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Hiring isn’t success, and branding doesn’t come first

I’ve noticed a couple of concerning patterns in how some organizations pick up their Veteran hiring initiatives, and thought you might find them instructive.

The first concerning pattern is defining success as the number of Veterans hired. A company may set a hiring target but meeting that target does not equate to success. Retention of Veterans hired is the true measure of success of any Veteran hiring initiative.

Second, I’m seeing some organizations start with branding. So they spend a bunch of money setting up a cool microsite for Veterans, and sit back and wait for the candidates to come rolling in. When these organizations don’t see impact, they say, “We want to hire Veterans but we can’t find them.” Branding comes last, not first. Strategy and planning come first. The Veteran-friendly culture needs to be built before it can be accurately described and sold. Otherwise it’s just a PR campaign.

So, words of advice: hold off on declaring victory until you can assess retention of Veterans hired, and avoid mistaking a flashy branding strategy for a successful Veteran strategy.