Employer Assistance / Military 101

Veterans and transitioning military service members are ready to supply the very skills businesses need to be successful. These men and women have acquired a wealth of knowledge, skills, and competencies through practical workforce experience. The cutting-edge training and education they have received during their military service is transferable to those being sought by businesses. In addition to these intangible and valuable skills, the Veteran brings a unique sense of leadership and teamwork to your team. They understand the commitment to achieving organizational goals and objectives and have demonstrated the ability to work efficiently and effectively within multi-cultural environments.

Companies seeking to hire military veterans may not be familiar with military terminology, rank structure, duties and responsibilities of military members or how to incorporate veteran hiring into their organization. To assist you, we have provided an Employer Veteran Hiring Toolkit, Best Practices List, Employer Assistance web sites, and a Military 101 Primer, to include the military rank structure. If you have further questions on how to integrate military veterans into your organization, please contact the City of Jacksonville Military Affairs and Veterans Department at (904) 255-5550.
Hiring Florida's Heroes
Employer Veteran Hiring Toolkit
Support for Veterans with Little or No Civilian Work Experience
Employer Support for the Military Community Required by Law
Support for Military Families Provided by Employers
Best Practices
Employer Assistance Web Sites
Financial Incentives for Hiring Veterans
Employer Recognition
Military 101 Primer

Hiring Florida's Heroes

The Hiring Florida’s Heroes campaign aims to promote the availability of these returning veterans to Florida’s employers and connect employers with a variety of resources to assist in the hiring process. Employers interested in hiring veterans are encouraged to call the Employ Florida Marketplace hotline at (866) 352-2345 to connect with a workforce specialist in their area. The specialists can assist employers by posting job listings, assembling lists of qualified candidates and answering questions about available training options among other services. Employers also can visit the   to post job listings and view resumes.

Employer Veteran Hiring Toolkit

Welcome to America’s Heroes at Work – a Department of Labor (DOL) project that addresses the employment challenges of returning Service Members and Veterans. Designed for employers and the workforce development system, this website is filled with useful information on hiring Veterans. The Toolkit has been designed to assist and educate employers who want to include Veterans and Wounded Warrior in their recruitment and hiring initiatives. Featuring a straightforward six step process, it pinpoints helpful tools and outlines important steps to take when designing a Veterans hiring initiative.  Start by reviewing “America's Heroes at Work — Veterans Hiring Toolkit”. This online step-by-step toolkit was designed to assist and educate employers who have made the proactive decision to include Transitioning Service Members (TSMs) Veterans in their recruitment and hiring initiatives. Whether you are looking to create a plan from scratch or retool existing efforts, we encourage you to reference this on-line guide and design an initiative that works for you. There are links with detailed information and resources to assist you in the following recommended steps to hiring veterans:
Step 1 — Design a Strategy for Your Veterans Hiring Program
Step 2 — Create a Welcoming and Educated Workplace for Veterans 7
Step 3 — Actively Recruit Veterans, Wounded Warriors and Military Spouses
Step 4 — Hire Qualified Veterans / Learn how to Accommodate Wounded Warriors Step 5 — Promote an Inclusive Workplace to Retain Your Veteran Employees
Step 6 — Keep Helpful Tools and Resources at Your Fingertips

