Ep 112 – Military and Veteran Recruiting Success

military recruiting, veteran hiring, military hiring, veteran recruiting, ofccp veterans, hiring benchmarks

Having a diverse workforce is good business. A McKensey 2015 diversity report  found that ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to outperform industry medians. The question is how do companies hire, retain and do outreach to diverse candidate communities, specifically veterans and military?

Episode 112: How to Create a Successful Military and Veteran Hiring Program with Kaleb Pask (@kalebpask)

On this episode of the Workology Podcast, we take an in-depth look at the military and veteran recruiting program at AT&T with Kaleb Pask, the Associate Director – Diversity, Military & Social Media. Kaleb walks us through the different veteran hiring strategies they use. The company is committed to hiring 20,000 veterans by 2020. They are well on their way to achieving this goal having hired 13,000+ veterans starting in 2013. AT&T’s focus when it comes to their talent attraction efforts is digital recruiting. Kaleb discusses the importance of storytelling using a variety of mediums whether it’s long form content, video, and social media to share their commitment to veteran hiring along with taking the time to field questions from military veterans even if they don’t come to work with AT&T.

AT&T is committed to hiring 20,000 #veterans by 2020 #military Click To Tweet

A Commitment to Veteran and Military Recruiting

Military recruiting has gotten more challenging since the changes the OFCCP made in 2014, specifically around the hiring benchmark. For those who don’t know, the hiring benchmark is an annual percentage that the DOL of labor provides where federal contractors need to ensure that a certain percentage of candidates identify as, in this case, military. Last year the hiring benchmark was 6.9%. It was just announced this year’s veteran hiring benchmark is 6.7 %. Because meeting this benchmark is critical to maintaining federal contractor status and avoiding fines from the DOL, we hear a lot about strategies to target, engage and build relationships with candidates including programmatic advertising, career fairs and digital open houses for veterans.

Kaleb talks about where candidates self-identify within the application process and how building a relationship with veteran candidates has resulted in great success. Veteran hires last year accounted for more than 10% of all hires, well above the hiring benchmark set forth by the OFCCP.

One of the reasons why Kaleb believes AT&T has been so successful in their veteran hiring efforts is because of the commitment to hiring great military talent starts from the top first with the CEO, Randall Stephenson. Everyone in the entire organization is supportive of their military and veteran hiring programs. This commitment to veteran hiring was recognized by the White House. I’ve embedded the tweet commending AT&T’s commitment to veteran hiring below. This single tweet generated an amazing amount of veteran candidate traffic for weeks.

I love the way that AT&T leverages digital recruiting methods and is meticulous in tracking the source of hire when it comes to candidates. This allows them to make the business case to expand their programs. Additionally, they have a great relationship and partnership with marketing where often times their employment branding and candidate marketing work intersects. I know you’ll enjoy the interview with Kaleb. There’s so much wisdom and resources packed within this podcast. Be sure to listen in to hear about other exciting diversity programs including the success of their #womentechtalk Twitter chat.

Connect with Kaleb Pask on LinkedIn.


– 3 Ways to Start Recruiting Military Veterans

– AT&T’s Commitment to 20,000 Military Hires by 2020

– Ep 65: How to Get Started with a Military Hiring Program ~ Podcast

– What is the Veterans Opportunity Tax Credit?

– Veteran and Military Recruiting Best Practices ~ Webinar with HRCI/SHRM recertification credits

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*A special thank you to my production team at Total Picture Radio.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.


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