Amerit Consulting service group, BRAVE, dispels the myths clouding the hiring of veterans and provides facts for how and why companies ought to take a second look.
Corporations across the U.S. are continuously looking for ways to drive their companies forward. Whether out of motivation to find top-tier candidates, social responsibility or acting within OFCCP (Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs) guidelines, leading corporations today desire to hire veterans for their open positions. They often come up against some challenges, though, that are outside the norm for other, non-military candidates, making the hiring of veterans more difficult. With veteran unemployment numbers on the rise, top companies are taking action to overcome these barriers, both perceived and real.
In this post, we will examine the myths versus facts about veteran employees, and the why and how of hiring veterans.
Myths vs. Facts
There are some ill-informed perceptions and myths about the veteran community. One concerning myth is that veterans do not do well in the corporate environment because they are inflexible order-takers and lack imagination and creativity. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The nature of modern warfare and defending our country dictates a degree of flexibility rarely seen in corporate cultures. Responsiveness, readiness and fluidity are key attributes that veterans possess.
“The military is actually one of the most creative institutions on the planet,” said Todd P., a U.S. Marine veteran. We are dropped off in terrible places with limited resources. Because we have so little to work with, we’ve got to figure out how to problem solve on the go, in a very intense environment.”
Another pervasive myth is that all veterans have posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While PTSD is a serious condition brought on by severe trauma or a life-threatening event, a recent study from the Department of Veteran Affairs found that 80 to 85 percent of veterans do not suffer from PTSD or traumatic brain injury in any way.
Lastly, there is a belief that people join the military when they have no other options, when in reality, many of our best and brightest young people enter the military to further their education and build life skills. The U.S. pulls from the highest caliber of individuals. In fact, according to a new statistic presented by Mission: Readiness, only 25 percent of young people ages 17 to 24 qualify to join the military.
Why: The Value of a Veteran
Veterans bring to their employers a wealth of trained, tested and proven characteristics that today’s leading companies find essential to their success. Here are just some of the universal characteristics of today’s veterans:
- Veterans perform. There is no denying that the rigors of military training prepare them to perform under pressure in ways a university or college generally would not. As a result, a recent study showed that military veterans outperformed their civilian counterparts in the corporate environment 2:1.
- Veterans are able to run with the ball. Veterans have leadership, initiative and process management experience, and are capable of quickly grasping and acting upon high-level strategic objectives.
- Veterans possess strong people skills. They have the ability to assimilate into diverse groups and cultures that began with the forward-thinking “adaptive leadership” strategies instituted by General Petraeus. Today’s veteran utilizes unprecedented initiative, judgment and creative thinking to adapt and thrive in complex, challenging and competitive environments.
- Veterans have systematic, priority-driven planning skills. They utilize these skills to carry out the duties of their position and contribute to the larger objective. They are trained in overcoming obstacles and challenges as well as operations and tactical execution, starting at the lowest rank.
- They are very disciplined and loyal. In the military, beginning with boot camp, these young men and women learn to rely on each other and support fellow team members in order to survive. This camaraderie is so pervasive that the dedication to their team and the success of the mission is seen in proud mottos. Marines use “Semper Fidelis,” meaning “always faithful,” while the Navy rallies around “Honor, Courage, Commitment.”
For organizations whose talent acquisition goals include a strategy focused on diversity and inclusion, creating a veteran recruiting initiative to complement workforce planning is critical. Today’s military is reflective of the general populous; it is ethnically diverse, gender neutral, highly educated and well trained.
How: Engaging Today’s Veteran
There is no doubt that the U.S. military is the world leader in training and support of national defense strategies. Hiring managers should recognize that they do very little, however, to prepare decommissioning servicemen and servicewomen to find a job outside of the military.
Here are a few helpful suggestions for engaging qualified veterans in exploring your company:
- Teach your Talent Acquisition team to speak military. Hiring managers who are seeking to hire veterans should know how to translate military ranks and experiences to requisite job experience for the position at hand.
- Do not expect them to find you. While veterans may have top skills and extraordinary backgrounds, they may not always know where to look for positions that best fit their skills and career goals. Engaging a recruiting and staffing company that specializes in veteran placements, such as BRAVE, will ensure that you gain access to the highest caliber veteran job candidates in the market.
- Their resumes will not come up to the top if you are using standard parsing software. Parsers are programmed to look for keywords, but it takes personal attention to read a military resume and see the skills, both hard and soft, being sought after. By adding a simple insertion on a job application or resume submission that states “Military experience: Yes or no,” your veteran candidates rise to the top and become much easier to locate.
When it comes to the success of your business, your employees are your greatest asset. When seeking the top candidates to join the team, BRAVE advises companies to seek qualified veterans. As a service group of the largest certified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business in the U.S., BRAVE recognizes that a veteran’s unique skill set is unmatchable but too often overlooked.
Join BRAVE in supporting the transition of our nation’s heroes. Together, we will help our veterans get from the battlefield to the boardroom. For more information, visit www.thebrave.us.
As a service group of Amerit Consulting, a California-certified Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise, BRAVE serves as the conduit that connects leading, progressive businesses with outstanding, qualified Veteran candidates. As a leading staffing agency we’re focused on servicing all of your direct hire, temp to hire and temporary staffing needs with top tier Veteran talent.