Why Hiring Veterans Can Be Good for Business
Many businesses may be missing out on the benefits that hiring military veterans can bring to their company. Consider this statement from Jon Davis, a retired Marine sergeant and current hiring manager:
“Few cultures have been engineered quite like those that military veterans have had memberships within. There are even fewer cultures that focus entirely on mission achievement, cooperation, and personal development. The fact is there is no culture in the world that shapes people in the way the military does.”
Here's a sampling of skills and attributes common among veterans that are especially attractive to employers:
- Strong work ethic – Many former military personnel possess a work ethic that incorporates both maturity and professionalism. And in many cases, veterans have learned coping skills to handle stressful situations — so when work gets stressful, don’t expect them to fold.
- Self-direction – Military training emphasizes recognizing complex problems and acquiring the skills needed to resolve them. For this reason, many veterans understand how to address workplace issues without needing significant guidance from supervisors.
- Efficiency – Veterans have experience working in a culture that stresses accuracy and timeliness. They tend to be well-versed in setting priorities, multitasking, and meeting deadlines.
- Willingness to be a team player – Military personnel learn very quickly the importance of being a strong, reliable team player. They understand the value of taking responsibility for not only their work, but for the success of their co-workers, and how working closely together can contribute to overall success.
- Eagerness to learn – The motivation and ability to learn is a key element of military culture. By the time they leave the service, most veterans are adept at processing new information and gaining new skills. Many are already experts in areas like finance, medicine, engineering, administration, and security. And since technology is critical among all armed forces, many vets enter the private sector with advanced technical skills.
- Leadership – Men and women who rise in the ranks generally have done so because they have demonstrated strong leadership skills. So, when they seek civilian employment, they come to the workplace with the ability to inspire and lead others.
These traits alone should make military veterans very attractive to employers, but as an added benefit, there is also significant tax assistance available for employers who hire veterans. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a tax-incentive program aimed at encouraging businesses to recruit and retain staff from specific population groups, including veterans. A business may qualify for a tax credit of up to $9,600 per individual during their first year of employment. There is no limit on how many individuals an employer can hire to qualify for this credit. Note: Renewal of this tax benefit is currently under consideration by the U.S. Congress.
Maturity, self-direction, and a willingness to learn are valuable traits every employer hopes for in their workforce. Veterans who come to the job already in possession of many of these traits are well worth the effort of recruiting and retaining.