Four Things to Remember When Marketing to Veterans

It’s February and you are one month into your 2018 Veteran Recruiting Strategy. After returning from your holiday break, you’ve sold the program to your skeptical VP of Talent Acquisition and secured some budget money. You’ve found your champions who will help you get this program from a recruiting project to a company asset. After your MLK weekend spent watching your kids’ soccer tournaments, you profiled the jobs you are going to recruit veterans for and identified the type of veterans whose transferrable skills are a clear match for your company and the job recs you’re looking to fill. You’ve established your schedule of events and locations where the military and veterans you want can be found. Your internal strategy and team are in place.

What’s next?

You need to craft your message to the veteran community that you are in the market for them and that your company is the right choice for them.

What are the successful components of a marketing campaign to recruit veterans for your company? Key items resonate with veterans that don’t with other groups, such as millennials. You need to craft your marketing with these ideas in mind.

· “Our Mission Comes First.” Veterans join the military for many different reasons, but one thing unifies everyone in uniform on a day to day basis – a commitment to getting the job done that has a positive impact on others. Inspired by a cause bigger than themselves, veterans rally around a cause and will go to extraordinary lengths to complete the mission. In your marketing message, ensure you tie in that sense of cause with the mission of your company – draw direct lines between what your company does and how its success impacts your space.

· “Veterans are Successful Here.” Everyone loves a good story, but more importantly, veterans need to see examples of successful Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen in your company contributing to the bottom line. Military veterans need to see themselves joining your team – hold up a mirror with stories of your own employees who were once in uniform and are now successful members of your team.

· “Veterans and Military Service are Welcome and Supported.” Seek out ways to highlight what your veteran employee population is doing outside of their day to day jobs. Reserve duty, Memorial Day events, veteran recruiting events, open houses, and Veterans Day observances are all great ways to publicize you want to hire veterans and herald their service.

· “Our Company Culture is Team Focused.” Everyone in the service is part of a big machine, but what they miss when they leave is the sense of teamwork and camaraderie that military service engenders. While very few companies require the 24 hour commitment and shared sense of purpose of the military, you should highlight the teamwork necessary to complete your mission. Sales teams, intramural leagues, business competitions, and employee resource groups are great examples of teamwork in action.

Keeping these themes in mind will help you craft a powerful message that will resonate with your veteran audience, increase your referrals, and draw more traffic to your website. Reinforce these themes across all of your social media and marketing platforms and you will begin to build the foundation for a well-deserved veteran friendly reputation.

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