How DAV can help employers attract, retain top talent

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Rob Lougee, National Employment Director

In a time when job seekers hold the keys to a changing workforce, employers continue to struggle to find, attract and retain top talent. Unemployment numbers are low, but job vacancies remain high and workers are quitting in exchange for better opportunities.

For America’s veterans, the job market is particularly promising. Among veterans of all eras, the unemployment rate was 2.6% as of Oct. 7, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s lower than the rate for nonveterans, which sits at 3.2%.

It’s no surprise that veterans are faring well. DAV (Disabled American Veterans) has long known that veterans are the kind of top talent many employers hope to attract. That’s because former service members bring unique skills, experiences and training to the civilian workplace. Skills such as leadership, problem-solving, work ethic, adaptability and teamwork are ingrained in military culture and are invaluable assets to any employer.

Veterans certainly aren’t desperate for good jobs, but with approximately 200,000 service members separating from the military every year, they represent an unmistakable opportunity for employers looking for the best of the best—now more than ever.

As a leader in connecting transitioning service members, veterans and their spouses with meaningful employment, DAV can help. For employers, DAV has become an educational resource and critical pipeline for top talent. All of our resources can be found at jobs.dav.org.

Every year, DAV sponsors dozens of job fairs nationwide, both in person and virtually, that are designed specifically for the military-connected community. So far in 2022, DAV has helped 4,083 companies connect with 12,429 separating service members, veterans and their spouses, generating 6,739 offers for job fair attendees.

Employers that demonstrate a commitment to veterans, especially veterans with disabilities, may be eligible for recognition through the DAV Patriot Employer Program. Evaluation criteria includes the strength of the company’s veteran recruiting and hiring efforts, retention and career-building initiatives, and company policies toward disabled veteran employees. Patriot Employers receive a digital badge to signal to clients, employees and potential hires that they value America’s veterans and what they bring to the workplace. When employers show that commitment, they reap the benefits of another quality common among veterans: loyalty. They also encourage other companies to follow their lead.

As employers navigate today’s climate, they must also consider the business advantages of hiring veterans. Numerous financial incentives and other resources are available for employers hiring veterans and other military-affiliated personnel, including those in the National Guard or Reserve as well as military spouses. The perks range from tax credits and reimbursements to on-the-job training and wage subsidies. Detailed information on incentives and much more can be found in DAV’s hiring guide.

DAV is dedicated to ensuring veterans find fulfilling, meaningful careers that honor their service and utilize their military experience. We’re also committed to working with employers to access top talent and create a working environment that welcomes veterans. When employers do that, the entire company benefits—from its bottom line and productivity to its culture and employee satisfaction.

As an extension of DAV’s commitment to both veterans and employers, the organization unveiled earlier this year DAV Patriot Boot Camp, a robust mentorship and educational program for entrepreneurs in the military-connected community. This program empowers those who served and their families to become innovators and job creators who in turn hire more veterans—a win-win for everyone.

Rob Lougee, a service-connected disabled Army veteran of the Persian Gulf War, was appointed national employment director for the more than 1 million-member DAV in April 2022. Learn more about DAV’s resources for veterans at dav.org.