Why Military Veterans Can Transform Your Company—And How To Attract, Hire, And Retain Them
May 23, 2019

Why Military Veterans Can Transform Your Company—And How To Attract, Hire, And Retain Them

Alex Csedrik

Memorial Day honors those in the military who gave the ultimate sacrifice for this country. While it’s so important to honor the past, we can’t forget the present and future. One way you can achieve this is have your team focus on attracting and hiring more veterans.

April’s unemployment rate for veterans fell to 2.3 percent, the lowest it’s been in 18 years, and a significant decrease from last year’s rate of 3.5 percent. This can be attributed to programs like Hiring Our Heroes, a nationwide initiative created by the U.S. Chamber Foundation to help veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment.

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It’s great because military veterans are a great asset for companies. Not only do they possess a multitude of talents, they have acquired diversity. Here’s why they’re such valuable employees, and how your company can attract and hire more of them.

Veterans Have Strong Soft Skills (AKA Foundational Skills)

Recruiting managers consistently struggle to find candidates with the requisite soft skills—what we call foundational skills because of their immense importance—needed for success. In fact, more than 60 percent of applicants fail to move past the first round of interviews because of their lack of foundational skills.

One group that doesn’t struggle with foundational skills? Veterans.

According to Fast Company, military veterans check so many of the foundational skills’ boxes. Because not only do they possess leadership capabilities, they also understand the value of following.

And they’re great problem-solvers. Preparing for field situations means strong decision-making skills—and in the field this also means doing so under immense pressure. This makes them ideal for the modern workforce, where flexibility and adaptability are critical traits that high-performing employees need.   

Not to mention, as Forbes points out, military veterans are the ultimate team players. They understand what it takes to get the job done, and how every person on a team is needed to achieve the goal. And they have been immersed in military culture and its code of conduct, so they hold themselves accountable for mistakes while also understanding the difference between right and wrong.

Bottom line: Your team should always be looking to attract and hire veterans—the fact that this talent pool comes with great foundational skills is a bonus.  

How You Attract And Hire More Veterans

hire military veterans

While veterans do have a lot of skills, companies have to reconsider how they’re hiring top talent if they want to tap into this deep talent pool. If organizations continue to use rigid, old-fashioned hiring practices, they won’t be able to attract veteran candidates, claims Forbes .

And one way to be more forward-thinking is to offer on-the-job training. Remember, these candidates have a base that includes the strong foundational skills needed for success. Highlighting that your company is willing to teach its workers hard skills promotes a culture of professional development.

Another way your team can recruit more veterans is by understanding how a veteran’s skillset translates. For instance, putting a veteran’s skills into language that civilians can understand is a perfect way to do this, according to Military.com. Your team can achieve this by asking for help from any of your current veteran employees and by reaching out to advocacy and resource organizations.

And you can broaden your sourcing and veteran candidate attraction by emphasizing digital recruitment. It’ll help you reach and engage military veterans across the U.S. with varying backgrounds and points-of-view.

Military Veterans Are Dedicated Employees

You want your team to hire top talent, but you also want them to get employees that’ll stay with the company. In 2018, the median number of years that workers stayed with their company was 4.2 years.

That’s not true of veterans, claims Inc.com. As people who served their country, there’s an innate loyalty they possess. This holds true for the companies that hire them. They’ll be very dedicated to your company.

But that comes with a caveat. Veterans want meaningful work. If a company has veterans perform menial tasks or doesn’t afford them the opportunity to apply the skills and abilities they have, they’ll lose that worker within one year or less, according to a Veteran Job Retention Survey.

Give your veteran employees tasks that they can sink their teeth into, and you’ll see that they haven’t bit off more than they can chew.

Military veterans are ready to join your company, and finding the right job for them will serve everyone’s best interests.

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