Finding skilled and qualified labor has always been one of the most daunting recruiting challenges, and this rings particularly true in the environmental drilling and remediation industry. However, there is an under-tapped labor pool — armed forces veterans. Here are six steps companies can take to develop a proactive veteran outreach program.  

Step 1: Identify Needs

It’s important to identify what your organizational needs are before you begin recruiting. Go deep and outline day-to-day responsibilities, growth and career development opportunities, team dynamics, management style, and expectations of the manager. This might seem like a lot of work, but it will help you attract veteran candidates who are a good fit and likely to stick around. 

Step 2: Target Transferable Skills

Veterans have work ethic and skills that are often a good fit in the drilling industry, but you may need to highlight that in your job description. In some cases, potential candidates may see your job advertisement, read the job description and requirements, and automatically disqualify themselves due to a lack of direct experience. Be sure to mention that transferable skills will be considered.

Step 3: Evaluate Vendors & Events

Decide if you will work with vendors specializing in veteran recruiting or participate in recruiting events targeted to veterans. Reputable vendors and events can help you reach a larger audience than you may be able to access on your own. Some vendors may be able to provide you with access to databases of resumes for veteran job seekers.

Step 4: Know Your Value Propositions

You need to sell job candidates on your company and the drilling industry, which means you should understand what might be most appealing to them. What lifestyle are these prior service members accustomed to? What benefits or value-added incentives does your company offer that would appeal to veterans? Highlight these areas in your conversations and interviews.

Step 5: Close the Deal

Setting expectations for follow-up is crucial. Ensure the candidate knows the next steps in the process, and always follow through. If you go MIA on a top candidate, they will question your interest in hiring them — and perhaps their own interest in your company.

Step 6: Measure Your Results

The final critical component of developing your targeted veteran recruiting strategy is measuring your return on investment. Be sure to regularly evaluate your spending on events and overall recruiting efforts in comparison to the hires made. This will be useful as you determine where to focus your recruiting efforts year over year.