Your business is growing and you need to add people. You want to look at all the talent that’s available and go after the best candidates, but have you been overlooking a group of well-trained, ambitious workers? Consider hiring military veterans.
Veterans are leaving the military by the thousands every year, and they come out of service with proven accomplishments that may put them at the top of the candidates’ list. It would be a grave oversight to not include military veterans in your recruiting efforts. Here are four benefits of hiring military veterans.
Military personnel build an educational foundation through hundreds of training hours in the classroom and in the field. From learning about equipment, technology and first aid to focusing on a specialty, the skills they develop and their capacity to learn translate well into the civilian world.
Take, for example, the military tank mechanic or the computer operator: While their exact experiences may not match your requirements, their foundations in mechanics and technology may put them ahead of other candidates in experience and performance.
Military training is also a hands-on experience where the theories studied in class are acted on and carried out. Service members receive additional mentoring by their superiors and are exposed to many different work and learning situations. Because of the breadth of exposure, they’re able to acclimate to various work environments.
Most companies have their employees go through training on a monthly or even annual basis. In the military, it’s ongoing. The culture of continued learning has been instilled in them.
Few enter the military for the pay. While the benefits are good, the take-home pay is generally lower than most entry-level positions. People join the military for a lot of reasons, and all show ambition:
- To serve their country
- To enhance their career opportunity
- To achieve a goal
- To learn a trade
They want to better themselves, build a military career or a lay a foundation for a career when they get out. The foundation they establish isn’t so they’ll necessarily continue in that exact path when they get out, but so they can build on it for a career. They’ll take their training and segue into a more complex position in the workforce. They’re taught to be resourceful and adapt to change and unique environments.
You can take these ambitious, resourceful people and plug them into the company to create the employees that you need. It’s like training for a marathon and then deciding to take up another sport – the foundation of fitness is there to build upon. Hiring military veterans may help your business “cross the finish line,” so to speak.
The military is a great place for developing leader and follower skills. Military personnel are accustomed to having multiple reporting structures, not just their direct supervisor. They may have several supervisors who work adjacently who’re giving orders.
They also have experience managing others. This could be five to 10 people that they’re responsible for when they take a project lead or simply because they’re the highest-ranking soldier at the time.
What you end up with are leaders who respect authority and can multitask – receiving multiple orders from various people, being able to prioritize and delegate as required.
4. Work ethic
You’ve probably heard the Army motto of “We get more done before 9 a.m. than most people do all day.” It’s pretty accurate. In the military, there are practices of conduct and dress that will benefit most businesses.
- Presentation: Military veterans generally tend to be polished. They’re used to having shined shoes, a pressed uniform and being well-groomed. In the military, every detail counts when they go through a uniform or a barracks inspection. They know how to make an appropriate, professional appearance and are accustomed to following a dress code and a code of honor.
- Timeliness: Typically service members are reporting to duty by 5:30 a.m. and working long days. They’re dependable and generally don’t call in sick.
- Cooperation: The military is made up of men and women of various cultures and ages. Service members learn to work with each other and appreciate diversity within the ranks and in their dealings across the globe. This experience is mirrored in the business world by a global company or one that employs a diverse workforce.
How to find candidates with military background
Rally Point is a professional military network that allows you to focus on areas of specialization, interest and talent with particular skills. Rally Point works similarly to LinkedIn, which also has military groups where you can network with military professionals.
Even if you don’t actively look on these sites for military-experienced job candidates, give them an opportunity to interview when you do see their resumes come across your desk. You’ll be surprised with the diversity and depth of talent that you’ll see when you start recruiting and hiring military veterans.
Consider the accomplishments of a 24-year-old military member: Most have traveled the world, worked on complex military systems, functioned within a complex chain of command, taken several training courses, been promoted several times and have led large teams.
Given a chance, just think what they could do for your business.
Learn more about how to create a great team by reading our complimentary e-book, Building a better team: how to attract, recruit and hire top talent.