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Proactive versus Reactive Hiring

Proactive vs Reactive Hiring

Many employers are finding it a gargantuan task to fill positions these days. More than ever, “we’re hiring” signs can be seen across major cities and local communities, reminding consumers that the job crisis is impacting most industries and areas.
It is estimated that the COVID-19 pandemic caused over 25% of workers to switch jobs in the hopes of securing higher wages, remote work opportunities, and more. As a result, employers are finding their vacancies open far longer than before. To thrive, or even compete in this environment, employers will need to adopt a proactive vs. reactive hiring approach.

Proactive Hiring

A proactive hiring approach starts with employee retention. Investing in an internal employee development program and succession plan are two main ways to keep current employees engaged and in their positions. Properly remunerating employees will also keep them from seeking employment elsewhere. Considering the cost of replacing staff, employers may have to be more generous with salaries and bonuses than ever.
In addition, proactive hiring means hiring when positions are filled. We recently wrote about the importance of adopting an “always be hiring” talent strategy. We believe that hiring, even when there is no immediate need to fill a vacancy, allows employers to connect with a steady pool of talent. Instead of reacting to resignations or expansions, employers that are “always hiring” have a consistent stream of potential candidates with whom to actively engage. This stream of candidates can be narrowed and invited to interview when a position opens up, maintaining momentum and preventing extended vacancies.

Reactive Hiring

Most employers, unfortunately, operate with a reactive hiring approach, which means that they begin looking for talent upon receipt of resignation or announcement of expansion. A reactive hiring approach has never been optimal but may prove disastrous during the current job crisis.
With a rising Quits Rate, at 2.90% in February 2022, the Great Resignation, as it’s being called, is a very real and concerning trend for employers. Between worker dissatisfaction, the rising cost of living, childcare shortages, and concerns over COVID-19, workers are having to rethink their employment status and career trajectory. Unfortunately for employers, seeking to replace employees after they have resigned will cost them, both in rising recruiting costs and diminished productivity.

Hiring Solutions

Online talent sourcing platforms are one of the most critical tools employers currently use to fill vacancies but they are not all created equal. Using the wrong platform may contribute to lengthened vacancies and mismatched hires.
At Veterans ASCEND, our AI-Powered Talent Sourcing Platform connects employers with a pipeline of top talent while diversifying their workforce and preparing for vacancies that may arise. Our focus on matching skills and abilities rather than titles and keywords expands recruiters’ access to qualified candidates that may have been missed using traditional, keyword-based sourcing platforms. Sign up today at or email us at to learn how we can help your organization maintain a proactive hiring approach.

Adopt an “Always Be Hiring” strategy


The phrase “always be closing” became a salesperson’s mantra in the early 1990s when a character played by Alec Baldwin in the 1992 film Glengarry Glen Ross uttered those words. “Always Be Closing” is a phrase that has been used for decades to encourage salespeople to respond to opportunities, keep their eye on the prize, and never let up when it comes to closing a deal.
Salespeople don’t rest on their laurels if they want to succeed, and we think hiring managers can learn a thing or two from their momentum-based methodology.  At Veterans ASCEND, our mantra is "always be hiring."  We believe that consistent investment in hiring new talent, is a proactive approach that connects the right talent at the right time; ultimately leading to successful hires with long-term results.


Hiring, even when there is no immediate need to fill a vacancy, allows employers to connect with a steady pool of top talent. Instead of reacting to a resignation or expansion, these employers have a consistent stream of potential candidates with whom they actively engage. This stream of candidates can be narrowed and invited to interview when a position opens up.


Proactive hiring also helps employers promote their organization as a leader in their industry because they maintain a consistent presence in the job market. Potential candidates recognize the organization and become familiar with the opportunities that the employer offers, giving them an advantage over a company that otherwise rarely engages with candidates.


Team development is an ongoing effort and hiring the right talent requires momentum. Starting and stopping the hiring process can gravely affect an organization’s ability to reach the best talent with which to build their team. Hiring out of desperation can also lead to mismatched candidates being placed in key positions and, worse, being overpaid for their contributions. Reactive hiring situations impact performance, can affect results, and may lead to employee dissatisfaction and decreased team cohesiveness.


