There are so many good reasons to recruit and hire veterans. As a recruiter I’m not telling you to be biased towards hiring vets, that wouldn’t be fair and there are just as many non-vets out there that are worth hiring also. If you are looking for someone to come on board and get brought up to speed on a project or process within your company, vet candidates are worth a second look. It’s difficult for a lot of vets out there to find a good job post-separation or retirement that lines up with the skills they learned while working in their active duty position. However, what the military does is train individuals to emphasize their “intangible” skills and that’s where the payoff is for hiring a vet. Here are a few examples of what I’m talking about.
Vets are Mission-Focused
Vets who have spent 20 years in active duty or more are well accustomed to being mission focused. While what your company is looking for is not someone to lead an extraction behind enemy lines, or monitor terrorist chatter to keep the country safe, the vet sees your mission no differently. For a vet, there’s a mission and they will do what’s necessary to carry out it and see it to completion. As a program manager who has a large project for a defense client, or a bank with a major marketing overhaul and re-branding, you will find that a vet will get direction and follow it with exactness. Vets understand timeliness, deadlines, and milestones and generally don’t need a lot of oversight of their tasking.
Vets Understand the “Chain of Command”
Why is it important to understand what a “chain of command” is? Without understanding how to escalate a difficult issue, it can cause major personnel issues that ripple through the lowest of levels. If there is a misunderstanding, the vet knows that the goal is to solve the problem at the lowest level possible. If there isn’t a need to escalate it to the manager, then they won’t. Too often these days, employees send off terrible “heat of the moment” emails which cause a lot of damage. Understanding when to escalate an issue, and who to escalate it too is a good skill to learn… the vet is already well vested in this knowledge. When your coworker isn’t pulling their weight, you don’t report it to the CEO, you try to work it out with each other first and only escalate if needed.
A Vet is Trustworthy and Loyal
The last thing any employer wants is an employee who you can’t trust or who you feel will jump ship at the first sign of trouble. This is not how a vet operates. If there are problems or choppy water ahead, the vet is trained to assess the situation and figure out the best approach to getting through it. Your company might have a bad quarter, or come up short on performance bonus money… this isn’t going to deter a vet from maintaining loyalty to their employer. Of course there are situations where certain employers make life very difficult for their employees, anyone would find a way to better their situation. When there is trouble, a vet will do their best to rise to the occasion and find ways they can make their situation better instead of relying on any one individual. A vet with a record of serving their country will apply the same feeling toward supporting and standing by their employer, for this reason alone, you should look to hire vets.
Serve Them Because They Served You
It can be very difficult for a vet to separate or retire from service and find a job that they are a good fit for. They’ve just spent anywhere from 4 to 20+ years serving their country in jobs that don’t necessarily transfer over to the civilian world. I spent four years as an Air Force Intelligence Analyst with the bulk of that time spent copying Morse code….last I checked there weren’t many professional Morse analysts needed in the job market. I dove into the IT career field because there was a company which was willing to train me given that I was a vet and had the drive to learn. Don’t pass over a vet’s resume that isn’t full of concrete experience, find a way to give them a shot simply because they spent some of the best years of their lives serving you. We owe a debt of gratitude to our vets, whether they are 22 or 94, if they are out there looking for a job, give them a shot and reap the benefits of having them on your team.