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What an Employer Should Look for When Hiring Veterans

Companies are increasingly making a point to try and recruit veterans as employees. This is not only because of their service to the country, but because they have unique and valuable skills to offer the workforce once they leave the service. From world-class training in technology and other occupations, through to personal skills such as leadership ability, self-discipline and following through on instructions, veterans often make some of the best team members companies can find.

Here are some of the primary attributes companies should look for when hiring veterans.

#1: Adaptability

Veterans are trained to deal with a vibrant, constantly-shifting landscape, which teaches them to improvise and adapt as necessary, which makes them strong candidates for today's job market.

#2: Transferable Skills

Military veterans have skills and capabilities that meet the needs of any business environment. These include:

  • problem-solving ability,
  • working collaboratively with others,
  • solid performance under pressure, and
  • the ability to work with others from diverse backgrounds.

The majority of employment opportunities found in the civilian workforce are duplicated in some way in military service. That means veterans haven’t only had top-level training in their particular job field, but they also have a heightened understanding of the discipline required to be effective.

#3: Team Loyalty

Hiring veterans in management positions gives companies a head start when it comes to teamwork. It’s unusual to find veterans who try to climb over others or take all the credit for a team effort. They’re more accustomed to working with others to bring the combined strength of the team to a task, and understand every member’s role is unique and important.

#4: Strength in Adversity

Veterans are usually experienced in handling adversity in the workplace, and won’t shy away from taking a tough decision or performing a challenging task. Their learning in the military to uphold the Constitution and commit to following lawful orders results in them putting a larger purpose ahead of themselves, their own comfort and safety. Completing a mission is important to military veterans, and this brings a great sense of teamwork to their colleagues.

#5: Good Direction

Most veterans are good followers, and know how to respond to directions and instructions. This makes them a great addition to any team. Once they’ve proved they can follow the leadership of others, they are able to take on a position of responsibility and perform very well. While in service, most veterans also learned attributes such as punctuality, integrity, respect for authority and confidence under pressure. These are all characteristics your company can benefit from tremendously.

Keep in Mind the Culture Shift

While veterans are perfectly capable of adapting to civilian life after serving, it’s important for employers to realize they are still making a major change. To successfully re-enter the civilian workforce, most veterans experience an extreme cultural shift when doing so. They need to adapt to companies’ culture, vocabulary and expectations, but in most instances they have already proved their ability to learn new processes and procedures.

Be Open to Lateral Thinking

It’s also worth noting that seemingly “unrelated” military skills can be transferable to the business environment, so it’s important to discover the specific duties a candidate performed. The military person who managed food supplies could be a whizz at inventory control or logistics, while a veteran with mechanical experience in the military could have an aptitude for operating any sort of equipment.  

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