By maintaining an “always be hiring” approach, employers elevate the quality of their hires thereby elevating their performance and standards. Proactive recruitment practices allow employers to attract quality candidates before their competitors do and give them access to quality “backup” employees when needed.


Employers know that job vacancies can pop up at any moment. Previous hires may not work out, star employees may move on, and internal lateral moves or promotions can leave positions open and ready to be filled. This is why it is critical to be proactive when hiring, so that imminent hires don't become emergent ones.
At Veterans ASCEND, we match employers with veterans and military spouses based on skills and abilities rather than titles and keywords. Using our AI-Powered Talent Sourcing Platform, employers connect with a pipeline of quality candidates while diversifying their workforce and preparing for vacancies before they arise. Sign up today at or email us at to learn how we can help you reach your “always be hiring” goals.

Vacancy Rates

Record Job Vacancies

According to The Department of Labor’s monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary, also known as the JOLTS report, employment vacancies in the US rose to over 11 million in October 2021. While vacancies dropped slightly in subsequent months, a vacancy rate of approximately 6.6% in November 2021 is worth examining.
During any other time in recent history, record job vacancies may have signaled a promising economy and noteworthy job creation. Unfortunately, however, the current vacancy rate speaks to an entirely different situation, one that has employers rightfully concerned they won’t be able to attain their revenue goals and may instead lose significant ground in 2022, all due to worker shortages.
To make matters worse, approximately 4.5 million workers voluntarily left their jobs in November 2021, creating greater competition for employers with vacancies to fill. Reasons for the high turnover rate include workers’ health concerns caused by the ongoing pandemic and new, more contagious variants, employees’ desire to ride the wave of worker demand to secure higher wages and better working conditions, and individuals’ need for greater flexibility, work-from-home opportunities, etc.
Filling vacancies is a top priority for most companies for various reasons, the most obvious of which is the tangible and intangible costs these vacancies represent. The tangible costs of filling vacancies include, but are not limited to, the ongoing cost of recruitment, the cost of overtime that is paid to existing employees in the interim, and the loss of revenues due to a company’s inability to meet demand. The intangible costs include existing worker burnout due to added hours and responsibilities, potential negative impacts on workplace morale due to the inevitable increased workload and strain, and customer dissatisfaction as a result of errors and delays.

"Everyone is Hiring"

In a climate in which it seems that “everyone is hiring,” it’s surprising that employers continue to use antiquated methods of reaching and screening candidates. Meanwhile, as the cost per hire and vacancy rates continue to rise, most organizations are simply competing against one another with misguided strategies and an approach that excludes outstanding candidates including those with military backgrounds due to limitations in popular applicant tracking systems.
As job vacancies remain at record highs, the employers that succeed will be those that focus on existing employee retention, optimized hiring processes, and making hiring decisions that lead to a loyal, long term and fulfilled workforce. Others will find themselves in a vicious cycle of ongoing vacancies, low productivity, and frustrating results while competing organizations engage the best, most promising candidates.

AI-Powered Talent Sourcing

Using Veterans ASCEND, an AI-Powered Talent Sourcing Platform that matches employers with veterans and military spouses, employers not only gain access to a highly qualified pool of candidates, but they also ensure better hires and better results by being intentional to include military talent based on skills and abilities rather than titles and keywords. Sign up today at and start reducing your vacancy rate while saving time and money across your organization. Questions? Email us at

