To Continue to Serve: Hiring Veterans Is On The Rise, And For Good Reason

Business.com / HR Solutions / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

The best way to thank a veteran is to hire one. Learn the many ways veterans add value to your business.

Hiring is on the rise. According to a recent report in Reuters, June saw the highest level of hiring in a five-month long ever-increasing streak. While the summer is expected to see those numbers stabilize, the bottom line is that it’s a good time for potential employees to seek positions.

While the average hiring across the country is increasing, what’s particularly striking is the recent surge in corporate recruitment of military veteran candidates for open positions. Business News Daily reports that a recent survey showed 29 percent of employers are actively recruiting veterans to work for their organizations over just 20 percent last year.  

That’s no accident, as companies like Chase, Disney and Google are recognizing the incredible skill sets that veterans bring to their organization, these companies are creating specific veteran hiring corporate objectives. Veterans are highly trained and possess a myriad of vital successful traits that every employer and office will benefit from.

If you haven’t considered all the ways in which a veteran could be the perfect fit for your business or department, you will want to read on, since as Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis once said, “The best way to thank a veteran is to hire one.”

Here are five of the many reasons why hiring veterans will bring incredible value to your business.

Related Article: Reporting for Duty: Why Franchises are Courting Veterans

1. Big Picture Thinking

In an article for Forbes, entrepreneur and veteran, Shane Robinson shares his own personal struggles and experience trying to find work when he transitioned from the military to private sector work. In making the case for hiring veterans, he emphasized many of the skills veterans bring, like big picture mindset.

Big picture thinking is routinely required of military personnel, who must complete specific tasks but must also be able to relate their piece to the larger overall objective. As Shane writes, “vets are trained to keep a watchful eye on the big picture, while maintaining an immaculate sense of detail. Such ability is incredibly rare.”

What could be better for your organization than a new hire that understands the importance of completing their specific objectives in order to further the bigger goal of the organization?

2. Urgent Decision-Making

Veterans, especially those veterans with combat experience, are used to making incredibly urgent, important and challenging decisions as part of their military experience. Veterans have likely experienced very real stress that amounts to life or death decisions and thus are capable and experienced at urgent decision making.

The ability to stay calm and work under stress while still making critical decisions are the traits of great leaders and you’ll find many of these highly prized character traits in veteran applicants.

Robinson articulates this reality explaining, “Despite the rigidity of military regulations and the certainty provided by standard operating procedures, officers and enlisted soldiers alike are accustomed to making significant decisions in the face of moral dilemma, under the threat of physical harm and in a myriad of other uncertain situations. The ability to creatively solve problems in the face of unprecedented situations is a quality.”

Syracuse University Institute for Veterans and Military Families supports this even further explaining that cognitive and decision-making research has demonstrated military experience is positively correlated to the ability to evaluate and make decisions in a chaotic or stressful environment.

Many studies have highlighted this ability and further pointed out that it is even more personified in veterans with combat experience. If you’re looking for a team member who understands staying calm under pressure and can weigh out important decisions, a veteran has experience that will likely surpass any other applicant.

3. Ability to Work in Teams

The same report from the Syracuse University explains that your approach to hiring veterans should go beyond just a feeling of wanting to hire and can actually be supported by academic research, specifically from business, psychology and sociology fields. Data-driven models demonstrate veterans are linked to enhanced performance and organizational advantages in the workplace.

Veterans are consistently reported as being more trustworthy by their co-workers and veterans themselves report higher feelings of trust in their leadership and co-workers. The Department of Veterans Affairs further supports this claim stating "veterans understand the importance of teamwork, especially combat veterans, whose lives have literally depended on everyone doing what is best for others.

Veterans also understand that the concept of “team” varies, be it individuals within a department working together, or many units and branches joining forces to achieve a common goal.” Teamwork and trust are two key components of your staff’s harmonious success and veterans can help bring those qualities to the department, as well as help promote those traits within your organization.

Related Article: Protect, Serve & Start A Business: Resources for Entrepreneurial Veterans

4. Best Training and Technology

Aside from the mindset training and skills that today’s veterans embody, the United States military provides intense training to its members. When veterans enter the private sector, they’re endowed with the most up-to-date technological training and skills available. Research presented by Syracuse University explains this by sharing that, “Military experience, on average, exposes individuals to highly advanced technology and technology training at a rate that is accelerated relative to non-military, age group peers.

Research validates this accelerated exposure to high-technology contributes to an enhanced ability to link technology-based solutions to organizational challenges, and also the transfer of technological skills to disparate work-tasks.” In other words, not only will a veteran hire be more likely to have the best technological training on the market, they’ll also be better prepared and able to translate their current skills across other needs within the work environment.

The ability to be adaptive is a crucial skill for any employee and your organization is sure to benefit from the flexibility and applied skills of a veteran.

5. Commitment and Dedication

Veterans know about commitment in a way that few others can truly understand. These service men and women pledged varying lengths of life commitments to the military. According to the same report by Syracuse University, the military is particularly good at institutional socialization and as a result “the military experience engenders a strong linkage between the individual and the organization.”

They go on to explain that studies support and show veterans bring a strong sense of organizational commitment and loyalty to the civilian workplace. The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology further supports this idea, saying that veterans “possess numerous attributes, including loyalty, leadership ability, respect, integrity, duty, reliability, and working as team members, that employers value in their employees.”

Veterans can be an incredible resource and invaluable assets to your organization. If you’re specifically looking for ways to partner with the veteran organizations to seek out veteran applicants, look to resources like Veterans Job Bank to find the right hire for your group.

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