated workplace for veterans

3. Actively recruiting veterans, wounded warriors and military spouses

4. Hiring qualified veterans and learning how to accommodate wounded warriors

5. Promoting an inclusive workplace to retain veteran employees

6. Providing access to helpful tools and resources

The website provides detailed instructions for each of the six points mentioned above.

With a small investment of your time, you can help those who’ve served their country work in an environment that understands, appreciates and challenges them daily.

About Business Owner’s Toolkit
With an emphasis on problem-solving dating back to 1995, Business Owner’s Toolkit™ ( offers more than 5,000 pages of free cost-cutting tips, step-by-step checklists, real-life case studies, startup advice, and business templates to small business owners and entrepreneurs. The site also offers a monthly newsletter, up-to-date news topics, and Ask Alice!, a column that closely follows industry trends and provides trusted advice to inquiring site visitors.