How Your Brand Can Build Rapport with the Military Community

by Victoria Mason, Inbound Lead Manager at VIQTORY

You need to market to the military. Why? About 250,000 service members transition out of the military each year, and the military spouse community includes about 1.1 million. While there has been more attention recently on these tribes, they are still overlooked relative to other talent pools. The benefit to you: less competition for them.

As an employer, school or franchise, you know that the demand for talent is at a 40-year high. The need for quality candidates no matter the industry is challenging, but that’s why it’s crucial for brands to connect to valuable, renewable talent through segments like the military community. 

How can you create brand awareness in this community? We’ll get into that later, but first we need to tell you about their experience and process of transitioning to civilian life. If you market to this tribe without learning about their experience, you’re doing a disservice to your marketing and recruitment efforts. VIQTORY is here to educate you and help you create a relationship with this talent pool.

What is the Transition Process?

This community of talented veterans and spouses take several steps to plan for their transition to civilian life. They put in countless hours of personal research to decide if they’ll start a franchise, enroll in classes, or jump right into their next job. There are also programs and courses provided to service members and spouses by the US Department of Labor (DOL) and the VA to help frame their journey to civilian life. 

According to the DoL under 10 USC 1144, each of the service members and their spouses can go through the Transition Assistance Program (TAP).  If you’ve never served in the military, you might not know what that is. TAP was created to provide resources to transitioning military and their families to help prepare them. The program was created in 1991, but it didn’t become mandatory until President Barack Obama signed the Veterans Opportunity to Work to Hire Heroes Act of 2011. 

Charles Dorr (Chaz), US Marine Corps Veteran (2006-2010) and VIQTORY Account Manager, shared his experience of the TAP class. He joined the Marine Corps thinking he’d do 20 years and retire, but he changed his plans. When he went through TAP (called Transition Readiness Program in the Marine Corps), he says, “I still had zero clue on a career path or idea that would benefit my transition. So my research really started on my own when I got home.” Getting out of the military and changing your life plan is a process. TAP gives people the tools to help them on their journey.

Topics Covered in TAP Employers Should Know

When Chaz took the class around 2010, he remembers sitting through presentations by trade schools and/or police agencies, oil and gas companies, etc. The biggest takeaway and help to him was that the VA representative told him to get to his home VA and file for benefits immediately. However, there were aspects of the program that he thought could improve. He remembered, “We were all in our camis and I couldn’t help but think I’m a civilian transition assistance program, shouldn’t we be dressed like civilians? Dressed ready for an interview or like a business professional.”

Since then, the TAP program has made improvements. Anyone who’s been in active service for 180+ days must go through pre-separation counseling. The training helps service members create plans to achieve their post-military goals. Retiring service members have to start TAP as soon as possible during the 24-months before they plan to separate. Service members separating start TAP 12 months before their separation date.

TAP class is a formal one-day workshop that covers tools and resources with veterans to help them evaluate career options, know where to find information on civilian employment, and educate them on the fundamentals of the employment process. The DOL’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service administers a mandatory one-day employment preparation workshop for all transitioning service members and two optional two-day workshops for career exploration, technical career preparation, or general employment preparation.

There are also TAP Training Resources that service members and their families can review or register for like the Employment Fundamentals of Career Transition, Wounded Warrior and Caregiver, Department of Labor Employment Workshop, and Career and Credential Exploration. Service members can choose to participate in a variety of workshops based on their goals.

How G.I. Jobs Magazine Helps to Close the Gap

“It took the Navy about 7 years to turn me from a civilian into someone they trusted with an airplane and a crew.  Turning me back into a civilian was certainly going to require more than a few days,”  Chris Hale, Navy veteran and CEO of VIQTORY.

While the TAP program has come a long way and serves as a great starting point, transitioning service members and their families need additional support to augment the workshops. That’s why VIQTORY created G.I. Jobs and Military Spouse magazines. They cover topics like resume writing and examples, success stories, and top hiring industries. 

In 2001, we started with G.I. Jobs Magazine – a rich publication dedicated to sharing how to get a job, identifying the hottest industries, and telling inspirational success stories of veterans. We built a community recognized throughout the military and distributed to hundreds of thousands of veterans. Our distribution of G.I. Jobs includes TAP and expands to Student Veteran Resource Centers, Command Career Centers, Family Readiness, libraries, barber shops and beyond. 

Today G.I. Jobs print magazines are distributed to over 5,400 physical locations, while the Military Spouse print magazines are distributed to 2,500 physical locations around the world. Our digital distribution expands even further to 50,000+ monthly views of the digital magazine, and it’s promoted to our combined 300,000+ social media followers.

How You Can Use Our Trusted Magazine to Connect to Veterans and Spouses

Demand for talent is at a 40-year high while the supply of that talent continues to drop. Whether you’re an employer looking for workers, a school looking for students or a franchisor looking for franchisees, you’ve no doubt realized that the talent recruiting rules of engagement have changed. This change is not temporary.  

The best way to influence the military community for the long term is to allow a trusted friend to carry your message. G.I. Jobs and Military Spouse are those trusted friends, and we are happy to announce some exciting upgrades to the magazines and special discounted rates for 2023. 

Check out the 2023 media kit, which details the incredible value in building your brand through G.I. Jobs and Military Spouse.  

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