What Veterans Look for in an Employer

Adverto Insights

Each candidate is unique in the qualities they seek when looking for an employer, and veteran candidates are no different. Although each veteran will have their own checklist for a new employer, there are shared qualities and experiences that influence the qualities they value when seeking an employer post-active duty.

Brooke White, Sr. Employer Brand Specialist Written by Brooke White, Sr. Employer Brand Specialist

What Veterans Look for in an Employer

Each candidate is unique in the qualities they seek when looking for an employer, and veteran candidates are no different. Although each veteran will have their own checklist for a new employer, there are shared qualities and experiences that influence the qualities they value when seeking an employer post-active duty.


AN EMPLOYEE VALUE PROPOSITION THAT RESONATES 

As an organization, your employee value proposition describes the promises you make to employees when they join your team. That doesn’t change at an organizational level, but there is value in tailoring your EVP as it relates to veteran candidates.


Veterans need the satisfaction of purposeful, meaningful work. 

If you think about the sense of purpose generated from serving your country, it’s easy to understand why meaningful work is important to veterans looking for civilian work. Civilian employers need to be able to communicate why their work is meaningful and form a connection with vets and their passions for a similar objective. This can even be reflecting the value of their role to the organization, a simple “we couldn’t do it without you” can go a long way.


Veterans need an employer with a mission they feel connected to. 

For veterans, it’s important to find an organization where they connect strongly to the mission. Either you have it or you don’t, it’s completely subjective to each vet, but this is definitely your opportunity as an employer to communicate your mission in the most authentic, specific and emotional way.


Veterans value a strong sense of camaraderie in the workplace. 

In the military, veterans work, play and live with their colleagues. Often times, upon leaving the service many vets struggle with the relative lack of camaraderie and teamwork in most civilian organizations. A strong culture with close-knit group employees is something veteran candidates value. 

But you can’t just say this, provide proof points of how your culture fosters this environment. Do you do a weekly happy hour with your team? Do you have an active veteran employee network?


Veterans value transparency in opportunity and clear career paths. 

The military is structured with very straightforward career progressions. In corporate culture, this is often not the case. 

Veterans appreciate specific information on growth potential – both financial and professional. As an employer, you can communicate the opportunity for career growth by describing your development programs, career maps, or anything else you offer that adds transparency.


Veterans value job security and stability – an employer who will take care of them. 

Unlike the private sector, the government is a reliable, stable employer that never goes out of business. 

Working in the military, our service men and women have job security, formal compensation, and benefit programs. When veteran candidates transition to the civilian workforce, the same level of stability and security is less common. If you’re a large, reputable employer with a proven past and a dependable future, your veteran candidates will appreciate it.


AT THE END OF THE DAY, IT’S ABOUT BEING AUTHENTIC 

To articulate employer brands authentically, employers need to provide a realistic portrayal of what candidates can expect from joining their organization. Just because veteran candidates value the qualities listed, doesn’t mean they need exact repetition in your organizational EVP. Focus on drawing parallels to these themes, but only when they apply. 

If you decide to build a veteran-specific EVP, use the qualities veterans care about to guide your articulation while staying true to what you already offer. Solicit feedback from employees and candidates to grow your understanding of veteran needs, and explore opportunities to solve them.


WE’RE HERE TO HELP 

At Adverto, we have experience building all kinds of employee value propositions at the segmented and organizational level. We can extract the essence of your employer brand and make it relevant for veterans. 

If you’re interested in attracting more veterans to your organization – we can help!