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Tips for Hiring Veterans for Seasonal Work

If your company is looking to staff up for the new year, or hires seasonal workers to get through busy season, hiring veterans makes sense for many reasons: Veterans bring a strong work ethic, work well under pressure and stress, are loyal and committed to their work, and build solid and effective teams. Even if you aren’t hiring for full-time or long-term positions, hiring veterans for seasonal work is good for business.

Hiring Seasonal Workers

For many businesses, the holidays mean peak season and they hire workers to fill gaps in workforce. Some companies also hire seasonal workers to evaluate their skills for more permanent placement.

When hiring seasonal workers consider:

  1. Will they be working remotely (virtually) or in the office/store? For veterans, being able to work from home could be attractive if they are recently separated and still transitioning. This enables them to be close to family during the holidays, while still earning income by fulfilling product orders, responding to customer inquiries on the phone, or managing bookkeeping, for instance.
  2. How many hours do you need? For a veteran who is a full-time student, seasonal work could be ideal because of the flexibility in schedule and the timing with semester breaks. Since veterans are hard-working, you also might attract workers who hold down one or two jobs, adding seasonal work to their schedule to support their family.
  3. Where will you advertise and recruit from? Partnering with local Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs), workforce development centers, or community groups could give you access to transitional veterans who are looking for short-term employment opportunities.

Tips for Hiring Veterans

When hiring military veterans for seasonal or temporary work, or even for apprenticeships or internships, consider these tips:

  1. Set clear expectations. If the position could possibly turn into a full-time offer, or is an “audition” for a larger role, identify it as such. The veteran worker could feel pressured to continue working beyond the initial busy season, or might expect that the position would roll into something more permanent. If that is -- or is not -- a possibility, clarify it in the interview.
  2. Sell the company mission. Whether you are hiring for retail sales, call center operations, or remote staffing, workers (especially military veterans) connect better with the work and the customer when they understand the company vision and mission.
  3. Be clear about payment and compensation. For some workers, supplanting their “day job” with seasonal work allows them to do extra for their families at the holidays. They might expect payment weekly. If you are paying them monthly, let them know. Payment and compensation packages and schedules could impact their ability or desire to take the job.
  4. Ask for referrals. Veterans are very well networked with other former service members. As you staff up for seasonal work, encourage your veteran workers to refer any open positions to those in their networks.

If your goal in hiring seasonal workers is to manage the busy season (tax time, holidays, etc.) bringing on veterans can ensure you get the job done, and well. Hiring veterans also gives the worker valuable exposure and experience in a corporate or business culture, providing them an opportunity to showcase their abilities and develop their interests further.