SOURCE: Center for America

Center for America

May 26, 2015 12:00 ET

Want More Success in Hiring Vets and National Guard?

Free Guide Offers Employer-Based Best Practices

ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwired - May 26, 2015) - The Center for America (CFA), the non-profit coordinating the American Jobs for America's Heroes (AJAH) military hiring campaign, today announced the release of two free Guides to help employers of all sizes improve their recruiting, hiring and retention of veterans, National Guard members, Reservists, and military spouses. "Best Practices Guide for Employers in Recruiting and Hiring National Guard Members and Veterans" -- free to download -- is available at http://www.CenterForAmerica.org/bpg.html. One Guide is for large employers, and one for small employers, most of which have limited HR resources.

National Guard and veteran unemployment and under-employment continue to be higher than national unemployment levels, particularly among 23-30 year olds for whom unemployment is in double-digits. Unemployment numbers alone don't tell the whole story because many very capable veterans whose unemployment benefits have run out have been forced to take minimum wage jobs well below their skills levels just to make ends meet.

"Many mid-size and smaller employers are very willing to hire veterans and Guard members, but they are discouraged because they haven't really succeeded so far. Many employers are holding back because they don't have contacts with veterans and wait for veterans to answer job ads," said Steve Nowlan, CFA president and AJAH campaign director. "To help employers get beyond the problems they are having, we've compiled the best practices from successful employers to explain step-by-step how to avoid mistakes that cost them good hires. The Guides are filled with good ideas and insights from experienced recruiters all over the U.S."

"As a military veteran and owner of Overton Industries, a family-owned manufacturing company that specializes in tool & die, custom molds and tube forming systems, I am proud to present this Guide. … The Guide, which is tailored for small businesses, is full of good ideas and insights about how to bring veterans and Guard members into your company efficiently and successfully," said Ron Overton, President, Overton Industries, in the Foreword of the Small Employer Edition.

"This Best Practices Guide, compiled by the Center for America, represents an excellent collection of effective techniques being used by leading employers to achieve success in hiring military candidates. I encourage you to use this as a source book of good ideas to consider as you pursue your organization's military hiring goals," said Jeannine Rivet, Executive Vice President, UnitedHealth Group in the Foreword of the Large Employer Edition. (See list of corporate and association leadership endorsements at the end of this release).

Unlike many hiring resources, the new Guides are not just a simple listing of best practices. The Guides offer a rationale for each practice, helping the HR staff to justify why each best practice is beneficial and will save time and effort. The Guides also include practical action steps -- some with examples -- to streamline implementation.

Guide highlights include:

*Avoiding mistakes in the recruiting process that lead to wasted time and effort by recruiters, supervisors, outside referral sources and military candidates.

*Understanding differences between civilian work culture and military culture that can be confusing to recruiters and military candidates.

*Preparing those in the recruiting effort to more effectively identify, screen and interview military candidates so as to better understand their skills, experience and potential.

*Gaining essential help from nonprofits and military employment counselors to find the best qualified military candidates in a timely and efficient way.

*Developing effective job postings and career opportunities that will attract interest from military candidates.

AJAH provides a host of information and resources to help employers navigate the military hiring effort, including recorded webinars and guides written by industry experts for AJAH on taking advantage of available tax credits for hiring veterans and understanding new OFCCP guidelines for federal contractors requiring veteran hiring. Recent guides produced have been downloaded more than 85,000 times. Visit www.CenterforAmerica.org for more information.

About the American Jobs for America's Heroes Campaign

The AJAH campaign, comprising more than 160 trade and professional associations, nonprofit organizations, and state Chambers of Commerce, is a coalition with the National Guard to help unemployed National Guard members, veterans and spouses find skilled jobs in the private sector. More than 1,600 employers are registered to submit job postings that are provided directly to employment counselors in all military branches who are working one-on-one with Guard members and veterans to place them in jobs.

Employers can register with the AJAH campaign to post jobs and get free help on job postings and connect with experienced nonprofit employment counselors -- free of charge -- by visiting www.CenterforAmerica.org.

Endorsements of the Best Practices Guide:

Dr. Donald B. Rice served as the 17th Secretary of the Air Force from 1989-1993, appointed by President George H. W. Bush, and also served as president and chief executive officer of RAND Corporation and headed three for-profit companies in diversified manufacturing and biotech. He has served on numerous boards of directors, including Wells Fargo, Chevron, Amgen, and Vulcan Materials.

"Having served as chief executive officer of a non-profit and of several for-profit companies in diversified manufacturing and biotech, I believe that employers of all sizes will appreciate the AJAH Best Practices Guide for Military Hiring. These Guides will help employers benchmark their own practices and glean new ideas from this great compilation of "lessons learned" on military recruiting. I hope you will be inspired and ready to take on the challenge of finding highly qualified and dedicated military candidates for your own organizations. Do yourself a favor-hire a veteran, National Guard member or military spouse."

Jonathan Rosenberg, Manager, Talent Development, Planning and Acquisition, Phillips 66 and Board member of the DirectEmployers Association (2007-2015):

"As the lead national sponsor for the AJAH campaign, Phillips 66 has both contributed to and benefited from the best practices outlined in the Guide. I encourage my peers in Talent Acquisition as well as the entire membership of the DirectEmployers Association to use the Guide to help sharpen their efforts to recruit and hire veterans and National Guard members."

Dave Tilstone, President, National Tooling & Machining Association [NTMA]:

"Many of the members of our association are small employers without dedicated HR staffs. The AJAH Best Practices Guide on Military Recruiting is an invaluable tool for any business owner as a compilation of lessons learned by employers of all sizes on successful recruiting of military candidates."

William E. Gaskin, President, Precision Metalforming Association [PMA]:

"The AJAH Best Practices Guide on Military Hiring brings together high quality, practical approaches to military recruiting which are designed to help facilitate success for employers of all sizes."

E. Colette Nelson, Chief Advocacy Officer, American Subcontractors Association, Inc.:

"The AJAH Best Practices Guide on Military Hiring is a useful resource to employers who are looking for ways to improve their military recruiting and retention of military candidates."

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