Companies that don’t employ veterans miss out on a host of benefits. Veterans are hardworking, highly responsible, intuitive and adaptable, among other valuable traits. The experience veterans bring to the table is unparalleled, and more employers need to see that.
While 76 percent of employers want to hire veterans, they have their doubts about the transferability of military experience. Only 38 percent think military skills are usable in the civilian workplace, while 62 percent think veterans need to gain more soft and hard skills outside of the military. Those 62 percent of employers are missing out. Here are 11 benefits of employing veterans.
1. Boatloads of High-Stakes Leadership Experience
Most veterans experienced leadership responsibilities from a young age. By about age 20, many officers are already in leadership roles. As you climb the ranks of the military, your leadership responsibilities and burdens become increasingly greater. You’re forced to deal with high-stakes decisions, circumstances and outcomes.
2. Serious Mindset About Responsibility
In the military, if you fail, you fail hard. The stakes are high, and you have a duty to do. Veterans hold a serious mindset about responsibility. Many veterans went through trials and tribulations they won’t readily share, but those burdens and tests of strength deepened their respect regarding responsibility — to respond proactively.
3. Fine-Tuned Intuition
Intuition isn’t for the faint of heart or psychics. Intuition is a core part of being a leader, and being in the military means making life-and-death decisions every day, which may be your last. Veterans are used to quickly assessing situations and using fine-tuned intuition to make the choice that’s right for all.
4. Direct, Open Communication
Many employees keep their heads down and do enough to take home a paycheck. Veterans value the power of words and honesty, and as employees, they come to the table with direct, open communication.
Be sure you’ll hear it if they see negative consequences on the horizon or an oversight. Experiencing a communication problem? Veterans will say their piece on what matters and let go of what’s unnecessary.
5. High-Level Organization
Military life thrives on structure and organization. Veterans contribute these high-level organizational skills to their employers. Verizon Communications’ chief executive is a veteran — Lowell C. McAdam learned strong organization skills in the military long before he took on this important leadership role. Veterans utilize their organizational skills to structure companies, policies, services and more.
Veterans come from a life of moving forward with mission constantly in mind. Your company mission will be the objective, strategy and motivator to a veteran instead of a few sentences about vision on paper.
Your mission means something to the world and your customers, and veterans will put their best foot forward based on that every day.
7. Continuous Learners
Veterans had to quickly absorb large amounts of information while in service. Learning what you can in advance proves valuable in any field, but you’re also learning on the job, too. Veterans know that, and value continuous learning.
Employers who still believe veterans need more education after their military careers shouldn’t have fear or doubt. Veterans are more than willing to step up and take advantage of the Veterans Education Assistance Program (VEAP) that they paid into while in the military — the government matches that number two to one. Veterans can use the funds for college, technical courses, apprenticeships, on-the-job training and more.
Missions and conditions quickly change, and veterans learned to respond to shifting circumstances with proactive grace and forethought. Their adaptability is useful across departments and situations.
Have a temperamental or bothersome client? Hand them over to your veteran employee, who will quickly adapt and resolve any issues that arise.
Fast-paced and cutthroat, business isn’t for those who hesitate in the face of change. Markets and demands shift daily, and a highly responsive employee who quickly makes the right call can save your business.
9. Tasks Completed With Urgency and Care
You outline the objective, and a veteran employee will complete any and every task assigned to the best of their ability every time. Those in the military play vital roles, and they know no task is too big or small. Every step matters and should be completed with urgency and care.
10. Entrepreneurial Spirit
While many veterans grow used to and prefer military structure and organization, others want to move on to more flexibility and freedom. The civilian sector lacks discipline in some veterans’ eyes, and they see mediocrity rewarded over excellence. All workers deserve better. Veterans represent a force of discipline and independence, all in one package, that will shake up work culture.
Some veterans start their own business or ally themselves with startups that have a mission they value while asserting more independence and creativity. Combine that with all the benefits of military training, and you’ve got a stellar startup employee.
11.Far More Capable Than You Think
It’s harmful when an employer underestimates existing and prospective talent. Veterans are far more capable than you think. In the military, they have to work with what they get and move through changing situations using their training and wits. Provide adequate training, and a veteran employee will surprise you with what they get done.
Don’t discount veterans. Their military skills and values transfer over to civilian life, and they’ll provide revolutionary insights into business strategy while proving themselves as employees.
Every day, veteran employees will bring their best to the table. If you say no to their application, you may see them next year as your business competitor.
About the Author
Sarah Landrum is the founder of Punched Clocks, a career and happiness blog. As a freelance writer, Sarah enjoys writing about a variety of topics from career and business to healthy living. Catch her on Twitter @SarahLandrum for more great advice.