Sourcing veteran talent doesn’t differ much from sourcing any other type of talent. It requires knowledge of the skillset you are looking for, understanding the veteran culture, and an idea of where you can find those candidates. Luckily, we can use many of the same sourcing resources to identify veteran talent. Adopting a veteran strategy into your sourcing efforts doesn’t require a significant increase in costs.
While some of the tools mentioned below are free, there are some are not. This is by no means an exhaustive list but serves as a starting point to launch your research into veteran talent sourcing.
One of the most utilized tools in sourcing are search engines like Google and Bing. We use them to x-ray, conduct research, and find the hard-to-find details like contact information for that one purple squirrel. The most straightforward approach to incorporate these into your veteran sourcing strategy is to include the military branches into your search terms.
Some of the primary keywords you can incorporate are US Army, US Navy, USMC or Marine Corps, US Air Force, the MOS code or job title you are searching for (if applicable), or any other related terms. If you’ve done your research, you should have a greater understanding of what you are looking for. This will give you the ability to expand your keywords to ensure that you aren’t missing any candidates in your searches.
Veterans tend to stick together for support and networking. We are all brothers and sisters in arms, and that shows in some of our social media presence. There is no such thing as a stranger in the never-ending military family.
Facebook – There are hundreds of different Facebook groups dedicated to connecting veterans. Some of which are based on specific interests like food, video games, and even jobs. Some of these may take a little time to research, as they don’t always include military-related terms like the name of the group. The payoff could be tremendous, depending on the types of candidates you are searching.
LinkedIn – If you’re not on LinkedIn already, you should be. LinkedIn is one of the best places to identify potential matches and even reach out to candidates. It should be noted that since LinkedIn includes hundreds of different organizations and units that fall under the Department of Defense. Someone could very well be a veteran and not show up if you’re searching using just the basic branch names as criteria. There isn’t a good workaround for that, so it will take patience and additional research to find exactly what you need. There are also various veteran networking groups on LinkedIn that you can join.
RallyPoint – RallyPoint is somewhat of a LinkedIn for veterans. It is a professional networking site allowing you to connect with veterans across the country for networking, professional discussion, and reconnecting with old colleagues. You can also set up an account as a civilian, and they even have their job board and recruiter license like LinkedIn. RallyPoint allows veterans and service members to create profiles and include all their military experience as well as civilian experience and education. I’ve found that usually, their LinkedIn profile will be more up-to-date with the civilian side of their experience.
One interesting thing I’ve noticed about RallyPoint is that a large portion of veterans I’ve sourced make no mention of their military service on LinkedIn. This could serve as a tool to identify veterans in your industry that might otherwise go unnoticed for their military service.
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Paid Resources – Job Fairs, Job Boards, Resume Databases
If you have some room in your budget, there are great options for finding a wide variety of veterans, both with and without a security clearance.
RecruitMilitary – RecruitMilitary has its veteran job board and resume database with over one million veteran, service member, and spouse resumes and can even support automated feeds to post your jobs to their job board. They also host over 100 hiring events annually in nearly every major city and military base in the US.
Military MOJO – If you’re looking for highly educated veteran candidates, look no further than Military MOJO. They host a handful of events across the US each year, and all their candidates will have at least a Bachelor’s degree to complement their military experience. They even claim that about 40% of their candidates have an advanced degree.
Lucas Group – Lucas Group is a relatively well-known executive recruiting firm in the US, and they have an arm of their business that focuses solely on veteran talent. They are experts in their field and staffed with professionals that understand the veteran marketplace.
Orion Talent – Orion started out focusing solely on bringing military and veteran talent into corporate America but has since branched out and extended their recruiting services to cover the full market. They are another great expert to lean on in the veteran recruitment space.
Local and national government resources – Many local governments, as well as the federal government, have resources to help connect you with veteran talent. You can post jobs on some job boards for little to no cost, participate in veteran hiring events, and more. Since there are so many different options here, I would highly suggest researching what would apply to you instead of attempting to list them all out here.