Hiring veterans can bolster a company’s bottom line, and “The Veteran Advantage: DAV Guide to Hiring and Retaining Veterans with Disabilities,” recently relaunched in honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month this past October, can show employers how.
DAV developed the first-of-its-kind hiring guide to support employers, dispel myths and demonstrate the business case for employing America’s nearly four million veterans with a service-connected disability. The guide was first released in September 2018.
The material was the result of more than four years of research into what the veteran community contributes to the workforce and how hiring veterans, especially injured or ill veterans, can positively impact a company.
“DAV is partnering with organizations, including Williams Companies, Fiserv, Ford and USAA, to inspire more organizations to consider employing veterans with disabilities,” said DAV’s National Employment Director Jeff Hall, who promoted the relaunch with a radio media tour. “These organizations are using this resource and applying these learnings to their internal practices.”
While more employers are stepping up to hire America’s veterans with a service-connected disability, there is more work to be done.
“We learned employers have concerns and misperceptions about hiring veterans,” Hall said. “The information in this guide works to dismiss myths and offers best practices and helpful tools for employers.”
Supporting America’s service members and veterans has been a mission at Ford
Motor Company for 98 years. The company’s commitment to veterans goes beyond hiring—Ford understands the importance of providing support to retain its military workforce. For example, when National Guard and reserve members were increasingly called upon during the military surge of 2007, the company launched an initiative to help its returning employees.
“We saw a clear need to help our co-workers who were struggling with reintegration issues,” explained Dan Fink, a retired Marine and Ford fuel economy planning analyst, who serves as recruiting lead for Ford Veterans Network Group. “We knew we had to do something.”
Ford Veterans Network Group, or VET NG, is a voluntary, worker-led network of military veterans, guardsmen and reservists. The group seeks to raise awareness within Ford about its veterans, as well as advance their growth and development. It also helps others at the company better understand veteran-related issues and these individuals’ unique contributions and value.
“Whether they are re-assimilating after deployment or joining an organization for the first time, people want to feel like they are part of the team,” Fink said. “A veteran corporate affinity group like VET NG can accelerate that process by linking them with people who have shared the same experiences and understand military life.”
Known for its products and services designed to help military members, veterans and their eligible families achieve financial security, USAA also is recognized for its military culture, military talent strategy and advocacy programs serving the military community.
“As an organization created by and for the military community, hiring veterans and military spouses has been a long-standing commitment for USAA,” says John Bird, senior vice president of Military Affairs at USAA. “We recognize that veterans bring tremendous technical ability, problem-solving skills, leadership and loyalty and take a holistic approach focused on transition assistance, skills development and retention.”
“Veterans bring exceptional experience and capabilities to the job, but they often face unique challenges when they transition from serving our country to powering America’s economy,” Hall said. “DAV is committed to ensuring active military members, veterans and spouses have the tools, resources and opportunities they need to competitively enter the job market and secure meaningful employment. We hope all of our departments and chapters leverage and share this valuable resource in their local communities.”
The free resource can be downloaded from DAV’s website at The Veteran Advantage: DAV’s Guide to Hiring and Retaining Veterans with Disabilities.