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Hiring Veterans: A Simple Guide for New Business Owners

July 30, 2021

Article contributed by Ed Carter, founder of AbleFutures

Veteran unemployment rates have been in decline in the last few years. And then the pandemic started. Just when more business owners began to realize the benefits of hiring ex-military, the crisis took a toll on most small enterprises, forcing them to close temporarily or entirely. However, as restrictions slowly lift worldwide, many are getting bolder and establishing new ventures, looking to hire veterans and people who wear multiple hats. If you’re one of these new business owners, this guide from Goodwill of Orange County is for you.

Streamline Processes

Committing to search for a veteran is one aspect of improving your business, but you may be thinking that right now, you’re struggling to find the resources for the day-to-day. Time and money are at a premium for the owners of new small businesses. Ensure you can focus on your hiring efforts and bring your new team to their full potential by engaging tools and services that help you streamline your efforts. For example, you will need to file an annual report with your state. You can simplify the process by using tools that help with gathering and tracking the necessary information. Look for clever strategies for tending your mundane affairs so you can focus on more important matters.


Hiring Veterans Can Benefit Your Business

Veterans can be a boon for your startup because ex-military personnel possess three crucial traits necessary for business success. Firstly, they are mission-focused — meaning, they can put an enterprise’s goal before their own ego or personal desire. Secondly, veterans have leadership skills and are used to owning their responsibilities. Lastly, businesses that stay focused on the goal and take care of their veteran employees will earn peerless loyalty.

Veterans also understand the importance of protecting customer information, making them a great asset to any business. They are familiar with sophisticated technology, which can help your business reach more customers or cater to even more existing ones.


Where to Post Jobs for Veterans

By advertising your open positions on job websites specific to veterans, as well as freelance job boards, you can reach veterans in your area. You can also use your own social media network to post about how your business is veteran-friendly. Use pro-veteran hashtags when posting on these platforms, and include links to your job listings.

You can also reach out to Goodwill of Orange County’s Tierney Center for Veteran Services to get in touch with a veteran in the job market. Contact us via our website to talk to one of our specialists who will put you in touch with our pool of candidates.


How to Hire a Veteran

Hiring veterans is similar to hiring any other employee. You should view their time in service like any other job. During interviews, focus on exploring the relevant skills they acquired during this period. When reviewing an ex-military applicant’s experience, you can ask questions about applicable skills they learned in the armed forces. Other professional competencies should also be mentioned. Don’t be intimidated when covering their time in the military. Veterans gain an immense amount of experience in the troops, and to establish that they are a great hire, you will need to explore their professional expertise and skills.


How to Retain Veterans

When hiring veterans, your goal should be to develop long-term team members who will continue to support your company’s goals. To achieve this, you need to take a few steps, including providing them with opportunities for continued learning and building partnerships with military programs. Most veterans are interested in enhancing their skill sets, so a good idea to help your ex-military employees achieve this is to offer an annual training budget that can be applied to several programs such as those that result in certificates of completion.

If you want to develop a long-term relationship with your veteran employees, you should also know that vets appreciate a business culture that gives back to the community. Make sure you understand what the military is and how it works, and work with different veteran-friendly programs to support your employees and keep hiring qualified people.


You may not be able to hire all the veterans that apply for your open positions but it’s best to ensure that you keep in touch with candidates as they may be the best fit for future roles. This simple guide should ease the process of hiring a veteran for the first time, so make sure you consider these tips.

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