Why Should You Hire Veterans?
By: Recruiting Specialist
At America's Job Exchange, we often discuss why bringing veterans into the workforce is good for business. From the unique skills veterans bring to the table, including leadership and teamwork, to encouraging diversity, all the way through to meeting OFCCP compliance initiatives, hiring veteran can help build a dynamic team and augment your affirmative action planning. The Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) impacts affirmative action and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) hiring, specifically when it comes to hiring veterans and mandates that those doing business with the government ensure their job openings reach qualified veterans and that there is no discrimination in the hiring process.
As an employer, it is imperative that you recognize the unique skills that veterans bring to the workplace. Veterans have key skills and training that adapt well to civilian jobs and can help fill your recruitment and hiring needs. When hiring veterans, focus on their unique skills and training, some of which include:
- Leadership skills: Those with military training have been conditioned to take on a leadership role; being responsible for not only their behavior, but the behavior of their peers.
- Security clearances: The very nature of working as a government employee, veterans come with background and security checks in place.
- Knowledge of cutting-edge technologies: Since the military relies on sophisticated technologies, veterans are highly skilled in this area, which can minimize the need for training.
- Ability to work under pressure: Those who have served in the military are used to adapting to ever-changing situations, and are required to work long hours, sometimes under difficult circumstance. These are skills that can easily be translated to a civilian job.
- Teamwork: Veterans understand well how every individual in a team is vital for the group's productivity, success and morale. Additionally, veterans have learned to work side-by-side with individuals regardless of race, color, ethnic background, religion or economic status.
- Efficiency and Diligence: Veterans are trained to meet deadlines in a timely fashion in spite of any stress. They understand the importance of sticking with a task till it is completed.
- Health Savvy: A direct effect of veterans' extensive training is their acute awareness of health and safety protocols. They generally represent a drug-free workforce. For a company, this means protection of employees, property and materials.
- Integrity: Veterans have a proven track record of integrity that employers can benefit from. It translates into such employees being sincere and trustworthy.
Based on the above, it is clear that veterans are desirable candidates. However, they need some amount of guidance to transition back into civilian workforce. How can you help veterans build their resume? You can access AJE's Veterans Exchange and explore the many resources we have, for example, the skills translator and resume writing tools as well as military to civilian translation tools to help you better outline their experiences. You can also determine if they need additional training. As with any job search, they may require some form of continuing education. There are many resources available and most institutions now offer online courses and certificate programs that are both easily accessible and affordable. The federal government also offers education and training programs for veterans returning to the civilian workforce.
AJE has been bringing leading solutions and working closely with organizations to champion this cause. Sarah Gonzalez, a presenter at the AJE compliance conference, described the challenges that employers might face hiring veterans. She elaborated upon the fact that veteran candidates need to be viewed through a different lens by employers than that they would use to screen regular civilians. Returning veterans looking for jobs are not always able to sell themselves and create a big impression. They are not trained to talk about themselves. They will need your help to be self-reflective and assess their worth.
The economic climate vets have come back to is not very favorable. They have had to face challenges in their attempt to gain employment. The unemployment rate among returning veterans is high. Make an effort to hire veterans! Remember, hiring veterans is a key element of the Affirmative Action Plan that helps you meet OFCCP Regulatory Requirements.