The Issue with Resumes

Putting one’s professional history and career accomplishments into a resume can oftentimes feel overwhelming. It’s hard enough to summarize job titles, skills, and performance in a limited number of bullet points let alone having to recall the endless contributions one has made to all of the roles they have played in the workforce over years or decades. To add insult to injury, resumes are rarely read by human beings anymore, which makes the resume one of the most outdated and dehumanizing parts of seeking employment, especially for veterans and their spouses, whose work titles and skills cannot be accurately summarized onto a piece of paper or PDF file.
Choosing the right words to describe one’s ability to successfully execute assigned tasks is no easy feat. A focus on resumes can create unfair hiring practices, barriers, and biases, giving priority to those that can afford resume writing services and proofreading technology while rejecting candidates with disabilities, foreign nationals, older populations, and other candidates that may bring exceptional talents to the workforce, despite a sentence structure issue, spelling error, or formatting mistake on their resume.
Furthermore, resumes make it impossible for hiring managers to truly grasp the scope of a candidate’s professional accomplishments and ability to perform the duties for which they are hiring. Resumes focus on job titles, company names, and a brief description of the job itself. The standard resume format fails to highlight the reasons why a worker might outshine another in a real life situation. Military veterans, for example, are some of the most well-rounded and capable workers in the workforce due to their extensive training and exposure to various leadership and collaboration roles. Yet, the resume of a military veteran may be overlooked simply because the scope of their experience cannot be adequately conveyed on a resume.
As if the practice of requiring resumes weren’t antiquated and restrictive enough, resumes are rarely viewed by a human being until a candidate pool has been significantly narrowed. Most companies ask for resumes to be uploaded to online applicant tracking systems that review resumes using artificial intelligence that seeks out keywords including company names and job titles, eliminating valuable candidates that have worked outside the industry or have gaps in their employment, yet bring dynamic experience to the organization.
Due to the use of resumes as a first step in consideration, highly qualified candidates are being excluded from roles in which they would excel. For many, resumes present a barrier to getting an interview and, therefore, lucrative employment. Instead, employers must consider using more objective hiring tools that focus on candidates’ abilities and skills, highlight the ways in which their talents can be used to further the organization’s mission, and humanize the hiring process. One such tool is Veterans ASCEND, an innovative system that matches employers with veterans and military spouses based on skills. To learn more about Veterans ASCEND, contact 864-887-5865 or

Adaptability, Dedication, and Perseverance

Military spouses are forced to adapt to challenges that those outside the military rarely face. Between relocating every few years, managing households, raising children alone during deployments, and learning to live without their partner for months at a time, military spouses make marked sacrifices. Unfortunately, one of the most significant sacrifices military spouses make is that of giving up their careers to support their active service members wherever their
military career may take them.

According to the Department of Defense, military spouse unemployment has been more than seven times the national average for over a decade. In 2019, military spouses faced a staggering 22% unemployment rate and 26% wage gap when compared to their non-military peers. Currently and due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, both unemployment and the wage gap among military spouses are on the rise.

When asked about the challenges they face, military spouses cite multiple factors that hinder their ability to pursue careers. For many, moving every two to three years creates a significant obstacle to career development and growth. For others, the distance from family and difficulty finding reliable and affordable childcare make it impossible to consider full time employment.

Those in professions that require certifications and licenses, such as nurses and teachers, which account for approximately 34% of military spouses, cite that the costs and recertification processes, which are often state-specific, can be prohibitive, especially when they don’t know how long their spouse will remain at each duty station.

A study by Blue Star Families, an organization established in 2009 with the goal of “empowering military families to thrive as they serve,” found that the reduced labor force participation among military spouses costs the U.S. economy almost $1 billion per year. The cost to military families is also significant. With home prices on the rise, housing shortages on military installations, and inflation rates climbing, many military families require two incomes to meet their financial and lifestyle goals.

Yet, with the obstacles they face, military spouses are often forced into involuntary part time employment, direct sales, and other less lucrative forms of employment. Many remain unemployed because finding the right match seems impossible and opportunities vary greatly from one location to another.

While representing a notable loss for the economy and for military families themselves, military spouse underemployment also represents a loss for employers. Per Blue Star Families, approximately 45% of military spouses, 92% of which are female, have bachelor's or advanced degrees in contrast to about 33% in the general population. Military spouses possess extensive skills that would benefit a wide range of workplaces and industries.

Their ability to navigate the demands of a military lifestyle while pursuing fulfilling work proves that they are driven and mission-focused. The skills they develop while managing their homes, coordinating relocations, caring for their families, and supporting their spouse in what is an exceptionally demanding profession, demonstrate their adaptability, dedication, and perseverance, qualities from which a wide range of businesses and organizations can truly benefit.

Land of the Free because of the Brave!

