Some 200,000 U.S. military service members transition to civilian life each year and begin looking for jobs in a variety of fields, according to the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs (USVA). Despite the many benefits of hiring veteran employees, some have difficulty finding work in part because employers have difficulty seeing the transferrable skills veterans gained from their service and think they will have trouble adjusting to a civilian job.
These companies are missing out on a large pool of qualified candidates who bring diverse perspectives and a unique skillset to the table. So, why hire veterans? While each veteran’s experience and skills are different, here are the skills and attributes many veterans share and why hiring them is a smart business decision.
The Top Skills and Attributes
Here are some of the many skills and personality traits that veterans bring to the workplace.
1. Quick Learners
One of the benefits of hiring veteran employees is that they are accustomed to completing rigorous training programs. Many are fast learners, follow instructions, and are adaptable. They are typically confident in their ability to learn new skills, so they’re comfortable taking on new challenges.
Veterans often become leaders in their early 20s, ahead of many of their peers in corporate roles. Many are responsible for managing and training direct reports. They learn to delegate, give clear instructions, and provide actionable feedback. Leading by example also comes quite naturally for veterans.
3. Operational Knowledge
Service members, and especially those coming from officer or more senior enlisted ranks, have strong operational skills. They can manage the operations process from the planning stages to reviewing and reporting on performance with the customary “after action review.” One of the benefits of hiring veteran employees is that they will be able to use their research, preparation, implementation, and analytical skills to spearhead company projects.
The Army teaches a seven-step problem-solving process that veterans can use to help their teams make strategic decisions. It walks people through the entire process, from information gathering and determining the problem to deciding between potential solutions and making and acting on the final decision.
Whether they’re on active or reserve duty, it’s essential for service members to use relationship-building skills. They must coordinate with people in their unit and with other units throughout their command. It’s crucial to have active listening, communication, teamwork, empathy, and other social skills. Service members are also accustomed to working with a diverse team and people from different countries and can help make your company more inclusive.
6. Stress Management
Service members must work calmly and carefully in high-stress, fast-paced situations. They often develop healthy coping mechanisms, such as meditating, setting small goals, and exercising. The stressors of most corporate jobs – such as tight deadlines, quick decisions, and difficult colleagues – are likely to feel less overwhelming.
The U.S. military branches value core values such as integrity, courage, respect, honor, initiative, selflessness, and excellence. Veterans with these values will be an asset to any organization. They are team-oriented, responsible, motivated, hard-working, respectful, and trustworthy.
Service members are loyal to their military branch and their individual units. Loyal people often value teamwork and working together to accomplish shared goals. This is one of the biggest benefits of hiring veteran employees because, if veterans are loyal to your company, it’s likely that employee retention and teamwork will increase.
Veterans are accustomed to being responsible for achieving their goals and objectives and helping their subordinates do the same. They’re also committed to following the policies and procedures that will help their units succeed. The process of setting goals and developing strategies to accomplish them is integral to being effective at any job.
The Main Benefits of Hiring Veteran Employees
Here are some of the most meaningful improvements you’re likely to see by adding veterans to your team.
Strengthen Your Company Culture
When you have a well-defined company culture, your team has set values, behaviors, and goals. The best way to strengthen your company culture is to hire people whose values, goals, and actions are aligned. For example, if your company values teamwork, leadership, loyalty, problem-solving, respect, and strategic thinking, bringing veterans on board will be a force multiplier for your company’s mission and values.
Candidates and employees want to work at a company that has an established company culture. By strengthening your company culture, you will be able to attract and retain the talent you need to make your business more successful.
Improve Employee Morale and Engagement
When you have a strong company culture and collaborative team, employee morale should increase. When there is high employee morale, job satisfaction, productivity, motivation, and quality of work increase.
High employee morale typically translates into higher levels of employee engagement, meaning your employees are excited about their work and committed to your company. Research shows that companies with high employee engagement are more profitable than their competitors, in part because they have an easier time recruiting and retaining top talent.
Enhance Your Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Efforts
One of the largest benefits of hiring veteran employees is that you will be gaining team members with diverse lived experiences. Companies in the top quartile for diversity are more profitable than those in the bottom quartile, according to data from the consulting firm McKinsey. It is especially impactful to have diverse leaders who can connect with a broader range of clients, customers, and employees and have decision-making power.
Service members learn to lead and work with people of different racial, ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic backgrounds and diverse lived experiences. They are likely to be able to help make your team more inclusive. Candidates and employees value companies with strong DEI efforts, so this will help you attract and keep talent.
All these advantages will lead to increased quality of work and productivity, making your business more profitable. Additionally, the U.S. federal government provides a Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) to companies that hire applicants from “targeted groups” that have traditionally faced employment barriers. You can get this tax credit for hiring eligible veterans.
Start Hiring Skilled Veterans Today
Now that you know the benefits of hiring veteran employees, you may be eager to grow your team. Reach a diverse group of qualified candidates, including veterans, by creating a free job posting on Monster.