Attracting and Retaining Veterans

Research has shown that veterans have little issue finding a job, but employers are finding it difficult to keep them onboard for the long run. About 43% of veterans leave their first civilian job within the first year, and 80% leave by the second year due to a lack of career advancement and personal development opportunities. This challenge presents the option for companies to reevaluate how they are appealing to veterans and how they can retain them.

Veteran Onboarding

Nearly 70% of professionals said their company does not train hiring managers on veteran-specific hiring practices. More than 60% said there was no onboarding or transition support for veteran hires. To better appeal to veterans, recruiters should be trained to understand military culture so they can speak to their service experience during the hiring process. This understanding will help recruiters recognize how veterans’ skills can be transferred to the position.

It’s also a good idea to revise job postings to be flexible on the years of experience needed or state that military experience can be considered in place of experience. This will help veterans feel more confident about applying for roles at your company.

Internal Support Group

Transitioning to the civilian workplace can be challenging for veterans so creating an internal support group can be beneficial. This group will give them a chance to discuss any struggles or adjustments with people from similar backgrounds and create a community that understands what they are going through. Additionally, a dedicated group enables vets to build connections and share resources to help them adjust to the workplace. Veterans will appreciate this opportunity, making them feel valued and recognized.


If there are not enough resources available for an internal support group, consider offering a mentorship program. Since the military can be very structured, there can be a learning curve for jobs with less structure. Through a mentorship program, a veteran is matched to a dedicated person who will provide individual support and guidance to adapt to the new company. With specialized support, the mentor can help a vet navigate the company culture and learn about potential career paths. Most importantly, this will help them feel comfortable.

Growth Opportunities

While this is true for any type of employee, it’s especially important to offer learning opportunities for veterans to develop or foster skills. This will help them stay engaged and continually find new ways to succeed. By offering classes or certificates, it will help vets develop certain skills needed for their position and gain the needed knowledge to accomplish even more. If they already have the skillset, then this is a great way for them to nurture their expertise further. These growth opportunities show veterans that you are willing to invest time into them, which will then encourage retention.

However you decide to attract and retain veterans, one of the most important aspects to consider is showing them that they are valued and supported in the workplace. Through this support, listen to their needs and struggles so you can help them be effective employees.