The Importance of Having Military Veterans as Employees

Hiring good employees is tricky business. It takes skill to weigh not just the capabilities but also the character and personality of each candidate in an attempt to figure out who is the right fit for each position that needs to be filled. However, one element that can go far in helping make your hiring decisions is the knowledge that you’re dealing with a veteran. Veterans tend to come equipped with a unique skill set as well as a host of hands-on life experiences that few other applicants can come close to equaling.

There are nearly 20 million veterans in the United States, with nearly a million of them unemployed as recently as the end of 2017. This number represents a huge pool of potential employees who have quite a bit more to offer to your workforce than your average applicant. Let’s take a look at some of the specific reasons you’re absolutely going to want to have veterans as part of your company’s team.

The Unique Qualities of Veterans

Often veterans are brought into the limelight for issues like PTSD as well as other challenges that they often face as they re-enter civilian life. However, while these are certainly genuine concerns that deserve to be addressed, they shouldn’t overshadow a veteran’s chances at landing a job in your company.

On the contrary, as already mentioned, the average veteran brings a tremendous skill set to the table. Here are just a few of the personal traits that tend to make each veteran an invaluable asset to a business team:

  • Veterans are responsible: Vets are used to high-stakes scenarios and have been trained to take responsibilities very seriously.
  • Veterans are achievers: They also understand what it means to set goals and to stick to them. Their work ethic is typically exceptional, and they’re able to function on their own without close oversight.
  • Veterans are organized: One natural side effect of life in the armed forces is a honed ability to remain well organized, which military personnel often continue to keenly possess upon re-entry into civilian life.
  • Veterans are leaders: They have often had intimate experience in leadership positions and are comfortable making decisions that might cause other employees to hesitate. This also can manifest in the important ability to take responsibility for their actions and use their intuition with confidence.

Education

It’s no secret that veterans are able to receive well-earned government-backed funding to help them pursue a college education. What this means for you as an employer is that you will have employees who are equipped to continue furthering their college education even while they’re working for you. This will allow them to deepen their current knowledge in their field as well as continue to improve their skill set over time.

In addition to the aforementioned college experience, veterans have also typically been exposed to various forms of advanced tech during their time in uniform and are accustomed to a lifestyle of continued education, learning, and development while on the job.

To summarize, as far as education is concerned, whether it comes via college classes, during work hours, or a combination of the two, veterans are knowledgeable, comfortable with technology and willing to maintain a learning mindset.

Diversity and Incentives

Another benefit of hiring veterans is increasing the diversity of your workforce. For example, many businesses struggle with diversifying their global mobility efforts, a fact that can have serious side effects. However, choosing to hire veterans, many of whom have traveled extensively throughout their military careers, can allow for a greater incorporation of diversity of experience into your global mobility efforts.

Of course, the example extends beyond working abroad, as well. Diversifying your workforce by including veterans and their unique set of skills and experiences can be an excellent way to observe an “iron sharpens iron” mindset amongst your employees.

Another obvious benefit to hiring veterans comes in the form of government incentives and tax credits. For example, the Returning Heroes Tax Credit and Wounded Warriors Tax Credit can combine to offer a significant $9,600 in tax benefits. It’s important, though, that you ensure that you’re hiring employees who are eligible for these credits before you assume they’ll apply to your situation.

Enabling Those who Enable Us

There are nonprofits in the US that are helping to create stable environments for veterans. These nonprofits help with PTSD treatment as well as general life skills. These treatments and skills give veterans a sense of stability that they may have been lacking since they left the military. This newfound sense of stability in turn contributes to their overall employability.

However a company goes about creating opportunities for the wounded and retired warriors amongst us, it’s important that companies make an effort, at the least, to acknowledge the competitive edge that veterans bring to the table.

The United States Postal Service, for example, rewards points for certain positions to veterans based on factors like their service time or disabilities, all of which can help give them a well-deserved preference over other candidates.

In an era where new technologies like AI and automation enable us to use increasingly complex candidate screening software and other hiring tools in order to vet applicants, it’s important that hiring personnel still take the time to purposefully step back from the facts and data and recognize the veterans amongst us. From their role as inherently responsible, organized achievers to their willingness to continually learn and grow, veterans add a uniquely genuine element to any workforce.

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