June 20, 2014, Approximately 1,500 businesses around the country have pledged to hire 411,000 veterans through Hiring Our Heroes, a national initiative sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Hiring Our Heroes helps veterans, transitioning service members and military spouses find work through resources such as hiring fairs and employment workshops. If you’re a small business owner who’s considering hiring a veteran, learn more about the process.
Where to Look
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs provides a list of resources for recruiting and hiring veterans. Two we like:
* The federal government’s American Job Center Network, a central location where employers seeking veterans can connect with local labor exchanges and state job banks and post job openings in the Veterans Job Bank
* The Department of Labor’s CareerOneStop Business Center, which provides tools for hiring veterans and information on training and retaining them
Prepare for Payroll and Taxes
If this is your first employee, you need to follow certain procedures and fill out specified paperwork to meet state and federal regulatory obligations. Nolo provides a convenient checklist to make sure you cover your bases. Priority items include obtaining an employer identification number, registering with your state’s labor department, getting worker’s compensation insurance and setting up a payroll system to withhold taxes.
You should also have a procedure in place for collecting required tax information and filing tax forms after you hire employees. Software tools such as this free paycheck calculator from Intuit can help you automate the process of calculating payroll tax deductions.
In some cases, you may be eligible for a Work Opportunity Tax Credit when hiring veterans who meet certain criteria. These can include veterans who come from families receiving food stamps, who qualify for disability compensation or who have experienced extended unemployment during the last year.
Best Hiring Practices
When it comes time to review job applications and interview applicants, consider employing the following hiring practices to help you avoid high turnover rates and other hassles:
* Start by conducting a basic background check to verify the information provided on the applications. Certain records—including military records—require the applicant’s consent for you to access them.
* Other bases to cover before conducting interviews include drug testing and psychological screening to avoid hiring employees with undesirable behavior patterns.
Hiring best practices also apply to the interview process. When designing interview questions, be aware of regulations prohibiting questions discriminating on the basis of religion, race, color, national origin, genetic information, sex, pregnancy, age or disability. These considerations also apply when questioning employee references. Focus interview and reference questions on topics related to evaluating the candidate’s job performance and ability to perform the job’s duties and to verifying information provided on applications and during interviews.