By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Last week we talked about the importance of building a custom specialty and niche recruiting strategy and how it’ll change your recruiting efforts for the best and today we’ll talk specifically about veteran and diversity recruiting. A few months ago we hosted an entire series on how veterans make great hires and today we’re giving you some advice on how you can close the deal when hiring veterans.

Engage veterans in your storytelling.
One of the most successful ways to get a veteran to work for your company is connect them with other veterans. Create a story about your workplace with veterans and how those specific employees are vital to the overall success of your company. Candidates want to hear compelling facts about how your workplace accommodates veterans and a diverse workforce. These facts should come from the type of candidates you’re trying to engage and hire to increase your credibility.

Hire differently.
This candidate isn’t your normal out-of-work job seeker or college graduate. The veteran workforce is highly connected and motivated and will need a special type of recruiting. Consider an even more personal approach to hiring this networked workforce in order to gain a better understanding of the candidate and how their military work experience transitions into the private workforce.

Who We Love
We’ve given you a few examples of how to recruit the veteran workforce, but we also want to highlight a few companies who we believe have done an outstanding job. These companies have been highlighted on our blog in the past, but Home Depot and GE have been two stand out examples of who’s doing it right in veteran recruiting.

Home Depot’s career portal has a specific site dedicated to veteran recruiting. Not only do they offer exceptional discounts to all military personnel, but their dedicated career portal gives veterans the ability to join their community and talk one-on-one with recruiters and how they might be able to fit in the Home Depot family. They’ve hired more then 60,000 veterans since 2004 and have been given numerous awards on their commitment to hiring and working with military professionals.

GE is another example of a company doing things right when it comes to hiring veterans. Their program “Get Skills to Work” gives veterans an opportunity to gain the proper skills needed to re-enter the workforce. Their mission is to educate, prepare, and place veterans in long-term careers. With an estimated 600,000 manufacturing jobs GE is working to build better futures for military veterans.

These two companies are prime examples of how companies should recruit and maintain a vital and promising relationship with veterans. It’s important to use social media, communities, events, PR, and digital storytelling to drive these candidates to a centralized location to help create a targeted and truly unique experience.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell

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