Key 8 – Engage with Specific Military and Veterans Organizations

This week, let's talk about the importance of informal and formal partnerships with non-profits, DOD-funded organizations, and government organizations.

Being strategic about your formal and informal partnerships is of utmost importance when considering optimizing your military recruitment and retention efforts. 

You will notice that, to date, we have made no mention of working with recruiting firms, placement agencies, or vendors who market your company to the military population. There is a time and a place for utilizing the services of those firms but they can often be costly and the ROI can sometimes be hard to measure or manage. Especially if your program is just starting out. We have great relationships with several well-known military-centric companies and we often refer our clients to these businesses if and when it makes sense to do so.

Alternatively, there are several phenomenal non-profit, government, and Department of Defense-funded organizations that are free to engage with and are dedicated to ensuring companies and service members/veterans/military spouses can connect directly with companies looking to hire members of the military community. If you are not already engaging with the organizations below, please feel free to reach out to us and we would be happy to connect you with the right people at each organization.

  • Soldier for Life – The Army’s Soldier for Life program is quite possibly the organization we refer clients to the most. The Army, more so than any other service branch, has done a phenomenal job of connecting its soldiers with employers who desire to hire veterans. Soldier For Life has the ability to help companies create internship programs and fellowships that provide transitioning soldiers real-world experience before they even leave the military. This is just one of the many ways SFL can help your company.
  • Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve – The ESGR helps employers connect directly to Guard & Reserve talent. The leadership at the ESGR goes above and beyond to help employers have all the resources and tools they need to hire individuals in the Guard & Reserve.  
  • Military Spouse Employment Partnership – MSEP helps connect companies and organizations looking to hire military spouses. There are many more veteran-focused organizations than there are military spouse-focused organizations and MSEP ensures the void is filled by offering great resources and tools. (Note: sometimes, the MSEP website is blocked by certain browsers. We have luck with Internet Explorer usually...).
  • Marine for Life – the Marine Corps is much smaller than the Army so they have a smaller transition program compared to Soldier for Life. However, the Marine for Life network offers similar services and can help connect employers to Marines who are seeking employment.
  • Corporate Fellowship Program/Hiring Our Heroes – The Corporate Fellowship program is a 12-week internship-like fellowship program whereby transitioning service members have an opportunity to gain real-world experience with companies who employ military veterans. The CFP is a DOD Skillbridge approved program and has worked with several dozen employers and has placed several hundred fellows throughout the United States. 
  • Onward to Opportunity – The Institute of Veterans and Military Families’ Onward to Opportunity Program is funded by a generous donation from The Shultz Family Foundation. The program operates, presently, on nine different military installations with plans to expand to additional installations in the future. Partnering with the O2O program is free and provides companies with the opportunity to post job announcements and connect with the transitioning and veteran military members and military spouses served through the program.
  • State and local job centers – each state has resources to help veterans find employment with local companies. They are commonly referred to as American Job Centers. There are over 2,500 AJCs nationwide and they help people search for jobs, provide job-related training, and answer employment related questions for veterans. Employers have the opportunity to build relationships with local AJCs.

We would also like to highlight another phenomenal non-profit organization that is nationally recognized and serves the Post-9/11 military community – The Bob Woodruff Foundation. If you haven’t had a chance to connect with BWF or with their executive director, Anne Marie Dougherty, we’re more than happy to put you in touch.

As you can see, these are several of the dozens (if not hundreds) of non-profits, DOD-funded organizations, and government programs available for employers to utilize in their quest to hire members of the military community. The key here is to start small, start fast, and start local.

Hiring almost always happens locally, so the greater you can increase your local partnerships, the better.