One more place to find top talent: the military

We just published a special report on where to find — and how to keep — top talent. I did a slide show on 10 places small businesses can look for top notch employees, and a reader by the handle of crizhinz suggested one more place that clearly should have been on our list:

The military is also a great place for companies both large and small to look for their recruitment needs. A publication like G.I. Jobs is testament to the fact that the military represents one of the best pools for candidates that often get overlooked when companies are putting together their recruitment strategies.

There are some 23.4 million veterans in the US, according to the Veterans Affairs Department. Many of them are highly trained in both technical and leadership skills that can help your business.

One place to get started is the Hire Vets First site run by the Labor Department. There business owners and hiring managers can connect to One-Stop Career Centers to post jobs or get referrals of qualified candidates, for free. The training and experience service members get both in the military and through the GI Bill are investments in the US workforce. Small businesses would be foolish not to take advantage of those investments by seeking out vets to fill openings.

Companies that hire vets may also qualify for the work opportunity tax credit — check with your accountant.

Late update: Bill Offutt, director of Hire Vets First, notes that “there are 23+ million veterans in our population; however, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there are only 12+ million veterans in the workforce. Also, there are estimates of 1.5 to 2 million veterans who are small business owners hence self-employed and not part of the workforce number.”

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