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Becoming a Vet-Friendly Employer: Hiring Tips for New Businesses

Whether you’re a veteran entrepreneur who’s passionate about supporting other vets or you simply understand the value of hiring veterans to work for your business, there are several things you should know about becoming a vet-friendly employer. Firstly, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the benefits of hiring veterans if you aren’t already aware of them. Veterans, for instance, are quick learners, excellent leaders, and problem solvers, and they tend to work well under pressure. They’re also accountable, loyal, highly organized, and respectful. 


Veteran employees can also help to make your new business more accessible and inclusive and allow you to qualify for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) and other financial incentives. Keep in mind, however, that you must hire qualified veterans in order to earn these tax credits. Other financial incentives for hiring veterans may include free labor under the VA’s Non-Paid Work Experience program or salary reimbursement under the Special Employer Incentive program. 


If your ready to widen your hiring efforts to include veterans, the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce invites you to learn more about becoming a veteran-friendly employer and hiring the right vets for your new business. 

First, Launch Your New Business

Your very first step toward becoming a vet-friendly employer includes completing the business formation process. Start by writing a business plan, choosing your legal structure (such as a limited liability company or corporation), coming up with a catchy business name, and applying for funding. You must also determine whether you’ll need to apply for any required business licenses and/or permits. 


When choosing a legal entity for your vet-friendly business, you’ll want to decide between one of the most popular types of business structures: sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies (LLCs). LLCs are a safe choice for most new businesses, as these legal structures offer limited liability, tax benefits (on top of the tax incentives for hiring veterans), and a simple formation process. Plus, using an online filing service can make the formation process even easier. 

Use a Word Processor to Create a PDF Employee Handbook

After completing each of the steps necessary when starting a new business, you’ll be ready to hire your first few employees. This will require you to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN), determine whether you’ll be hiring employees or independent contractors, and define the roles you need to fill. New businesses, for instance, may need to start by filling the following positions:

  • A chief executive officer, chief operations officer, chief technology officer, chief marketing officer, and chief financial officer 

  • Product managers

  • Business development managers

  • Sales managers

  • Customer service representatives


Once you’ve defined these roles and their responsibilities, it’s a good idea to create an employee handbook that can be shared with any new hire. This handbook should highlight your company’s mission, values, benefits, code of conduct, and employee expectations. 


When it’s time to finalize your company’s employee handbook, you could use a word processor such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs to create your handbook before saving it as a PDF document — making the handbook easier to print and share with your team. 


If you need to make formatting edits or updates to your company policies in the future, you could use a free online tool to convert from PDF to docx quickly. PDF documents are not easily edited, but conversion tools allow you to make updates in just a few steps: simply upload your PDF document online, convert it to Word so you can make your edits, and then re-save the document as a new PDF. 

Find Qualified Veterans to Fill Your Company Roles

Now that you’re ready to become a vet-friendly employer, it’s time to find qualified candidates. Two excellent resources to guide you include the USAA’s Employer Roadmap for recruiting veterans as well as the DOL’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service. Both resources can help you to create a plan for hiring veterans, draft veteran-friendly job descriptions, and appropriately interview qualified vets. A few places to post jobs that may attract veteran applicants include:

  • The National Labor Exchange.

  • State Job Banks. 

  • RallyPoint.

  • Indeed.

  • LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.


There are so many wonderful benefits of hiring vets to work for your new business, and this guide will help you with everything from launching your startup and creating a PDF employee handbook to finding the right veteran job seekers. But remember, hiring veterans is just the start: providing a vet-friendly working environment is the key to retaining former servicemembers and succeeding in business. 

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