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Celebrate Memorial Day - Hire More Veterans

By Mary Leone - May 27, 2021 3:56:58 PM - 6 MINS READ


This article is brought to you by OutSolve partner, Diversity Outreach Partners (DOP). DOP specializes in assisting companies with diversity outreach efforts. 

Home of the BRAVE!

How many times have you heard those words sung?

Or read them out loud?

Do you think about the men and women that have served our country bravely?  YES - I do!

Any guesses as to how many veterans there are in the United States?

According to a US Census article from June of 2020, there are approximately 18 million veterans which make up ~7% of the population.  Around 9% of that is women and is expected to grow to 17% by 2040.

Hiring a Veteran brings VALUE!

That is a lot of available, highly trained talent!  Veterans bring skills to a company like:

-Strong work ethic
-Diversity and inclusion
-Core values
-Ability to handle stressful situations

Are you recruiting veterans for jobs at your company?  If not, I bet you will think again after reading this!

What is on your summer bucket list?

What does Memorial Day mean to you?

Have you started your summer bucket list, especially after all that pandemic social distancing?

Do you dream about warmer summer weather, BBQs with friends, and spending time in the pool?  Those are some of the things I thought about when I was younger.

Being a huge veteran advocate (and married to an Army veteran), my thoughts have changed.  Is it nice to have three days off at the beginning of summer – YEP!  But I also think about the men and women that served our country and died fighting for us.

After the Civil War, General John Logan (Commander in Chief of the Union Veteran Group – Grand Army of the Republic) introduced the idea of Decoration Day.  It was to honor people who died serving in the US military in the Civil War.

It later evolved to include WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. Then in 1971 it became an official federal holiday and was called Memorial Day.  People often celebrate with parades, speeches, decorating the graves of fallen soldiers, wearing a red poppy, and with a moment of remembrance at 3 pm local time.

Now what?

A short history lesson is great, but what will you do with that knowledge?

My hope is that your company will consider hiring more veterans.  And you are probably asking yourself – what can we do now?

Here are 7 great ideas and tactics you can implement:

1. Participate in a veteran mentoring program like Veterati, American Corporate Partners (ACP), or Four Block (to name a few).  Mentors can serve as a guide through navigating the ups and downs in the transition process which can be challenging.

2. Research what types of (free) Skill Bridge programs you can include at your company, to help separating Service members learn more about civilian careers. Learn more at Skill Bridge.  

3. Apply for Work Opportunity Tax Credits (these apply to more than just veterans).

4. Hold regular virtual webinars to talk about your company, the career opportunities, and how to start the hiring process for veterans.

5. Start a Veteran ERG (employee resource group) at your company. Members can help with onboarding new employees, serve as mentors, help with the hiring process, work with talent acquisition to translate military skills to civilian speak, and many other initiatives!

6. Develop a relationship with a Veteran Service Organization (VSO). Through these relationships, you can sponsor webinars, attend networking events, serve as panelists and participate in job fairs. The list of great ones is long, but here is a sampling of some that regularly engage companies:  Vets2IndustryUSO Pathfinder Transition ProgramCenturion Military AllianceVeterans ASCEND, and Hire Heroes USA.

7. Create a Veteran landing page where you can share success stories, testimonials, highlight the work of your Veteran ERG, post videos, and talk about your veteran-specific offerings.

What are you waiting for?  Start NOW!

About the Author and Diversity Outreach Partners

Mary Leone is a talent acquisition professional that has a passion for diversity recruiting. She has partnered with Alan Klapman to form Diversity Outreach Partners, which can help your business build, grow, and document your diversity outreach efforts. You can find her on LinkedIn, writing about diversity recruiting, transitioning veterans, or people with disabilities. She actively volunteers as Vice-Chair for Disability:IN North Texas and as a Networking Facilitator/Career Coach at Vets2Industry.  

Read: 2020 Census Bureau Report on Veterans


Mary Leone

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