RESOLVE TO EMPLOY VETERANS IN 2013The end of one year and the beginning of the next often has many employers and employees thinking of ways to improve their personal and professional lives in the new year. Though many resolutions go unachieved, one very positive, very attainable goal is to drive your organization to hire as many veterans as possible.

"I encourage employers who are fortunate enough to be hiring this year to consider making this a business resolution for 2013," says Kevin O'Brien on the Huffington Post. "There is no shortage of employers who would be open to hiring more veterans, but what I am proposing is for them to adopt a military recruiting program, and to seek out this talent as best they can. With a little focus and effort, we can recruit, hire, and retain some of the best talent our organizations will ever have."

For companies who have no veteran employees, one of the most important things to do is find recruiting events that are military focused and participate. When speaking with a veteran in search of a job, take the time to understand what he or she did in the military, and try to help him or her find a way to translate those skills to open jobs that you have.  Without traditional college degrees, many veterans have skills from practical work experience during their tours with the military that can often translate to better skills than those with years of higher education.

Another way to make your company more veteran-friendly is to review your website and career page, and designate a place that clearly sends the message "veterans wanted, needed, and appreciated." This takes your company above and beyond simply being willing to hire, and instead demonstrates that you're actively seeking out veteran talent.

If your organization already employs veterans, one very helpful thing you can do is to start a veterans group at your company. Ask the group to meet monthly and coordinate community activities-- it will be a great bonding experience for your veteran employees who may feel isolated in a civilian world. Additionally, the folks who join will be your biggest promoters for attracting more veterans to your organization.

There are many things that companies can do to make veterans feel wanted and valued. Chief among them is helping the men and women who served our country find employment that empowers them to make a meaningful contribution in their communities.

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