Edmonds Military Wire: Top 10 reasons companies need to hire veterans

By Michael Schinder

The economic landscape of our country could be transformed in a matter of months if more companies and small businesses hired veterans…and government got out of the way. Efficiencies would rise, creative thinking would improve, water cooler time would drop and production would increase.

Months back I was privileged to talk with Jerold Ramos, a talent acquisition manager and the Military Liaison for AlliedBarton Security Services, the largest American-owned security officer services company.  As a fellow U.S. Navy veteran, Jerold shares my passion for wanting to see our country’s military men and women positioned to positively impact industry.

In Jerold’s words, “It is time for human resource leaders, from every sector, to salute our military’s service, value their skills and welcome their unique experience and talents into the civilian workplace. These individuals make a positive contribution in every civilian profession and will continue to do so with your help. These are the men and women who we trust to defend our freedom. Now is the time to return the favor with career opportunities that will benefit the veteran and your organization.”

Following are his top ten reasons (shortened…if you want the unabridged, ping him) to hire military:

#10 Battle-Tested Real World Experience – Today’s human resource directors are interviewing warriors that may have been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan and who have done everything from coordinating ground and air support during combat, to hiring local contractors, and restoring schools and hospitals.

#9 Trainability – There are numerous types of training in the military and they vary from service to service. The unifying factor is that training is a crucial component for all branches of the military beginning from the first day of enlistment.

#8 Adaptability – The famous science fiction author H.G. Wells once said, “Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature’s inexorable imperative.” This quotation, which was written decades ago, rings just as true today and particularly resonates with our nation’s military who personify adaptability in all its glory. Military personnel continually adapt to changing environments and new responsibilities and thrive in a highly divergent variety of settings.

#7 Military Produces Outstanding Leaders – An article in the Harvard Business Review by Colonel Tom Kolditz, Head of the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership at the US Military Academy at West Point, correlates how military leadership translates to great civilian sector leadership. “The best leadership—whether in peacetime or war—is borne as a conscientious obligation to serve,” writes Colonel Kolditz. “In many business environs it is difficult to inculcate a value set that makes leaders servants to their followers. In contrast, leaders who have operated in the crucibles common to military and other dangerous public service occupations tend to hold such values.

#6 High Dependability – Military veterans don’t show up late for work, can be relied up on to perform their duties properly, and will always put forth their best effort to achieve the highest standards of performance.

#5 Quality Job Performance under Pressure – When seeking a pool of workers who have a reputation for performing well under pressure, military veterans are number one. Military veterans deliver a quality under pressure in the corporate world just like they did when their lives depended on it. Some employees fold under pressure or turn down positions and responsibilities that may be pressure-filled while veterans survive and thrive.

#4 Expand Your Job Pool and Redefine Employment Horizon – When looking to support our military personnel through employment, also consider the veterans’ families and caregivers for positions. Think outside of the traditional box to ensure that all veterans and family members who need a job get one.

#3 Background Checks and Security Clearances – As reported by VetJobs.com, “over 90 percent of those in the military have had extensive background checks for various levels of security clearances. When you hire a veteran, they are less likely to become a risk to your operation.”

#2 Hire a Hero and Save Costs – Hiring military personnel can mean cost savings for your organization. In addition to saving on training and background screening costs, you can also reduce your recruiting costs. Through partnerships with military assistance groups, your recruiting efforts can be easily expanded, without adding HR personnel. These groups exist to help veterans find civilian employment and their representatives will work to identify appropriate candidates for you. Tax credits, which range from $3,000 to $9,600 per hire, are also available to employers that hire military veterans. Work opportunity tax credits (WOTC) can help offset recruiting and training costs resulting in additional savings.

#1 It’s Just the Right Thing to Do – Hiring veterans, their families and caregivers is simply the right thing to do.  The men and women who have chosen to serve our country are patriots who have made enormous sacrifices to ensure our safety and freedom. Their families have worked hard to keep the home and hearth intact while the veteran is at service. By employing military veterans, their family and caregivers, we are thanking them for their service and for protecting us from terrorism and other threats.

Mr. Ramos Sr., well done brother. America, it is time to embrace our transitioning military and veteran families – in doing so, we’ll transform our communities.

Michael Schindler, Navy veteran, and president of Edmonds-based Operation Military Family, is a guest writer for several national publications, author of the book “Operation Military Family” and “The Military Wire” blog. He is also a popular keynote and workshop speaker who reaches thousands of service members and their families every year through workshops and seminars that include  “How to Battle-Ready Your Relationship” or “What Your Mother-in-Law Didn’t Tell You.”  He received the 2010 Outstanding Patriotic Service Award from the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs.

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