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3 Keys to Finding Your Ideal Veteran Candidate

Are you unsure how to evaluate the experience and skills of Veterans? When considering a Veteran applicant, it is essential to treat them just like any other hire. Every candidate who walks through your door should be evaluated based on their skills and fit with your company. This evaluation can, however, be guided by assessing Veterans more specifically based on achievement, attitude, and ambition.

What Are Their Past Achievements?

Achievement can be the most difficult aspect of a Veteran’s resume for a hiring manager to evaluate. This is especially the case when you’re not familiar with military rank structure and culture. Just as civilian applicants can be reviewed based on their past performance, a Veteran’s past performance should be based on their achievements as well. This review is multi-faceted and should include any major aspects of Veteran achievement while in service. This may vary from a civilian’s past achievements, so we’ve created this table to assist you with the process:

Rank Advancement

Recognition & Awards

Professional Education

Civilian Achievements

Questions to Ask

What did your official evaluation reports say about your performance?

Tell me about your promotion history in the service. Were you promoted on track or ahead of your peers?

Things to Know

Most veterans are very honest about the relative importance of certain awards and will honestly share with you their true meaning. If you’d like more information, do online research if they list awards on their resume.

Questions to Ask

What was the most rigorous training you went through while in the military?

What did it teach you, and what did you learn about yourself during the training?

Things to Know

You shouldn’t assume that a Veteran candidate has no exposure to the civilian workforce. Asking about their development and biggest accomplishment outside the military can give insight into their other experiences.

How Much Does Attitude Matter?

Attitude is another quality that’s difficult to assess in civilian candidates. It can be even more challenging with Veterans. The culture of the military workplace will force you to look hard to identify the differences between confidence and hubris, humility and self-effacement, and gratefulness and entitlement.  Veterans will undoubtedly shine in the areas of teamwork, leadership, and mission orientation, which will be an undeniable asset to your organization.

Here are some skills that Veterans showcase more of in the workplace and may align with your goals as an organization:

The Role Their Ambition Plays

Ambition will often be more up-front in Veterans than their civilian counterparts. Veterans are used to advancement as a function of leadership and may not fully understand the advancement structure of your organization. It is essential that you give them patience as they learn about your company’s structure. When their motivating ambitions match your needs and your culture, you can help them acclimate to your company’s culture with ease, knowing they are a fantastic fit to allow you to continue to grow.

Want to learn more about how valuable Veterans can be to your organization? Subscribe to SAVI’s free newsletter today to receive information on exclusive webinars, topical information, and more insider-perspective on how to best leverage Veteran support in your company!