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Learn How to Hire Military Veterans and Improve Your Team

There is a Hidden Workforce in eastern Ontario with a wealth of skilled people who have been sitting on the periphery of a recruiter’s sights. One faction of the hidden workforce is military veterans. This talent pool is full of proven successful employees with long work histories, yet they're not prioritized in current workforce talent pools. Now, as employers look at how to hire military veterans, this untapped workforce is moving to the forefront.

The Ontario East Region alone is home to thousands of military personnel who've learned and honed essential skills over their military careers. Many of these skills are in high demand outside of the military arena. 

Here are some places where former military local hidden workforce talent can be found:

  • 8 Wing/CFB Trenton: the largest air force base in Canada. It is the hub of Royal Canadian Air Force air mobility operations in Canada and home to the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (Trenton). Approximately 3,300 regular forces, 700 reserve forces and 500 civilian members make up the workforce in the area.

  • Canadian Forces Base Petawawa: a major centre for combat troops of the Canadian Army. Its soldiers participate in combat and peacekeeping missions around the world and are available for emergency response missions in Canada.

  • The Royal Military College in Kingston: a military university. It is dedicated to the education and development of bilingual, fit and ethical leaders who serve the Canadian Armed Forces and Canada.

  • CFB Kingston: also known as Camp Barriefield, CFB Kingston supports units such as The Royal Military College, the National Defence College, the Canadian Land Force Command and Staff College, and the Canadian Forces School of Communications and Electronics and is home to 1 Wing, Canada’s tactical aviation capability. Personnel are highly trained and skilled and dedicated to safety and the uncompromising standards the armed forces are known for. 

Job Gaps Are Easily Filled When Employers Know How to Hire Former Military Personnel 

Military personnel come from varied backgrounds offering diversity in the workplace. Many have time to succeed in a long second career as they have completed their service and retired to civilian life early. Military personnel, and their spouses and children, can bring a variety of skills to the workplace beyond the day-to-day requirements. 

Here Are Three Places Where You Can Connect With and Hire Military Veterans:

  1. Military Family Resource Centres work with military personnel and their families to connect them to a wide range of programs and services, such as employment. The MFRC's understanding of military life can help you know, and accommodate, the unique needs and skill sets of military personnel so you can connect to this rich talent pool.

  2. Helmets to Hardhats pulls together people with military and private sector experience to arrange placements and provide training. If you’re looking to hire former military personnel in the construction trades, you can find new skilled workers such as electricians, plumbers and carpenters. There are also administrative, planning, logistics and security professionals available along with workers fresh from apprenticeships programs.

  3. Elevate Plus Military is a program that helps train military families and retired military members and connect them to jobs in the Bay of Quinte region. As an employer, you can work with Elevate Plus Military to find job seekers with a military history who have enhanced their skills with new civilian-based training to meet job market needs.

Mythbusters for Eastern Ontario Employers Looking to Hire Military Veterans

Sometimes hiring from the hidden workforce, such as military personnel, is hampered by beliefs that suggest hiring from this talent pool might be difficult. Here are two common myths and why they don’t hold up.

Myth 1: Military personnel and their family will be gone from the base in three years. 

Doesn’t hold up: The perception that employers will lose good, skilled workers is changing. Not only are former military personnel being trained in remote work, but their families are too. Employers can retain the workers wherever they live. Programs such as Elevate Plus Military focus on providing the right kind of training to meet military workers' needs and meet those of the employers who are hiring. 

Myth 2: Former military workers might be too regimented

Doesn’t hold up: Reliability, loyalty and an understanding of routine benefits employers. These values coupled with the plethora of life experiences former military personnel bring to a workplace can mean defined troubleshooting skills and innovation skills that can translate into trusted workers and leaders in any organization. 

Three Ways You Benefit When You Know How to Hire Military Veterans

There are many great reasons to hire former military employees from this hidden workforce:

  1. They are well trained. Former military personnel are educated and have earned skills in many different facets of academia, trades and life. As an employer, you’ll benefit from these existing skills. You can also help your former military employees successfully expand their knowledge in a civilian-based industry to encourage robust second careers and foster long-term loyalty.

  2. They prioritize integrity and dependability. Working in the military promotes a sense of integrity that may not be inherent in your civilian hires. Dependability and trustworthiness are important factors in good employees, beyond their technical skill set.

  3. They can be leaders and team players. Military work can involve working successfully in team initiatives and proving individual strength. Both of these traits can translate into successful civilian employment in your industry. Leadership skills are sought and appreciated in busy industries. When your former military employees work as a team for the team, jobs can be done with fewer conflicts.

More Places Employers Can Look to Hire Military Veterans 

Employers can tap into other organizations that promote skilled trade work in the region. Guild House Technical Institute promotes learning a trade alongside different schooling to expand options for employment. This means skilled workers can stay in construction-related programs but move into different areas such as administration to retain and share the knowledge of a trade in a different area of the organization.

If you’re an employer looking to hire former military personnel, make yourself known. Put practices in place that encourage and nurture the success of the skilled former military in your workplace. 

Ready to Hire? Get More Tips on Recruiting From the Hidden Workforce

External links are provided as informational resources only and are not necessarily endorsed by Ontario East.










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