Reflecting on Veterans Day – as a veteran whose grandfather, father, and stepfather served along with an uncle, severely wounded in Vietnam, and now a nephew on active duty – the day has significant meaning to me. But what about the majority of the population who has no connection to the military? What does it mean for them, and would you be shocked or surprised to hear someone say it has no meaning at all other than a free day off from work?

November 11th was declared Veterans Day (first named Armistice Day) in June 1954. Veterans Day is a day in which ALL Americans can pause, even for a second, and be thankful for the military for protecting our freedom, engaging in diplomacy around the world, creating goodwill and serving voluntarily, no questions asked. It is also a day when veterans can see their link to the past. Even those who have been separated for many years will think of their service on Veterans Day.

So, while we are celebrating and appreciating our active duty service members and veterans this month, here are some sobering points from the LinkedIn Veterans Opportunity Report: 

  • 33% of veterans are underemployed. They are employed in jobs below their skill level. This hurts the veteran, their families and the company who is employing them.
  • 38 of the top 50 industries employ veterans at a lower pay rate than nonveterans.
  • 70% of veterans take a step back in seniority because it’s the only offer.

Yet, those employers should take note:

  • Veterans remain with the companies that initially employ them 8.3% longer than nonveterans.
  • Veterans are 160% more likely than nonveterans to have a graduate degree or higher.
  • Military experience exposes individuals to advanced technology and technical training.
  • The military employs people in all professional fields, at every possible career level, yet veterans are an undervalued talent pool in today’s workforce.

Veteran underemployment has severe consequences, and not just for the veteran. The impact carries through their families, their communities and our businesses. Underemployment of veterans actually ends up costing the employer more in the long run. Awareness is a start, but it shouldn’t end there.

There are many actions employers can take to ensure veterans aren’t being left out. It will take less time for a hiring manager to call and ask a veteran to give a brief of their skills than it will to wade through thousands of applicants who did make it through the filters but are not even remotely qualified.

Companies must shift and allow their hiring managers the freedom to explore a military veteran’s background. The return on investment will be exponentially greater when on average, veterans perform at higher levels and have lower turnover. 

Today and every day, we are thankful for ALL veterans as we live in the land of the Free because of the Brave.

How Hiring A Veteran Can Generate A Tax Credit For Your Business

In addition to the skills and talents Military Veterans can bring to a company, did you know that they can also help your business earn tax credits?

Businesses that hire eligible unemployed Military Veterans can take advantage of a Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), available to privately-held, publicly-held, and certain tax-exempt organizations.

After recent changes, The Returning Heroes Tax Credit now provides incentives of up to $5,600 for hiring unemployed veterans, and the Wounded Warriors Tax Credit doubles the existing Work Opportunity Tax Credit for long-term unemployed veterans with service-connected disabilities, to up to $9,600.

Here are the various Military Veteran-related tax credits your company could qualify for:

Unemployment Tax Credits:

  • Qualified Long-term Unemployment: This is a credit for new hires that begin work on or after January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2019, during which the individual is employed no less than 27 consecutive weeks and includes a period in which the individual was receiving unemployment compensation under State or Federal law. For WOTC-certified new hires working at least 120 hours, employers can claim 25% of the first-year wages paid up to $6,000, for a maximum income tax credit of up to $1,500. For WOTC-certified new hires working 400 hours or more, employers can claim 40% of the first-year wages up to $6,000, for a maximum income tax credit of up to $2,400.
  • Short-term Unemployment: A credit of 40% of the first $6,000 of wages (up to $2,400) for employers who hire veterans who have been in receipt of unemployment compensation for at least 4 weeks.
  • Long-term Unemployment: A credit of 40% of the first $14,000 of wages (up to $5,600) for employers who hire veterans who have been in receipt of unemployment compensation for longer than 6 months.

Wounded Warrior Tax Credits:

  • Veterans with Services-Connected Disabilities: Maintains the existing Work Opportunity Tax Credit for veterans with service-connected disabilities hired within one year of being discharged from the military. The credit is 40% of the first $12,000 of wages (up to $4,800).
  • Long-Term Unemployed Veterans with Services-Connected Disabilities: A new credit of 40% of the first $24,000 of wages (up to $9,600) for firms that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities who have been in receipt of unemployment compensation for longer than 6 months. The credit can be as high as $9,600 per veteran for for-profit employers or up to $6,240 for tax-exempt organizations.
  • Certain tax-exempt organizations can take advantage of WOTC by hiring eligible veterans and receiving a credit against the employer’s share of Social Security taxes.

