When sourcing talent for open roles, many companies keep their hiring searches to local candidates—and it makes sense. Why pay for relocation assistance when you don’t have to? But did you know that Uncle Sam picks up a portion (if not all) of a transitioning military veteran’s moving expenses when they leave active duty? Meaning, depending on the location of your company, you could hire a veteran from almost anywhere in the United States and have their relocation costs covered.
If you feel like you’ve been picking over the same local talent pools for too long, it might be time to cast a wider net and start recruiting transitioning veterans—regardless of their current address.
Here’s How it works
Members of the military are familiar with PCS, but for the civilians reading this, PCS stands for Permanent Change of Station. Ever heard an Army brat talk about their eight elementary schools? Or an Army spouse talk about their lightning-fast moving strategies? Service men and women tend to move around a bit. Every time the government relocates a military service member, they cover an individual’s (or family’s) costs for PCS.
And when a service member transitions to civilian life, the U.S. government will cover the costs to relocate a service member from their final duty station to their home of record—even if they aren’t moving back home—provided the destination is equidistant to the service member’s home of record.
Here’s an example. Let’s say a service member exits the military while stationed in San Diego, CA, finds a job in Louisville, KY, and their home of record is Corpus Christi, TX. The distance from San Diego to Corpus Christi is about 1,400 miles, and the distance from San Diego to Louisville, KY is roughly 2,000 miles. The government will pay all relocation costs for the service member to pack up and move 1,400 miles, leaving the new employer to cover only around 600 miles in travel costs.
And if the cost for relocation is less than the distance from the final duty station to the home of record? Even better. All moving costs are covered, and oftentimes, this is the case.
When it comes to drawing from a bigger pool of talent—without having to foot the tab on relocation costs—this seems like a pretty good deal to me.
And here’s how to make it work for you
If you’re looking to tap into a network of transitioning veterans, I’d recommend working with a recruiting firm that has already built a pipeline of veteran talent. And here’s a shameless plug: Lucas Group has been building relationships with all branches of the military since 1970.
Keep in mind, though, that there are still costs you may have to take on. Interviewing your candidate in person will be a logical step in the hiring process, so you may have to pay for flights and lodging to bring the candidate on-site. But if you’re recruiting a leadership hire or a pivotal role, the positive impact a veteran can bring to your bottom line will far exceed the bill for bringing them to town for an interview.
And as I’ve written before, service veterans tend to be stronger leaders and better performers. Snapping up great talent from across the country without having to pick up the tab for moving expenses? Sounds like a win-win.