Recruiting and Retaining Military Talent
Almost 20,000 veterans are employed in solar, making up approximately 9% of the solar workforce. On rooftops, in the field, in offices, and in labs across the country, veterans are an essential part of the solar industry and hold great potential to meet growing demand for talent.
While The Solar Ready Vets Network does not currently offer direct job placement services, we lead several initiatives to build capacity, bridge gaps and share resources for employers to increase representation of military talent at all levels of the workforce. These resources are provided as a starting point for employers to define and implement a strategy to hire (and retain!) military talent.
Connect with the Public Workforce Development System
As a first step, we encourage all solar employers to connect with the public workforce development system, particularly state and local workforce boards and American Job Centers. This helps to improve visibility and awareness of solar opportunities.
The Workforce Development System serves as an intermediary in connecting supply (talent) with demand (business and industry), through assistance with career pathways, hiring and recruitment, sector partnerships, and training. Many job centers have veteran services representatives who focus on connecting veterans to employment opportunities.
For an in-depth review of how solar employers can benefit from engaging the workforce development system, please see the Solar Training Network’s Workforce Development Toolkit.
Strategies for Reaching Veterans
✔ Post your open positions to the National Labor Exchange
The National Labor Exchange (NLx) collects and distributes quality, vetted job openings to state workforce agencies and veterans representatives. The NLx aims to provide a comprehensive collection of online job openings in order to accurately represent the labor market and best serve the nation’s diverse workforce.
✔ Connect with your Regional Veterans Employment Coordinator
The US Department of Labor connects employers with hiring resources. Regional Veterans’ Employment Coordinators (RVECs) engage with local, regional, and national employers and connect them with federal, state and local resources to facilitate veterans’ employment. RVECs also develop and leverage partnerships with government, NGO, and industry stakeholders in the veteran employment space to include training providers and industry associations.
✔ Post your open positions to military job boards:
✔ Understand military experience and share “Veteran Friendly” job descriptions
Make your job descriptions veteran-friendly with these best practices. Review the do’s and don’ts of interviewing veterans.
Many veterans have specific skills that translate well to a solar career. As an employer, it is helpful to understand a military resume: check out the Civilian-to-Military Occupation Translator as a first step. The O*Net Crosswalk is another useful tool to determine how a particular military specialty might translate. Read more here about the importance of understanding military experience.
Depending on the training and hiring needs of your company, there are several opportunities to engage veterans organizations. Solar Ready Vets has partnered with Adaptive Construction Solutions, Home Builders Institute, and Airstream Renewables to connect solar employers with job-ready veteran talent. Please join the Solar Ready Vets Network to get started.
U.S. Department of Labor: Employer Guide to Hiring Veterans
Employers recognize the value veterans bring to the workplace but often find it challenging to connect with transitioning service members and veterans seeking employment. Veterans are in high demand so it requires dedicated efforts by employers to find and hire veterans.
The guide intends to:
- Provide accurate information about service member and veteran demographics;
- Share federal, state and other resources for employers to facilitate veteran employment; and
- Make recommendations on how to attract, train, and retain veterans.
The HireVets Medallion recognizes employers that recruit and retain veterans.
Hiring Our Heroes
Employer Roadmap: Hiring Veterans and Military Spouses: A Workbook for Employers
More from Employer Roadmap:
Veteran Hiring Action Plans for Employers
Understanding Military Resumes
Value of a Veteran
Value of a Veteran specializes in advising a non-military audience on developing veteran hiring business case, military-to-civilian skills translation and evaluation, veteran talent pipeline development, and more. Check out free webinars, and a guide to developing a veteran recruiting program.
Syracuse University Institute for Veterans and Military Families: Employment Research Briefs
The Business Case for Hiring a Veteran: A Strategy for Cultivating Competitive Advantage
Work After Service: Developing Workforce Readiness and Veteran Talent for the Future
See all institute publications here.
Connecting Veterans and Employers
What Veterans Bring to Civilian Workplaces
Essential Nontechnical Skills Service Members Gain During On-the-Job Experience
Translating Veterans’ Nontechnical Skills Into Civilian Employers Terms