Employee insight: Why recruiters shouldn't overlook veterans
“As a veteran myself, I have firsthand experience in the challenges that veterans face when moving from a structured working environment to the corporate world. The more employers do to support ex-military personnel, the better. After all, veterans are highly-trained individuals with strong work ethics. As an executive, are you fully up to date with what your business is doing to support veterans?”
Ken Bowles, Chief Financial Officer, WilsonHCG
Former veterans bring many skills to a workforce as a result of their military experience and, as a result, they shouldn't be overlooked.
Veterans are highly trained individuals with strong work ethics and good values. And they also tend to have a higher rate of retention than their counterparts with a non-military background.
Skills veterans typically have
Veterans have a range of skills that make them well-suited to modern workforces. They have:
Sharp focus - they are able to stay focused and not lose track of their goals.
Discipline - veterans are extremely disciplined.
Solid team leadership skills - if people join the military at the age of 18, they can often be in leadership positions within just a few years leading up to ten individuals,
Flexibility - former military staff understand the importance of flexibility and are able to adapt their plans at just a moment’s notice.
Great problem-solving skills - they’ve got a lot of experience in solving problems and can easily transfer these skills to a non-military environment.
Organizational skills - veterans usually have robust organizational skills.
Planning - veterans have extensive experience in planning due to the many years spent planning for the various operations they’ve been on.
Priority-driven - people who have been in the military are able to prioritize really well.
Communication skills - veterans are used to communicating with a whole range of ranks and are able to adjust how they communicate when required..
Results-oriented - veterans are results driven and know what they must achieve and by what deadline.
Veterans also have many other skills too including conflict resolution, adaptability, and the ability to work with diverse groups of people.
Examples of veteran programs
Many organizations have extensive veteran programs designed specifically to support those with military backgrounds. WilsonHCG runs Operation Transition, which is designed to help veterans highlight their current strengths and develop complementary skills. Operation Transition team members run monthly group training sessions that focus on issues such as resume writing, LinkedIn profile creation and interviewing tips - all of which are designed to help veterans enter the civilian workforce. Military skills matchers are also growing in popularity and they allow people to search for careers that closely match with their military service.
Tax breaks for hiring veterans
The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) gives tax breaks to employers that hire and retain veterans, while the Veterans Workforce Investment Program offers grants to organizations for the hiring and training of veterans. The costs of relocating a veteran hire can also be covered through a government relocation assistance program.
So there you have it - veterans have so many transferable skills and organizations that overlook them, in my opinion, really are missing out.
Andrea Carpenter is a Recruitment Consultant at WilsonHCG.