Hiring military veterans has never been easier – or more profitable – for companies, but unemployment among veterans remains a large problem.
When given a choice between hiring a prospective employee straight out of school with no practical experience or one who has worked in the world’s largest military, for most of us, it would be a no-brainer to hire the veteran. Straight up, the veteran would seem to have the advantage for finding a job in the public sector.
The roots of the problem
In a recent article in Forbes magazine, Cynthia Pasky of Strategic Staffing Solutions tackled the problem, saying, “A lot of times, the resume might not match exactly what they’re looking for, but they never know they rejected a military veteran because the process is often very automated.”
In her opinion, hiring military veterans requires employers to go further during the hiring process. “In some instances, it does take extra steps,” Pasky continued, “but corporations are like, ‘I need to fill the job now, let’s go’.”
By automating the system, the range of experience and skills that the veteran can bring to a job are overlooked or ignored. The system is designed to streamline the hiring process, but many of the advantages that veterans bring are not quantifiable by that system.
Some advantages of hiring military veterans
The number of benefits that companies receive from hiring military veterans is nearly endless, but there are advantages that stand out. Companies are able to receive these benefits from the moment that a veteran begins employment. One of the biggest advantages is that veterans are trained to work in an environment where failure is not an option.
The military emphasizes success, and that emphasis permeates everything they do. Since failure is not an option, military members and veterans approach challenges differently than non-veteran employees. Critical thinking, non-standard solutions and creative problem solving are emphasized in the military-trained mind.
Leadership and flexibility
Most service members attain non-commissioned officer rank within three years of joining the military. As an NCO, leadership and responsibility are stressed. The burdens of leadership start early in the military and increase the longer a service member stays. The military has a tried process of weeding out people who cannot handle the responsibilities that come with the job and it is ingrained in veterans.
Team building is stressed, of course, but independent thinking is also a valued attribute to the military and that trait is nurtured. Military training is, in many ways, the ideal training to create a well-rounded problem-solver who can hit the ground running and seek creative solutions to problems that can baffle a civilian employee.
And the government helps, too
In addition to the personal advantages that hiring military veterans brings to a company, the government also offers a range of tax breaks, retraining programs and other incentives to companies that hire service members. The government also makes it easy to find veterans to hire by training Veteran Employment Representatives for local Bureau of Labor American Job Centers.
With so many advantages to hiring military veterans, it is a wonder that the unemployment rate for former service members hasn’t completely bottomed out.
The National Veterans Foundation has an active site page for jobs for veterans. It is a great place for both job seekers and employers.
Make a difference in a vet’s life. We are veterans helping veterans.
White House Business Council, Guide to Hiring Veterans, 2012
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Situation of Veterans Summary, March 2015 [https://www.bls.gov/news.release/vet.nr0.htm]
Forbes, Why Companies Need To Take A Second Look At Hiring Military Veterans, June 2016 [https://www.forbes.com/sites/joannmuller/2015/06/05/why-companies-need-to-take-a-second-look-at-hiring-military-veterans/]
Military.com, Average Enlisted Military Promotion “Pin-on” Times [https://usmilitary.about.com/od/promotions/l/blenpromrates.htm]