Top Tips to make an ex-military employee's first 100 days a success



Successful onboarding is much more than welcoming a new employee with an induction and a meet and greet on their first day. It is a collaborative effort. An effective onboarding process will help new employees to settle into the business, which will in-turn improve job performance and employee retention. This process is particularly important for Service leavers, as this job may be their first job outside the military, so will be a huge transition for them. So how do you make an employee’s first 100 days successful?

Managing The Induction For An Ex-Military Employee

A new employee’s first day and week is a significant part of the onboarding process and an important first impression.

  • Have a designated member of staff to welcome the new employee, e.g. their manager or a senior leader.

  • Have relevant paperwork ready to be completed - or have the new employee complete before their first day.

  • Be personal: Brief your team about the new employee, who they are, their previous experience to help him/her feel more welcome. For example: Nationwide sets up a ‘welcome meeting’ between new military recruits and employees with a military background to help them with orientation.

  • Give an overview of the company’s history, culture, goals and objectives for the future - and how the new employee will help shape these goals.

  • Provide meaningful work immediately so the new employee is contributing early on.

Provide Clear Progression Routes And Training Opportunities

Provide clear progression routes and training opportunities. It’s important to manage new employees’ expectations, whether that be salary expectations or progression opportunities.

  • Explain the full scope of benefits, career progression and development opportunities, and personal support available to them from the offset. Military candidates are used to a very structured career path with continuous learning programmes, so it is important to be explicit about the opportunities to progress within the organisation.

  • Review performance objectives and set individual goals. It is important for any employee to know whether they have done something exceptional - or equally, needs training or constructive criticism, so continue to give feedback and offer performance reviews.

  • Have set performance reviews throughout the first 100 days to track the progress of the new employee and find out how they are settling into the organisation.   

Create An Internal Military Network

The creation of an internal military network as a forum for networking and information sharing is a great way to support ex-military employees within your business.

  • Use this military network as a platform for sharing best practice, detailed case studies, and information on how to practically implement programmes with other employers. Make sure your network is inclusive to prevent it from becoming cliquey and hierarchical. See our tip tips for more advice on how to create an internal military network.

  • Example: Virgin Money’s veterans network, Vets@Virgin, run several ‘Strive2Thrive’ workshops each year in conjunction with CTP to support veterans’ transition into the civilian workforce. These external workshops include CV reviews and individual advice, along with introductions to some of the cultural differences between the civilian and military workplaces. Attendees are offered skill matching support and mock interviews, as well as the opportunity to speak to other veterans who have successfully made the transition. Part of what makes it successful is the fact that it’s run by Vets@Virgin – people who have been there and who understand the support and advice that ex-military jobseekers need.

Create An Ex-Military Mentoring Scheme  

Many businesses who have an Armed Forces friendly recruitment programme have a buddying or mentoring scheme to help new employees transition into their new role successfully.

  • Buddy up the new employee, if possible, with an employee with an Armed Forces background - or a long serving member of staff.

  • Mentors do not need to have had military experience, but the mentor should be there to help employees settle into to their new work environment and help with future career development.

  • A mentor can be an effective source of advice and encouragement and can further help with retention.

Getting Feedback On Your Induction Programme  

Having an established and successful onboarding process is significant so make sure you continue to get feedback from new employees so you can adapt and change your process if required.

  • Get the new employee to provide feedback on the induction, the first week and over the next six month’s, whether that be in questionnaire form, written feedback or speaking to their mentor. This is a simple and efficient way to look at your onboarding policies throughout the process to see when and how progress is made.

Want to find out more about employing veterans? Download our FREE military recruitment toolkit now.