Best Practice #3 – Networking, Referrals and Employer Outreach
As a workforce professional, there’s no question that you have a wealth of resources and connections that will benefit your Veteran client. Be sure to leverage existing team members and networks within your own professional or social circles. Inquire within your regional offices to find out if anyone is former military and ask if they can refer any unit buddies or other Vets to share knowledge and network with. Military.com's Veterans Career Network is a great resource as well.
It is also important to mention that Veterans may need pre-employment assistance such as treatment for PTSD, depression, or substance use disorders. If Veterans are in need of counseling for any of these, referrals to supportive services and agencies that can help them overcome their barriers and issues will get them on the right path to healthier living and sustainable employment. Here are a few helpful resources:
- National Veterans Foundation– Offers crisis management, information referrals and outreach for veterans in need. Call: 855-838-5444
- Give an Hour—This organization connects customers to a local mental health clinic for a free, in-person counseling session. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Homecoming for Veterans—Extensive directory includes a list of clinicians across the U.S. who have agreed to see Veterans for 20-minute sessions at no cost. Call: 877-334-4334
For companies that hire Veterans, the consensus is clear: Veterans represent an excellent candidate pipeline. Research from the Center for a New American Security shows that hiring Veterans is good business, according to interviews with 87 individuals representing 69 companies. The companies reported 11 reasons they hire Veterans, with an emphasis on Veterans’ leadership and teamwork skills, character and discipline.
Feel free to cite the above research to encourage partner employers you work with to market their organization as a Veteran employer of choice. Veteran-friendly organizations should be encouraged to build their company's brand in the military community. Highlighting Veterans who work in their organization and talking about the fantastic job they do would reinforce the value of employing these high-caliber individuals.