Hiring veterans can provide employers with valuable skills

10.29.2013


Hiring veterans can provide employers with valuable skills.
Hiring veterans can provide employers with valuable skills.

They sacrifice themselves for the good of the country. They're great leaders, can take orders and are dedicated to any team they're on. So why are unemployment numbers for veterans higher than the national unemployment rates? Hiring veterans can be a great way for companies to snag great employees, and understanding their abilities before making decisions will help you improve your workforce.

As veterans enter the job market, it can seem difficult to translate their resumes and the hard skills they can bring to an organization, but rest assured that their abilities can translate from the battlefield to civilian ranks. Experienced veterans are trained and focused on expecting and overcoming any obstacles in their paths, allowing nothing to stand between them and succeeding, as a recent Forbes article points out.

They are also well-versed in leadership, as experience on the battlefield has mission critical consequences if the job isn't performed to its fullest. Employees with these skills should be highly desired, and by hiring a veteran you can rest assured that your newest workers will bring the same attention to detail, preparedness and leadership to your organization.

Seeing these skills might not be easy from a civilian standpoint, according to Military.com, and many employers don't hire veterans because their resumes end up discounting them from the selection process early. Oftentimes, translating skills from the battlefield into skills on a resume can be an arduous process for a veteran, sometimes leading to a resume that seems lacking compared to other applicants. Relying on their application to determine exactly what they can bring to your office is not the right way to consider a veteran. Instead, in an interview format, they can more easily explain what their requirements, responsibilities and job descriptions were. Likely, their true value will shine through in a one-on-one format.

Don't believe the stereotypes
Some employers also believe that veterans don't meet the exact needs of their office, sometimes having built preconceived notions of what to expect from them such as anger issues, overt formality or stress issues. In reality, a veteran is no different than any other worker, only with different work experience. Give them a chance much like you'd give any other employee a chance, and don't count them out just because you don't think they're ready for your specific needs.

Connecting with veterans can sometimes be hard, as they often aren't used to the office environment. Working with temporary employment agencies can often remove this difficulty, as they will coach any applicants and help them ascertain what is and isn't to be expected in a civilian environment. Most hiring managers' concerns about veterans will end up being unfounded, as they will be well-prepared to take on whatever challenges are asked of them, typically needing only the same guidance and mentorship that civilian employees seek.

Training opportunities can provide further help
Likewise, some veterans may not have the specific requirements needed for a certain job, but education and training opportunities your company can offer will help them get up to speed fast, allowing them to flourish in the position itself if given the opportunity. Any additional experience or education on their resume should be a bright point in your evaluation of them, as it shows they don't expect special treatment and are willing to work hard once given the opportunity.

The establishment of new government programs and initiatives specifically tailored to veterans can further provide them with the appropriate preparation for the workforce, giving them skills specifically required by some jobs. Such training programs, as well as companies' in-house training operations, can help lay to rest any questions employers may have when bringing veterans onto their workforce.