Key 4 - Build a Business Case for Military Talent

By now, if you’ve been following the other three Keys to Military Talent Program Optimization™, you will have begun identifying the veterans and military spouses within your workforce, building a core team, and assessing your current program. Now is the time to begin building a business case for military talent.

In the previous article, we ended on the idea that you may have to build a business case for some of the ideas you generate during the assessment phase. Let’s dig deeper into this topic. Fortunately, most of our clients inherently and anecdotally understand that veterans, military spouses, and members of the Guard & Reserve add substantial value to their business’s bottom line. It is important, however, to create a concrete business case around the value Military Talent is bringing – or can bring – to your company or organization. This allows you to present your findings to your leadership team and to subsequently ask for additional resources to continue building upon your efforts.

Quick rundown of a business case

So, what exactly is a business case? Ultimately, a business case provides justification for the continued or additional expenditure of resources on a project. For example, if you are looking to increase the percentage of military hires within your workforce, you may need to justify spending resources on a consultant to help you develop your program, agency recruiting fees, training opportunities for your talent acquisition team, or travel expenses to fly to military bases across the country. Another example would be if you are trying to strengthen the retention of your military talent, you may need to justify spending resources on developing an onboarding program, bringing in corporate coaches to coach your military talent, or providing additional engagement opportunities to your veteran and spouse employees.

How to develop a business case for military talent

First, it’s important to identify a problem or challenge you are solving for. As mentioned above, you may want to hire additional military talent or strengthen your retention outcomes. You may also want to implement a program if you don’t currently have one or you may want to put a focus on hiring military spouses if you haven’t focused on that in the past.

Once you identify what you are solving for, you need ask the questions that would lead to the answers that would provide justification for the additional resources needed. Some of those questions may be:

  • How are veterans and military spouses already positively impacting your business

-Are they building strong teams?

-Are they increasing manufacturing efficiency while decreasing safety incidents?

-Are they outperforming their civilian peers on certain performance metrics?

-Do they have higher retention rates compared to their civilian peers?

  • What is the average "cost of acquisition" for a military hire versus a civilian hire?
  • What is the average “time to fill” for a military hire versus a civilian hire?
  • What is the opportunity cost for not increasing the diversity of your workforce?
  • What is the education level of your military employees versus your civilian employees?

In order to answer these questions, you’ll notice that you would have had to identify the current military talent in your workforce, which is why Key 1 is imperative. Once you answer these questions, you’ll often be provided with your justification for asking for additional resources.

Finally, we recommend posing your business case in a way that shows your audience two things. If you didn’t take action, what would you lose? If you did take action, what would you gain?

Ultimately, building a business case allows you to see why your efforts are justified and will make your – and your teams – life easier when trying to build or develop additional components of your military hiring and retention program.

We hope that you found value in this article and will be able to utilize the concepts and ideas with your team. Feel free to like, comment, and share this article with your team and your contacts and don't hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have!