Veterans Research

Demystifying Veterans as a Hidden Talent Pool

Every year, thousands of highly skilled Veterans enter the job market—ready and eager for civilian work. Yet, despite facing labour and skills shortages, employers across sectors often don’t consider Veterans to be a viable talent pool.

Challenge Factory aims to close the gap between Veterans and employers. Through our consulting and research, we work to 1) raise awareness about the benefits of hiring Canada’s Veterans, 2) give employers tools that will make hiring easier, and 3) draw on Veterans’ knowledge to make sure we get it right.

Become Veteran Ready 

In 2020, Challenge Factory launched The Canadian Guide to Hiring Veterans, an easy-to-use publication designed to help employers find, hire, and retain Veterans. 

Now, Challenge Factory is building online modules using the Guide’s content and style, focusing on practical tools, tips, and other supports that will make it easier for employers to hire their next Veteran employee, leverage the power of hidden talent pools, and fill their labour and skills shortages.  

Powered by the Centre for Career Innovation’s self-directed learning platform, employers will have access to hiring aids that are interactive and work-integrated—and, above all, useful for time-strapped business owners and hiring managers. 

Challenge Factory will also conduct an impact study to evaluate the effectiveness of the Guide and its companion modules. Knowing how they are used and received is essential to designing future supports backed by specific evidence of what does and doesn’t work for employers and Veterans. The findings of the study will also be able to inform transition and job development programs, as well as other supports offered to employers and Veterans. 

This project is generously supported by Veterans Affairs Canada’s Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund. 

The Canadian Guide to Hiring Veterans

With the generous support of Veterans Affairs Canada’s Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund, Challenge Factory is pleased to present this new, easy-to-use guide to help employers find, hire, and retain Veterans. Free to download in PDF form, this resource offers:

  • practical, reusable tools for hiring Veterans (including a hiring checklist, interview guide, onboarding framework, and more);
  • myth-busting research about Veterans in the civilian workforce; and,
  • additional resources compiled in one convenient place for connecting with Veterans, job services, and other human resources tools.

The Canadian Guide to Hiring Veterans is designed for organizations with limited human resources and recruitment capacity that are striving to build strong, resilient teams that include Veterans who are skilled and ready to fill labour or skills shortages. Its second important purpose is to help destigmatize Veterans in and outside the workplace, and to clarify exactly why they make such a valuable yet hidden talent pool and recruitment source in Canada.

This Guide draws on Challenge Factory’s ground-breaking national research about employer hiring biases and the unique working style of Veterans. We use qualitative and quantitative methodologies to engage Veterans, small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), and large enterprises to explore:

  • perceptions about Veterans in the civilian workforce;
  • why employers in need of talent and Veteran jobseekers are missing each other; and,
  • lessons that can be learned from existing Veteran hiring programs.

A Question of Style

Does Veterans’ military service affect how they work in civilian workplaces? Do hiring managers have preconceived notions about Veterans? This first-of-its-kind study, generously funded in part by CERIC, identified important learnings for hiring managers, recruiters, and career professionals.