Recruiter Top 10: Things Employers Should Know About Veterans and Military Spouses

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This Week:  Top 10 Things Employers Should Know About Veterans and Military Spouses

In honor of Veterans Day, we caught up with professional services firm and top-ranked veteran employer PwC for insights and recommendations on hiring and developing veterans and military spouses.

To get a broad view, the list includes comments from a variety of PwC's partners and staff, with one thing in common: They are all veterans, reservists, or military spouses.

So here they are (in no particular order): The top 10 things we think employers should know about hiring and retaining veterans and military spouses.

Mike Donoghue, PwC Partner and Veterans Affinity Network Leader, U.S. Army Veteran

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1. Build a Sense of Community

One thing people don't often understand is that a strong culture of community can really help veterans and spouses transition into a company. Coming out of the military, which has a very established culture, people can often feel lost without that element. Building a culture of community around the military and veteran community allows them to anchor themselves into the company.

2. Create Policies That Reinforce and Demonstrate Your Commitment

A great example of this is creating a military leave policy that supports members of a US National Guard or Reserve Unit that are called to active duty. Having a policy that clearly articulates the financial and personal support your company offers is a tangible way to demonstrate organizational dedication to the health and well-being of your military teammates.

LaTesha Ford, PwC Senior Associate, U.S. Navy Veteran

3. We Got Your Six, So Be Sure to Get Ours

"Got your six" means "I've got your back," and that's forever true for veterans. We're trained to put others and the mission in front of ourselves while taking care of our people. So one way to retain veterans is to show them how your organization supports and takes care of its people. If you can show me that company leadership and my team supports me, I'll always support you.

4. We're Adaptable Life-Long Learners, Ready to Pivot When Needed

Veterans are trained to be flexible, have strong management skills, pay attention to details, and deal with high-stress situations. They also understand the value of continuous learning in order to do their jobs. Each of these traits allows them to be able to switch easily from one task to another. Employers can help veterans leverage these traits by having game plans that outline how they can evolve in their roles and in the organizations.

Chris Crace, PwC Veterans Advocacy Leader, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran

5. Leverage the Power of Veterans' Diversity

At PwC, half of our veteran hires are considered diverse from a gender and ethnicity perspective. We've learned that there is no one-size-fits-all approach, and one of the best ways to attract and retain veterans as well as military spouses is to build diverse programs and referral campaigns that recognize and leverage the power of those differences.

Grant Hsu, PwC Experienced Associate, U.S. Air Force Reservist

6. Take a Holistic View of Veterans' Training and Experience

Regardless of whether someone was an officer or enlisted, they bring a mix of hard and soft skills. Take the time to learn what their individual skill mix is and how it can be leveraged in your organization.

7. Keep the Lines of Communication Open

Many service members are used to clear communication. Team managers can feel empowered to give direct instructions and feedback in order to help veterans complete a project or develop skills to help them advance their careers.

Erika Sartain, PwC Manager, Military Spouse

8. Veterans and Military Spouses Are Resourceful Problem-Solvers

Both veterans and military spouses are accustomed to finding new ways to do more with less, which is a valuable trait in new hires to employers looking for new solutions to complex business issues.

9. Veterans and Military Spouses Are Skilled Project Managers

They both have a lot of experience in analyzing strategic goals, planning the steps needed to reach them efficiently and effectively, and motivating teams of people with diverse backgrounds to work together.

Bernard Burney, Military ">