Time and time again, across hundreds of companies, the same question has been discussed during the recruiting and hiring process – where do we get our best employees? And though “employee referrals” always ranks as the #1 answer, even the companies with the best pipeline of employee referrals cannot support all of the needs of a growing company. So what’s the next most common answer? Military veterans. It’s no longer breaking news that military veterans make great employees, and recent efforts by the federal government and media to promote that fact have raised awareness and blown out some long-standing false stereotypes.
The fact is, years and years of research have proven this beyond any doubt. Consider your last several hires and the skills they brought to the table. While you may have gotten “lucky” in your employment search and found a candidate that met your needs and can get the job done, a military veteran transitioning to civilian life has skills that the majority of the normal population does not. Veterans are highly skilled, dependable, and disciplined. In fact, it has been shown that the following qualities are found more frequently and at higher levels than the general population where every company sources its employees:
- Strong work ethic
- Goal orientation
- Critical thinking and problem solving skills
- Leadership and influence skills
- Excellent Communication skills
- Adaptability and flexibility
- Works well under pressure
- Safety conscious
Of course, this is just a few of the qualities that are frequently associated with military veterans, but this list is important because strength in these areas stands in stark contrast to the most common reasons that employees fail. And because today’s military is an all-volunteer force, teamwork, leadership, and human relations skills are emphasized now more than ever. The military itself has even recognized the high cost of excessive turnover and has correlated higher reenlistment rates when these qualities are emphasized in a military unit.
So next time you have a position to fill, consider the following 4 points before looking past the resume of a military veteran in the process of transitioning from active duty service. If any of these goals are important to your team, you may want to slow down and take a closer look:
- Raising the performance bar. Nearly all military veterans have had to supervise workers and be held responsible for finishing jobs so they understand importance of both meeting requirements and quality work. Though you may not need a supervisor, hiring people who can raise the bar as peer-level leaders who set a positive example can help you raise standards on your team. Military training teaches responsibility and completion of every project, which is a skill transferred to their work for you.
- Upside potential. Most military members have surprising breadth and depth of relatable skills compared to their years of experience. Beyond that, they develop new ones very quickly. Consider that the military is a highly complex technology and industrial industry that trains citizens with no skills to tackle jobs of the highest national importance and you realize that the complexity of what the U. S. Armed Forces does is mind boggling. Military vets are used to learning new skills on the fly because our nation applies its military resources in many ways that can and cannot be trained in advance, and what military members understand clearly is the need to quickly figure out what is needed to get a job done even if means outside of work training time to build a new skill set. The benefits an employer can enjoy from continuous learning, adaptation to rapidly changing environments, and 24/7/365 duty mindset developed by military experience in the modern era cannot be overstated.
- Building teams with employees who work together. Teamwork, independence, and hard work go hand and hand. Comradery developed from working hard with their team to reach worthwhile goals is the one thing all military veterans miss about the service, and these efforts build a bond among people. If you want grow team that works better together, there is no better way to encourage that than by adding military veterans to your team when you are looking for staff. Hard work every day can and should be expected whether working within a team or independently.
- Adding tough-minded performers. Most military members are both surprised and confused by the absence of corrective feedback from employers and peers once they leave the military. To the military veteran, seeing how many people avoid dealing with issues in the work place due to a greater concern of being liked makes no sense to the veteran. Military members are used to being held to high standards and being called out if they don’t. If you want someone who not only will be able to accept corrective guidance from your leaders but actually want it, there is no other environment in America today that prepares people for being held accountable to standards better than the military.
Are you convinced to hire a military vet? If so, don’t run into one of the biggest problems companies have in hiring veterans – finding qualified vets. Absolutely American can help you reach your military hiring goals. Contact us today to get started finding the right vet for your team.
Copyright: flynt / 123RF Stock Photo