Support for Veterans with Little or No Civilian Work Experience

Though many employers are eager to employ veterans, establishing a connection to this community can be challenging. Veterans may not be their best advocates when it comes to job applications and interviews. Some may come into the civilian job market with a higher level of experience and skill than they know how to present to civilian recruiters. Without resumes and interview tactics that positively feature their skills, they may settle for jobs beneath their capabilities. Other veterans may find that civilian work has changed since they joined the military (e.g., growth of the internet and social networking in job searches) and their previous job search tactics are no longer applicable to the current job market.
A variety of employers who wish to take advantage of this pool of talented men and women have been proactive and invested in creating bridges between military service and civilian employment. These employers develop advanced outreach efforts to mentor and/or train new veterans in more effective ways to navigate the job market. Additionally, some employers go further still and offer guidance on other complex civilian life experiences, like buying homes and managing personal finances.
Employers can engage in mentoring activities that help veterans:
  • Identify marketable job skills they have developed in the military;
  • Conduct a search for civilian jobs that require their most advanced skills;
  • Write resumes that feature their marketable skills in terms that match civilian job descriptions; and
  • Develop dynamic interview skills that can be used in a variety of workplace cultures.
In addition to a civilian job search, some veterans may benefit from advice on other civilian life management skills like financial planning or purchasing a home.
Some veterans may need additional skills training to round out their skill set or to refresh existing skills that weakened through inactivity while in the military. Many employers already offer skills training programs to other employees and can and do extend such programs to encompass veterans as well. These initiatives can be addressed to new hires or to help prepare veterans for a job search. As with most training programs, offering them in a variety of media (e.g., live, written, recorded, internet) and at multiple times may be necessary to provide the most effective support for veterans who have to fit these developmental efforts into their other reintegration activities.
Though veterans with little civilian work experience would benefit from any mentors who can help orient them to the civilian job market and workplace, civilian mentors may not be familiar enough with military experiences to identify how they can be of the most assistance. Interactions with veterans who have already successfully reintegrated with civilian life can help bridge this communication gap. Veteran resource groups and other educational initiatives that either directly mentor recent veterans or provide civilian mentors with a fuller understanding of the veterans they are mentoring can improve the advice that veteran mentees receive.
In addition to empowering veterans with the knowledge of how to find a good civilian job, employers can also develop recruitment initiatives that help them find veterans whose skills are already a good match for their organizations. There are a variety of methods that employers reported using to reach out to veterans and their families:
Online advertising:
  • Job sites: There are several job search sites that either specialize in jobs for veterans or include a section directed toward veterans
  • Social media: Social media websites include pages to discuss military and veteran experiences.
Recruitment events: Job fairs sponsored by the employer, the military or other local and national organizations can help veterans and recruiters establish connections that lead to jobs.
Word of mouth advertising: In addition to large-scale programs, employers also make use of employee referrals, networking among their employees, and communications with veteran groups and other organizations to identify good veteran candidates.
Military programs: The military maintains programs that help service members who are separating, retiring or moving from active duty to the National Guard or Reserve components find civilian jobs. Other programs focus on placing Reservists in civilian jobs where they can continue to practice their mission critical skills.

Employer Support for the Military Community Required by Law

Three Federal laws that help establish a baseline of support for members of the military community are the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). The USERRA protects the job rights of past and present members of the uniformed services, applicants to the uniformed services and those who voluntarily or involuntarily leave employment positions to undertake military service or certain types of service in the National Disaster Medical System. USERRA requires that:
Uniformed service members be reemployed to their civilian jobs or a comparable job with all the benefits they would have attained without the interruption of military service if they:
  • Provided advance written or verbal notice of their service to their employers
  • Have five years or less of cumulative service in the uniformed services with their employer
  • Return to work or apply for reemployment in a timely manner after their service has concluded
  • Have not been separated from service with a disqualifying discharge
Employers refrain from using a person’s status as a past or present uniformed service member, applicant for membership in the uniformed service, or obligation to serve in the uniformed service as a basis to deny them:
  • Initial employment
  • Reemployment
  • Retention in employment
  • Promotion
  • Any other benefit of employment
Uniformed service members have the right to continue their existing employer-based health plan for themselves and their dependents for up to 24 months while in the military. If they choose not to continue their health benefits, they have the right to be reinstated in the plan when reemployed, generally without any waiting periods or exclusions except for service-connected illnesses and injuries.
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). Although the ADA is not a military specific law, it does impact many veterans who have experienced a physical or mental disability as a result of their military service. The ADA provides protection against discrimination on the basis of a variety of disabilities and requires covered employers to make reasonable accommodations. “Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an accommodation is considered any modification or adjustment to a job or work environment that enables a qualified person with a disability to apply for or perform a job. The term also encompasses alterations to ensure a qualified individual with a disability has rights and privileges in employment equal to those of employees without disabilities.”
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave. While FMLA is often invoked by civilian employees for childbirth, adoption, or serious personal or family illness, there are two additional provisions to the FMLA that specifically mention military family members:
  • Qualifying exigency leave grants family members up to 12 weeks within a 12-month period to attend to various issues that arise when a covered military member is deployed. This includes, but is not limited to, attending military-sponsored functions, making appropriate financial and legal arrangements, and arranging for alternative child care.
  • Military caregiver leave grants family members up to 26 workweeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness who is the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin to the employee. In both cases the time a military member spends away from civilian employment on military duty is included in the employment time necessary to qualify for FMLA leave.

