Job postings and the use of keywords are vital to attracting veterans to open positions. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) in the corporate realm, especially if there is a high volume of postings, leave little room for modification of the keywords and little creativity. If you are working with an ATS that allows you to edit the description, not the essential job functions, nailing the keywords and phrases that a candidate and hiring manager would use to zero in on your posting is the key to success.

Input from the hiring manager is critical for buy-in on hiring military veterans. Typically, the push back recruiters get from hiring managers is due to a lack of understanding or a stereotypical image of what a “military veteran” is supposed to look like on the job. Breaking down those barriers requires conversations and involvement in your process.

Recruiters please understand what is being laid out in process for you will not take as much time as you think. If you can come to the table with pre-built solutions and answers for the hiring manager, a great deal of time is saved on your end.

 

 

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Job Ad Template
Ad Title: Make it memorable (this is not the job title), i.e., Superman Sous Chef!
Employer Brand Message: This is about the “soft stuff”, the benefits that are gained from this job. Teamwork, community, sense of ownership, etc.
I am important: Quote your hiring manager here with a statement on how important and crucial this job is to the company, employees and even the world!
Job Description: Don’t go crazy here recruiters…enough to hook your candidate into posting to find out more. Keep it basic.
Mucho Gusto: Here you want to load on the extras: Benefits; time off; tuition reimbursement; a quote from an employee, hiring manager, etc. Dress it up and make it appealing.
Double stitch: Look to your company’s branding statements to find more reinforcement for the Employer brand message. Get creative and don’t be afraid to think out of the box!
ACTION ACTION! Here is the “hurry up” and apply or you will miss out on the best job ever! Just kidding, but we are all thinking that if you don’t post right away after crafting this amazing ad then you really should now! Put some open ended questions out there: Are you ready to change your life?
Promise them a response in X number of days, or a webinar link or something out of the ordinary to keep them interested. Again, creativity in recruitment is going to work well with your hiring managers and candidates. It’s not the same old dry job description. Your ad screams off the screen: I want to be part of this!

 

Now, here is an example job post using the above template. The target audience is Active Transitioning Military in the Field of Food Service.

 

Job Ad Example
Ad Title: We want the Navy’s Best Chefs to Come Aboard our Ship!
Employer Brand Message: Being part of ABCompany, we live our mission, “Bringing connections across the globe.” Hiring Manager, name/title, explains, “John Smith, a Navy Veteran, came aboard on our team three years ago and his passion and commitment to the highest standards caught the attention of the Regional Manager in a Northwest facility who wasn’t even our client! That resulted in two additional contracts and many happy customers.”
I am important: “The role of X is vital because it provides Y to our employees, clients and customers. Each day, this person has the opportunity to make a difference and every day they can choose how big that difference will be.”
Job Description: This is the job description.
Mucho Gusto: Company-paid food safety certification and ongoing education; educational benefits to attend Culinary Training through a partnership with Culinary Institute of America; professional culinary organizational membership
Double stitch: Our company Mission Statement is “Serving You is Our Passion!” Army food service specialist, Jane Superstar, now a District Manager with our company has this to say about how her service in the military brought value to the customers she now serves both internally and externally: “Her quote.”
CEO Quote: “We support military through our commitment to hiring, ongoing training and our military affinity groups. ‘Military’ is part of who we are, and we have a section in our annual report dedicated to this important element of our workforce.”
ACTION ACTION! Lets’ try something really creative since this fictitious job is a mission critical one and very hard to fill.
“In two days you will receive a private invitation to interview via Skype with the Hiring Manager and the Recruiter. Don’t miss out on this chance – only 10 candidates will be selected out of the hundreds that apply. Remember we know you are passionate about what you do, so show us and become part of our team!”

You have probably guessed from this exercise that I don’t mind stretching the creativity model! There is no fear unless you decide to go completely inappropriate and offend everyone who reads your ad! I’m sure that wouldn’t happen, we are part of Human Resources and keeping it between the lines is what we do.  I hope you enjoyed this post and hope that by looking at the military veteran candidate as a person who responds to your message just like anyone else will help you with your hiring manager in making the connection and going after this candidate pool.

Have any questions or comments? Let’s hear em!

Angela Covey

http://www.linkedin.com/in/angelacovey


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