Business owners always look at their budgets this year with precision, trying to find ways to cut costs and maximize profits. However, businesses can add to their bottom line by doing something that normally costs money – hiring. In the recent fiscal cliff package that Congress negotiated, the work opportunity tax credits for veterans were extended through 2013. The credits reward businesses for providing employment to those who have served our country, $5,600 in tax credits per unemployed veteran hired, and $9,600 per disabled veteran.
Still, veterans are having trouble finding new roles after they serve. The unemployment rate for post September 11 veterans is 9.6%, while the general population’s unemployment rate is 7.7%. As a proud veteran and an employer of numerous veterans, I wanted to take a moment to share thoughts about the transition of our Armed Services members to the civilian sector. I left the Army in 1999 and was told that many people in my situation would change careers a few times before landing on something that was a good fit. This wasn’t encouraging news since I had only known the Army for the previous nine years. They were right….two employers in the next five years before I landed here in 2004. Prior to The Oliver Group, I felt I was capable, confident and eager to learn, yet our worlds (employer and mine) were in different orbits. I don’t think they valued what the military experience instilled in me. This is where education comes in.
We see many resumes in our Executive Search practice for former military officers and non-commissioned officers with many years of experience – some skills related and others, not so transferrable. But as I have come to learn, it’s the motivation and the behaviors these men and women possess that make or break the experience. So why should you hire a veteran?
I invite you to learn more by sharing an article from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development to answer that question. I encourage you to review this list and make an effort to hire veterans.
Education, training, values, leadership and teamwork. Veterans bring all this and more to the workplace. There are many good reasons to hire a veteran. But let’s start with the top 10 reasons below.
Accelerated learning curve
Veterans have the proven ability to learn new skills and concepts. In addition, they can join your team with identifiable and transferable skills, proven in real world situations. Such background enhances your company’s productivity.
The military trains people to lead by example as well as through direction, delegation, motivation and inspiration. Veterans understand the practical ways to manage behaviors for results, even in the most trying circumstances. They also know the dynamics of leadership as part of both hierarchical and peer structures.
Veterans understand how genuine teamwork grows out of a responsibility to one’s colleagues. Military duties involve a blend of individual and group productivity. They also necessitate a perception of how groups of all sizes relate to each other and an overarching objective.
Diversity and Inclusion in Action
Veterans have learned to work side by side with people, regardless of diverse race, gender, geographic origin, ethnic background, religion and economic status as well as mental, physical and attitudinal capabilities. They have the sensitivity to cooperate and work successfully with many different types of people.
Efficient performance under pressure
Veterans understand the rigors of tight schedules and limited resources. They have developed the capacity to accomplish priorities on time, in spite of tremendous stress. They know the critical importance of staying with a task until it is done right.
Respect for procedures
Veterans have gained a unique perspective on the value of accountability. They can grasp their place within an organizational framework, becoming responsible for subordinates’ actions to higher supervisory levels. They know how policies and procedures enable an organization to function efficiently and effectively.
Technology and globalization
Because of their experiences in the service, veterans are usually aware of international and technical trends pertinent to business and industry. They can bring the kind of global outlook and technological savvy that all enterprises of any size need to succeed.
Veterans know what it means to do “an honest day’s work.” Prospective employers can take advantage of a track record of integrity, often including security clearances. This integrity translates into qualities of sincerity and trustworthiness.
Conscious of health and safety standards
Thanks to extensive training, veterans are aware of health and safety protocols both for themselves and the welfare of others. Individually, they represent a drug-free workforce that is cognizant of maintaining personal health and fitness. On a company level, their awareness and conscientiousness translate into protection of employees, property and materials.
Triumph over adversity
In addition to dealing positively with the typical issues of personal maturity, veterans have frequently triumphed over great adversity. They likely have proven their mettle in mission critical situations demanding endurance, stamina and flexibility. They may have overcome personal disabilities through strengths and determination.
Article (minus repost) by Scott Kiefer.