Support for Military Families Provided by Employers

While legal interventions like the USERRA, ADA, and FMLA are important to supporting the military community (past and present military members and their families), they represent the minimum effort that an employer is required to make and are not designed to respond to every contingency. Fortunately, a number of employers go beyond the legal requirements to develop innovative and responsive ways of supporting the military community.
The following sections outline some of the creative initiatives employers use to support veterans in general, veterans with ongoing military service, and veterans with little civilian work experience. While each of these efforts may have advantages for one segment of the military community, many can also benefit other members of both the military and civilian communities.
  • Some employers enhance their Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) to include specialized supports for problems unique to veterans such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). EAP programs are also enhanced with supports for managing stress around caring for a veteran after an injury or psychological trauma, reunion and subsequent deployments.
  • Employer newsletters, social events and other organizational communications are used to educate civilian employees about their veteran coworkers, commemorate special events and share information about employer policies and benefits that are useful to veterans and their families. Some employers feature announcements of veteran returns to work or opportunities to support veterans in the organization or the local community.
  • Some employers provide benefits to enhance employee’s financial well-being. These supports include pay advances, no interest loans and financial advice/planning. Such supports help both veterans and their families adapt to changing circumstances.
  • Many workplace flexibility programs are well-suited to enhancing the work experience of veterans as these programs are designed to give any employee more options about when, where, and how they work to better manage their professional and personal responsibilities. Veterans confronting complex military benefits processes, seeking treatment for injuries or psychological trauma, or readjusting to child care responsibilities will benefit from these programs as much as other employees. Some workplace flexibility options cited by Sloan Award applicants include job-sharing, flexible scheduling, part-time employment and telework.
  • Some veterans need involved medical treatment or therapy for injuries and psychological trauma suffered during their deployments that goes beyond the limits of regular workplace flexibility and FMLA leave. In response, some employers grant these veterans additional sick or vacation leave to pursue the care that their conditions require. Additional leave can also be used for separation and reunion events so military members, veterans and their families can take the time to say goodbye or reconnect without having to miss work.
  • Some employers allow employees and/or their families to continue accessing benefits and services, like health insurance or child care, even after the period covered by law has expired.
  • Employer-supported child care (i.e., regular, sick and back-up care) is an important benefit for civilian employees that helps them manage their work and family care responsibilities. Employers noted that their child care supports were also of great use to military families.
  • Employers with large numbers of veteran employees have started veteran resource groups to provide forums for veteran employees to help one another. Some employers have instructed their veteran groups to:
  • Identify priorities for veterans in the organization and develop plans for addressing them.
  • Develop resource guides to help veterans as well as their coworkers understand the policies and benefits that apply to employees with military experience; and to develop business relationships and strategies that capitalize on their veterans’ military experiences.
  • Other employers with large veteran populations have established veteran affairs liaisons and coordinators who provide assistance with filing military benefits forms and accessing other services.

