Veterans are entering the workforce in huge numbers, and while unemployment among veterans is decreasing, these individuals frequently find themselves underemployed or working in positions far below their capabilities. This is a shame because veterans, as a group, have a lot to bring to your business.
If you’re considering hiring a veteran or you saw a vet’s application come through your inbox, keep these six factors in mind.
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone with a stronger sense of personal responsibility than a veteran. The reality of military life is that failing to do your job correctly can have big consequences—in many cases, lives are on the line. Military personnel are ingrained with a deep sense of responsibility for doing their part, from basic training right up to active deployment. This trait often follows them into civilian life and the workplace. In fact, some companies report as much as 7% lower absentee rates for ex-military employees likely because of how responsible they are.
Military training also helps service members develop leadership skills that are as useful in the boardroom or on the sales floor as they are on the battlefield. Many high-level executives have served in the armed forces, and they have applied their leadership skills to civilian jobs with great success. Daniel Akerson, CEO of General Motors, credits his service with teaching him essential leadership skills: the ability to lead by example, make tough decisions, and take good care of his employees.
No matter how hectic the day-to-day operations of your business are, there’s a good chance that a veteran is equipped with the skills to handle them. Especially in combat situations, soldiers need to be able to focus and make snap decisions. Military training and the realities of combat help strengthen a veteran’s ability to operate efficiently even in extreme situations. This skill is often carried over to civilian life, and it is definitely one you want in your employees.
Military training teaches service members the importance of working hard and seeing a job through to the end. When your business has tight deadlines and big targets to meet, that’s exactly the type of attitude you’ll need on your team.
Clear communication is as essential to a successful business as it is to a successful military operation, and you’ll find strong communication skills in nearly any former service member. Vets communicate clearly and respectfully and generally aren’t afraid to speak their minds if they feel it’s beneficial to the situation at hand. The latter attribute can be a great asset if you need someone to talk to as you’re thinking through tough business decisions or need to delegate additional work responsibilities.
With all that military members can bring to the table, getting a tax credit for hiring a vet is just a bonus. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit, Wounded Warriors Tax Credit, and Returning Heroes Tax Credit can add up to thousands of dollars in annual tax incentives for your company if you hire a vet.
These are only six of many reasons why hiring a vet is a great idea for your business. The next time you’re hiring and you see a veteran’s résumé come through, make sure to take a second look—you might have just found your next, and best, employee.