Finding the right employee isn’t always easy. Whether you are overwhelmed with applications, unable to find candidates with the right technical skills, or experiencing high employee turnover, there are many challenges you might encounter along the way. That’s why, it’s important to think out of the box when it comes to hiring. And, one great (and often overlooked) way to broaden your talent pool? Hiring veterans.
“Being open to hiring veterans can lead you to an entire new type of candidate—one that has the essential skills and personality traits needed for long-term success at your company,” says Daniel Myers, a Senior Managing Director at The Execu|Search Group who is a veteran of the United States Navy. “Unfortunately, veterans are often overlooked because many employers do not understand how their military experience translates to the civilian workforce. Since it can be hard to gauge this by their resume alone, many veterans do not get the opportunity to interview and articulate these skills on their own behalf.”
This approach to hiring can lead you to miss out on these talented candidates. Sure, a proven track record of success is important. Specific industry experience? Not as much. “Rather than searching hard for a candidate that checks off all your boxes, look for professionals who can excel and commit to the organization for the long haul,” says Patrick Romero, a Director of Operations and veteran of the United States Army. “This does not always mean hiring for technical skills, but rather potential. The skills that an individual develops during their military career can bring immense value to an organization. And while their experience may be different, it often makes them even better and more loyal employees.”
Drawing from their years of experience in the service, Daniel and Patrick explain why employers should consider hiring veterans:
Veterans are fast learners
Service members go through rigorous training to learn new skills throughout their career. “The military is a learning organization,” says Daniel. “As they gain new responsibilities and rise through the ranks, service members will return to some form of training at different points of their careers. With this growth mindset, veterans are extremely fast learners and are motivated to develop the skills necessary to hit the ground running.”
Veterans value diversity
Veterans have proven their ability to work with diverse groups of people and backgrounds for a common goal. “The U.S. military is one of the most diverse organizations in our country,” says Patrick. “Whether it comes to race, age, ethnicity, gender, and/or socio-economic background, hiring a veteran means that you can trust their ability to collaborate with individuals from different backgrounds.”
As we continue to push for more equity and diversity in our workforce, candidates with military backgrounds are capable, ready and able to help us create a more sustainable and inclusive corporate environment. Read also: 4 Ways To Foster A More Diverse And Inclusive Workplace
Veterans are adaptable
For roles that require a great deal of multi-tasking, you might want to consider hiring veterans. “While service members typically have a core set of responsibilities, they are always prepared to shift gears at a moment’s notice,” explains Daniel. “Since they have been exposed to so many different working conditions and learning situations, veterans are highly adaptable in the workplace.”
This ability to adapt to change also means they are well equipped to handle adversity and challenges and can work well both on a team and independently.
Veterans respect procedures and accountability
Service members know how important policies and procedures can be for successful outcomes. More importantly, they understand their place within this structure. This translates to an extremely strong work ethic, according to Daniel. “With a task-oriented background, veterans know how to hold themselves accountable. From how they present themselves to how they communicate, they understand how all their actions can have an impact on the overall success of an organization. You can always count on them to show up and commit to the task at hand.”
Veterans are excellent leaders
The military is a great place for developing leadership skills. With such a breadth of responsibilities, service members are able to develop the big picture thinking required for successful leadership very early in their careers. As a result, they make excellent delegators, managers, communicators, and mentors. At the same time, their respect of authority, attention-to-detail, and ability to prioritize helps them stand out as excellent employees.