Best Practices

Recruiting Military Veterans
  • Dedicate a portion of the recruiting budget to military recruiting
  • Use of DVOPs and LVERs at the local state employment office
  • Utilize an on-line military to civilian job translator
  • Outreach with Veteran groups in your community, volunteer, parades, etc.
  • Establish partnerships with Wounded Warriors type groups
  • Apply for any type awards for supporting or recruiting military, i.e. ESGR, VFW, American Legion, GI Jobs
  • Hire recruiters who have experience in placing military and has a military background
  • Have a system to look at military or veterans in your candidate assessment system
  • Provide training on the military for all staff who have any part with the sourcing, recruiting, selecting, interviewing or on boarding of your organization.
Human Resources
  • Offer pay differential to reserve or guard employees when they are on training or deployed
    • Don't make your Guard or reserve employees use leave, sick or vacation time for military service or training.
    • Comply with all parts of USERRA
Company Website
  • Highlight any military or military spouse type programs
  • Provide links or special pages of news stories that highlight any type of military related corporate citizenship efforts/or military inclusion group
  • List military friendly policy on the website also list Veteran awards or ranking for support in any military type magazines.
  • Note the percentages of military employees, recently hired military, disabled veterans, and spouses.
  • Set up a blog or web cast with current veteran employees who can communicate with potential job seekers.
  • Military newsletter from Military group or activities and events.
  • Add video clip or highlight current military employees
  • List military career fairs, job fairs, and all military related recruiting events so candidates can talk with recruiters.
  • Customized military career page
  • Offer to send text messages to military job seekers on any recruiting event or special positions who sign up.
Branding/Marketing the Organization to the Military
  • Exhibit and participate in military career fairs.
  • Have military staff members volunteer to attend and help recruit at events.
  • Solicit current military employees to recommend military friend/contacts.
  • Post positions at all Army ACAP, Navy and USMC Family Service Centers and Air Force Airman Centers at military facilities.
  • Volunteer to sit on Employer panels at area Military Transition Assistance classes.
Company Military/Veteran Support
  • Establish a Veteran Inclusion/Affinity Group
  • Assign a former military mentor to all new military employees.
  • Designate a former military in your organization as an ombudsman who has knowledge of USERRA.
  • Conduct a Veteran Appreciation Day for the organization.
  • Recognize Veteran Employees on Veterans Day and Memorial Day.
  • Post military history days on company-wide on line bulletins.
  • Send a Press statement to area newspapers, radio and television stations on any significant awards won the Military Team.
National Guard/Reserve Deployed Employees
  • Publicly send-off and welcome back any deployed employee.
  • Encourage employees to send cards or "goodies" to deployed employees.
  • Maintain contact with family of the deployed employee, include the family in any Veteran functions.

Employer Assistance Web Sites

The US Department of Veterans Affairs web site.
US Department of Labor site to assist employers with hiring veterans. 
Job Bank USA is a source for businesses to find new employees who are top performers quickly, easily and cost effectively. Jobs can be posted locally and nationwide
USAA Employer Roadmap help you find find your path to hiring and retaining veterans and military spouses.  Here’s everything you need to succeed. 

VETS is committed to helping America's veterans and separating service members by preparing them for meaningful careers, providing employment resources and expertise, and protecting their employment rights.

Financial Incentives for Hiring Military Veterans

Veterans Administration overview of incentives to hiring Military Veterans to include salary subsidies, assistive technology, salary reimbursement, Federal tax credit and other incentives. 

How to Get Tax Credits for Hiring Veterans
Business Incentives for Hiring Veterans
Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment OJT/Apprenticeships. Employers hiring Veterans with a service-connected disability who are approved for VR&E services may be entitled reimbursements up to 50% of the Veterans’ salary for six months to offset training costs. VA's Education and Career Counseling program is a great opportunity for Veterans and Service members to get personalized counseling and support to help guide their career paths, ensure the most effective use of their VA benefits, and achieve their goals. 

Employer Recognition

The Department of Labor is establishing this program under the Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing American Military Veterans Act, or HIRE Vets Act. President Donald J. Trump signed the Act into law May 5, 2017.  The Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing American Military Veterans Act of 2017 (HIRE Vets Act or the Act), signed by President Trump on May 5, 2017, requires the Secretary of Labor to establish a program, by rule, that recognizes employer efforts to recruit, employ, and retain veterans. Employer-applicants meeting criteria established in the rule will receive a “HIRE Vets Medallion Award.” As described in the Act, there are different awards for large employers (500-plus employees), medium employers (51-499 employees), and small employers (50 or fewer employees). Additionally, there are two award tiers: Gold and Platinum. For each award, the employer must satisfy a set of criteria. Verification of these criteria includes a self-attestation by the applicant and a check for violations of veteran related DOL labor laws by the U.S. Department of Labor. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was published on August 18, 2017. DOL’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) thoroughly evaluated and carefully considered all comments received. The Final Rule announced by the Secretary on November 9, 2017 is available for viewing on the Federal Register website. The Final Rule will become effective in January 2018 and VETS will begin accepting applications for this award in January 2019