Military veterans have a lot to offer for your organization, including performing under pressure, experience working in diverse teams, and a mission-focused approach. In addition, they often have technical skills and important qualities that help them adapt to the workplace. Studies have shown that military veterans are also more productive workers and tend to have higher retention rates.
There is a strong business case for hiring individuals with military backgrounds and experience and including this group in your diversity recruiting strategy. Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families has published research-informed validations about the value of military veterans in a civilian workforce. The academic research makes a compelling argument that the abilities, skills, and attitudes that result from military training are highly transferrable to the business world.
Military veterans have access to advanced technology during their military careers, typically providing them with more technical skills than other candidates. In addition, individuals with military experience often have acquired a strong work ethic, problem-solving abilities, teamwork, and leadership skills. They are likely to have characteristics such as integrity, adaptability, and resilience. Military veterans are also accustomed to making decisions in dynamic, uncertain environments and performing under pressure.
The Department of Labor published an Employer Guide to Hiring Veterans that includes useful information on building a recruitment strategy to hiring and recruit qualified military veterans. They offer several resources to help create a recruitment plan, provide information to attract and retain veterans, and a business center to help employers find candidates. These American Job Centers are sometimes known as “Career One-Stops” or “Career Centers,” depending on the state. They provide services to employers, such as assistance in writing job descriptions, posting jobs, reviewing applicant resumés, coordinating job fairs, offering locations to conduct interviews, assessing applicants’ skills, and providing job candidate referrals.
In addition to utilizing outside resources, employers can leverage their own resources internally. For example, creating an Employee Resource Group (ERG) comprised of military veterans can help you recruit and promote the hiring strategy. Involve your military veteran employees in the recruiting strategy by making them part of the process through bringing visibility to their experience, knowledge, and success in your recruitment materials. Mentorship programs can also be useful in creating relationships among your employees who have military experience and can extend beyond your organization in developing internship opportunities.
While the military has come under fire in this area to some degree, statistics of volunteer military members actually show that they represent a varied workforce in dimensions such as ethnicity, culture, values, and educational background. Studies have shown that people with military experience are highly accepting of individual differences in a work setting and are culturally sensitive to others in workplace interactions. Studies also highlight that military veterans often have more international experience, speak fluently in other languages, and have a higher level of cultural sensitivity than their peers without military experience.
Hiring veterans may also help employers qualify for a tax credit. The federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program can reduce an employer’s federal income tax liability, which varies based on the number of hours worked in the initial year of hire. For more information, refer to the government’s WOTC website, and Cadient’s previous articles about WOTC in the Resources section found on our website.
Cadient Talent is proud to offer functionality that allows employers to quickly identify applicants who have military service with the use of our military veteran badge icon. We make it easier for you to identify and hire military veterans.