Recruiting Veterans through Social Media

Angela Guidroz

Recruiting and employment of transitioning military and separated Veterans is a hot topic all over the country and for good reason. Patriotism, personal family experience, and other factors influence companies, recruiters and communities to support reintegration into the civilian sector.

Whatever the motivation, the technical and leadership skills that our Veterans bring to the civilian workforce are invaluable. Where can you find a 25 year old who has learned and become proficient in a brand new skill while leading troops whose life depends upon his/her integrity, courage and judgment? Where will you go to seek out the 30 year old who has traveled assimilating different cultures and respecting the diversity of the communities while personally being responsible for millions of dollars’ worth of equipment? You will find them in our military, and to reach them – you are only a click away!

When using social media to reach out to this Military Community -- which comprises Active, Reserve, Guard, Veterans and Families -- a recruiter’s understanding of their experience will be vital to engagement. We all know that the true measure of a first class social media recruiting effort is engagement.

Getting engaged requires understanding -- for example, what it means to have served as an E-5 in the Army with two tours in Kosovo, or be a Woman Marine serving in Afghanistan. One sentence can tell you the story of that person if you know the language and understand the experience.

SocMe Military Culture Resources

DoD Leaders – Department of Defense Social Media Hub is a great portal to understanding HOW the military information management has moved from very little to fully engaged in a matter of 18 months. Other bloggers have been focusing on what is going on in the military community for some time, but the "official" position of opening up the social engagement has been a struggling course of study for the DoD. It has now graduated and is exactly what the demographic of the unemployed or deployed active duty troop understands.

They want to connect via Facebook with their family and friends and have conversations about what its like to be where they are. They are also concerned about what they are going to do when they get home! Will they find a job? Is the job they left going to give them support for reemployment? So we understand through reading and engaging in this medium the PERSON who is the Veteran. First we understand, and then we engage in conversation to build a relationship of respect for their experience, all of it.

Other Resources

Department of Defense Emerging Media Page

US Armed Forces Links:
Air Force
Coast Guard
Department of Defense
Marine Corps News YouTube
U.S. Marine Corps Flickr

Geaux Veterans YouTube
Geaux Veterans Google

Editor's note: Due to privacy and security issues, the use of online and social media sites by current and former members of the military is a controversial topic in the news. Add your view in the comments section below.