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.

National Study on Hiring and Veterans

Challenge Factory has created three free resources to help employers find, hire, and retain military Veterans, as well as raise awareness about why Veterans represent a hidden talent pool of skilled, experienced workers:

  1. The Canadian Guide to Hiring Veterans
  2. MasterClass in Hiring: Tap into the Hidden Talent Pool of Canada’s Veterans
  3. Hidden Talent: A Challenge Factory Podcast

In our latest national study, we’re using these resources to better understand Canadian employers’ hiring challenges, what types of hiring supports best help them, and how we can close the gap between employers and Veterans.

Our study participants are business owners, organizational leaders, and hiring managers from across Canada who want to gain new hiring tools while contributing to the success of Veterans transitioning into civilian employment.

The results of the national study will be published in late 2022. To be notified of the release, sign up for our newsletter.

Interested in being part of Challenge Factory’s research studies in the future? Contact us at [email protected].

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

Explore the MasterClass
Are you ready to become Veteran Ready?

Check out other organizations across Canada that value what Veterans can bring to their workplaces and are ready to find, hire, welcome, and retain them.

MasterClass in Hiring: Tap into the Hidden Talent Pool of Canada’s Veterans

Challenge Factory’s free MasterClass is designed to help employers and hiring managers leverage the power of hidden talent pools, hire their next Veteran employee, and fill their labour and skills shortages.

Powered by the Centre for Career Innovation’s self-directed learning platform, MasterClass users gain access to five hours of interactive content that can be navigated at their own pace and in the order that best suits their needs and interests.

With a focus on shifting culture and capacity, the MasterClass builds on two key Challenge Factory publications: The Canadian Guide to Hiring Veterans and Retain and Gain: Career Management for Small Business. Users will walk away with bite-sized, proactive steps for building a reusable action plan that leads to skilled, sustainable hires.

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

Hidden Talent: A Challenge Factory Podcast

It’s not easy to find and keep great talent, especially at the moment.

The Hidden Talent podcast showcases the voices of small business owners and military Veterans as they discuss their own employment struggles and successes, from both sides of the interview table. These short, bingeable episodes are designed for anyone currently looking for their next hire.

This podcast is produced by Story Studio Network. We’re grateful for the support of 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.

Veterans and Small Business Community Challenge

The Veterans and Small Business Community Challenge is an experiential training program designed to accelerate and enrich the recruitment, onboarding, and hiring of Veterans by small business in individual communities across Canada.

The pilot, funded by ScotiaRISE, will bring together up to 40 Veterans and 40 business owners in the Belleville-Trenton, Ontario, area with a long-term goal of improving the income resiliency in both groups through knowledge and skills exchange and increased employment opportunities.

This project is currently in the launch phase. We’re looking for small business owners and Veterans in the Belleville-Trenton area to participate in a series of six learning modules to be held in 2022: two with Veterans, two with business owners, and two combined.

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.