Regardless of the Military Veterans you hire, your company will benefit, financially in productivity and engagement as well as these great tax credits.

Interested in hiring Military Veterans? Get started here!

Veterans: The Untapped Talent

Job Hunt Challenges

Every company wants to find candidates who have leadership skills, a strong work ethic, problem-solving skills, and the ability to work in a team. Who do those skills define? Veterans. So why do veterans struggle to find employment after their military service? In the 2016 Veteran Hiring Report, iCIMS reported the top reasons veterans haven’t applied or accepted a job. Among them, “56 percent of veterans reported not being satisfied with the salary or benefits offered. 41 percent didn’t think they had enough training or education to do the job and 28 percent stated they were concerned about their ability to ‘sell myself’ in an interview.” The common denominator is that veterans are often unaware of and reluctant to promote their capabilities or speak to their transferable skills.

Untapped Talent

On the employer side, civilians often have difficulty understanding what veterans did in the military and how those skills and experiences can benefit a company. Hiring managers and recruiters don’t look beyond the military occupation title. While 85 percent of military occupations have a direct civilian equivalent, the other 15 percent also have transferable and highly sought-after skills. Hours, weeks, and years of training equate to skills in such areas as identifying requirements, inventory management, safety, hydraulic systems, quality control/assurance, and compliance. Even when companies recruit and hire veterans, they are failing to make the most of those veterans’ talents and experiences, which contributes to underemployment, high levels of frustration, and even boredom. By gaining an understanding of the top skills veterans hold, employers can tap into this talent and ensure they are providing a challenging and rewarding career path.

Hire Veterans!

Employers, veterans advocates, and policymakers should recognize and act on the business case for hiring veterans. If employers want to take advantage of the best of this talent pool, they need to put in a little extra effort by connecting with veterans and finding out what they bring to the table. It will be time well spent.

Veterans ASCEND is an innovative system that matches employers with veterans based on skills. To learn more go to, call 864-887-5865, or email

5 Reasons To Hire Military Spouses

A big part of serving in America’s military is moving across the country, and sometimes overseas. For those tens of thousands of military spouses and families, this usually means they move with their servicemember as well. Over the course of a long career, this can mean families pick up and move several times. Each of these moves disrupts families’ lives, including the spouse’s career. Oftentimes, military spouses get discouraged when moving because they have to start their career over again, while their military servicemember presses on with theirs.

Military spouses are at a disadvantage when competing for jobs at new locations because their resumes often indicate the frequent moves, gaps in work history, and lack of career progression. To a hiring manager, their resume may give the impression that the person is a job hopper who can’t stick around long enough to advance. On goes this cycle which suppresses the spouse’s wages. Did you know that military spouses earn, on average, 38% less than their civilian counterpart? This situation can have implications for military families when deciding whether to stay in our voluntary forces.

As an employer, the next time you need to fill a talent need, consider hiring a military spouse. Here’s five reasons why:

  1. Military spouses are familiar with change. If your company has done things a certain way for a long time, changes in your processes might upset the status quo for some of your existing employees; not so much for a military spouse. Consider how drastic a change that moving across the country or overseas can be? Or, how about the constant deployments of their servicemember? Military spouses have come to expect change.
  2. Military spouses usually have multi-industry experience. When a military family moves, the spouse many times will find a new job in a different industry than their previous one. This means that your company would be hiring an individual that is well-rounded and knows how to work with different clientele.
  3. Outstanding work ethic. While a servicemember is off protecting our nation, the spouse is usually at home juggling many different things. This situation varies from family to family of course, but overall it can be very stressful for a military spouse to care for everything and worry about the safety of their servicemember. They must have a great work ethic to make it all work so, in turn, their military spouse can concentrate on their mission.
  4. Diversity. The military is a diverse force. As such, so is the military spouse population. Many have different backgrounds and life experiences. On top of that, because they are generally well-travelled, they may have experienced other cultures. Some even learn to overcome language barriers overseas. A military spouse can bring these experiences to your team.
  5. Mission-first mentality. Just as members of our military are mission-focused, so too are military spouses. They understand the sacrifices they make are for the greater good. This kind of mission focus carries over into their careers as well.

