A New Book Teaches Employers How to Hire and Retain Veteran Talent

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(U.S. Space Force/Van Ha)

When it comes to hiring veterans, much of the conversation is about how veterans can help themselves by translating their military skills to the civilian workforce.

But as many employers who hire veterans will say time and again, veterans are an untapped resource just waiting to get to work, bringing their group-oriented culture, self-initiative and leadership ability to any job.

A new book from authors Nathan D. Ainspan and Kristin N. Saboe sets out to provide real data to back up that assertion. Both are seasoned researchers with experience in the Defense Department.

Ainspan is a senior research psychologist with the Military-Civilian Transition Office. Saboe is an award-winning psychologist, public speaker and strategist. As a former Army officer, she was a research psychologist who deployed to Afghanistan and worked at the Pentagon.

Their book, “Military Veteran Employment: A Guide for the Data-Driven Leader,” is the first of its kind. It uses data research instead of case studies to show employers the best way to attract and hire veteran talent and keep it for the long term.

The authors seek to show how military veterans are an excellent talent pool for maximizing their businesses’ competitive advantages, but they argue that many employers need to know how to hire veterans, develop their skills for their organizations and then retain them to get the full benefits of their expertise.

After an introduction to the United States military, the authors describe how military members are different from other employees, how they’re trained and educated and how the process of producing an airman, soldier, sailor or Marine makes the veteran a major benefit to a civilian organization.

This process, the book says, provides an advantage to a company or work center that can be seen in the veteran’s everyday work.

But there are hurdles to maximizing a talent pool of hired vets. Cultural mismatches, communication, mentoring and training, and reading a résumé to translate skill sets across corporate competencies are all issues companies face when hiring veterans.

Taking the time to understand and address these areas of concern is worth the investment and can lead to a company’s ongoing prosperity and success -- while chipping away at a problem of national importance.

Also for the first time, “Military Veteran Employment” takes a closer look at the civilian employment of military reservists and members of the National Guard. This area of veteran employment has not been addressed anywhere else.

(Oxford University Press)

The book also features a series of guest authors in individual chapters, many of whom are veterans of the Army, Navy and Marine Corps. They inject their personal experience into the research they conducted or reviewed.

These authors are not only seasoned researchers and veterans, but some also work for prominent veterans groups and American companies dedicated to hiring veterans. Their insight provides critical context to the data provided, backed up by real-world examples of their conclusions.

Military Veteran Employment: A Guide for the Data-Driven Leader” is a guidebook for hiring and retaining America’s greatest untapped resource and a must-read for human resources professionals, business leaders or anyone making hiring decisions.

-- Blake Stilwell can be reached at blake.stilwell@military.com. He can also be found on Twitter @blakestilwell or on Facebook.

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