Employers across our nation understand the sacrifices military families make, Many want to help but may not know how. Is your organization military spouse friendly?  

To learn more about what Veterans ASCEND is doing to help military spouses, check out the information below, or the video at the following link:

Help Support Our Mission to Hire Military Spouses!

Veterans ASCEND is in the process of raising funding to build a platform just for Military Spouse employment. Just like our Veteran skills-matching platform, Military Spouses have their own set of skills and experience unique to military family life.

If you’re an employer, we offer excellent rewards to our business sponsors:

$250 or more
Reward: Captain
Three month Basic subscription on Veterans ASCEND. ($450 value)

$500 or more
Reward: Colonel
Three month
 Banner subscription on Veterans ASCEND ($750 value) and recognition on our website.

$1,000 or more
Reward: One Star
One year
 Basic subscription on Veterans ASCEND ($1,800 value), recognition on social media and our website.

$2,000 or more
Reward: Two Star
One year
 Banner subscription on Veterans ASCEND ($3,000 value), recognition on social media and our website.

$3,000 or more
Reward: Three Star
One year
 Brass subscription on Veterans ASCEND ($4,800 value), recognition on social media and our website.

We would be honored to have you support our efforts to support military families and help companies hire Military Spouses.

#1 Reason Employers Hire Veterans

If you’re a business owner, CEO, recruiting agent, or in charge of hiring at your company, there’s one powerful, obvious reason that you should hire U.S. Military Veterans.

Over the last few months, we’ve had droves of businesses in various industries jumping on this opportunity to focus heavily on hiring Veterans. We truly wanted to understand why our platform was so popular. We discovered that it wasn’t because our system is modern, easy to use, and affordable – although those certainly were benefits.

The reason? Tax credits.


The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has developed the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) for employers who hire specific groups of individuals. The following information was sourced from

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a Federal tax credit available to employers for hiring individuals from certain targeted groups who have consistently faced significant barriers to employment.

WOTC joins other workforce programs that incentivize workplace diversity and facilitate access to good jobs for American workers.

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (the PATH Act) retroactively allows eligible employers to claim the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) for all targeted group employee categories that were in effect prior to the enactment of the PATH Act, if the individual began or begins work for the employer after December 31, 2014 and before January 1, 2020. For tax-exempt employers, the PATH Act retroactively allows them to claim the WOTC for qualified veterans who begin work for the employer after December 31, 2014 and before January 1, 2020.

The PATH Act also added a new targeted group category to include qualified long-term unemployment recipients.

Hiring Qualified Veterans

Employers must hire “qualified Veterans” to receive a tax credit:

A “qualified Veteran” is a veteran who is any of the following:

  • A member of a family receiving assistance under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (food stamps) for at least 3 months during the first 15 months of employment.
  • Unemployed for a period totaling at least 4 weeks (whether or not consecutive) but less than 6 months in the 1-year period ending on the hiring date.
  • Unemployed for a period totaling at least 6 months (whether or not consecutive) in the 1-year period ending on the hiring date.
  • A disabled veteran entitled to compensation for a service-connected disability hired not more than one year after being discharged or released from active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • A disabled veteran entitled to compensation for a service-connected disability who is unemployed for a period totaling at least six months (whether or not consecutive) in the one-year period ending on the hiring date.

This information was one of the most powerful reasons employers sign up with Veterans ASCEND, primarily because so few employers take advantage of this opportunity. Hiring agencies and talent acquisition departments are scrambling to take this opportunity, and we’re here to help.

Save Money With Veterans ASCEND

Hiring Veterans that are qualified for the positions that your company needs filled can be a challenging task. That’s why we’ve put together a state-of-the-art skills matching platform that allows you to unlock profiles. Join our mission and hundreds of other employers hiring Veterans by signing up today! To sign up, please visit