Why Your Next Hire Should Be a Military Veteran


The following piece was written by Brad Miller, owner and author of the Military Guide.

If you could help a veteran and enrich your business at the same time, would you? Hiring a veteran not only helps give back to those who have served, but also offers tremendous benefits to your company.

Think about what you’re looking for in a job seeker. Chances are that integrity, respect, and loyalty are near the top of your list. How about being able to learn specialized skills quickly? All branches of the military expect their service personnel to think quickly on their feet.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over 370,000 unemployed veterans in the workforce. Here’s what you’re missing by not hiring these all-star employees.

Transferable Skills

Not all veterans have job experience outside of the military, but they possess characteristics that help them stand out as job seekers, including:

Perseverance. Veterans have a high level of personal maturity. Many have had to overcome adversity in their personal and military lives. Starting with basic training, servicemen and women are under pressure to succeed in mission-critical tasks requiring stamina, endurance, and flexible thinking. Dealing with a customer complaint and following the vision of the company’s top brass without grumbling comes naturally to veterans who’ve followed a chain of command for many years.

Integrity. Military life demands that personnel put the needs of others before themselves. Astute hiring managers recognize the advantage that sincerity and trustworthiness bring to the workplace.

Detail-oriented. Veterans make for detail-oriented and dependable coworkers. By choosing a candidate with military experience, you’re likely to gain an employee who has integrity, strong critical thinking skills, and sets an example that others can follow.


Other Qualities

Beyond the transferable skills we mentioned, there are other traits that make veterans an ideal fit for workplaces like yours. These qualities include:

Learning quickly. Veterans who are used to fast thinking can pick up new skills and concepts adeptly. Some of them may need to take civilian certification courses equivalent to the experience gained during their service time. However, most veterans already know how to operate heavy equipment without apprehension. Those who have operated troop transports and other large vehicles in combat situations are likely to excel at a construction or transportation-related businesses.

Leadership. Everyone with a military background has been in a situation where they've had to lead by example for new recruits or those transferring to a new position. For this reason, veterans pick up valuable skills that enable them to inspire and motivate direct reports and peers.

Teamwork. Veterans know that teamwork develops when members feel responsible for each other as well as the goals at hand. Military performance demands respect for individual and group productivity, so a veteran knows how interdependent group dynamics and effective teamwork are in achieving a goal set by the management team.

Respect for process. Veterans value accountability and respect, bringing that attitude with them to the workplace. Policies and procedures are often ignored or violated by employees with no concept of the “big picture.” If you have a compliance issue or difficulty following important regulations in your industry, hire a veteran to set an example.

Health and safety advocate. U.S. military veterans know the importance of health and safety practices that protect themselves and those around them. This awareness makes them uniquely qualified for security and similar positions. In addition, veterans often have CPR skills that can enhance their value in your organization.

Technological know-how. The modern military is highly technical. During their service, many veterans learn highly specialized skills involving state of the art electronics and computer technology.

Diversity and tolerance. Military personnel learn how to work side by side with individuals of diverse beliefs, ethnicities, religions, and economic status. If you are trying to level out a divisive workplace, hiring a veteran is a great way to provide a role model that brings diverse colleagues together. Not to mention, hiring someone with military experience has also been found to increase workplace diversity.

Additional Resources

If you have an open position that requires any of the above skills, it’s worthwhile to explore hiring a veteran. There are many great resources to help you get started if you’re looking to fast-track your hiring process, including:

  • Joining Forces, an organization that works with veterans and their families to develop important skills that help them get the education and planning acumen needed to land a good job.

  • The Veterans Opportunity to Work program helps veterans transition from a military to civilian life. Employers benefit from hiring vets who’ve gone through the program, which underscores the need for character, strength, and perseverance in their new mission.

Additionally, keep in mind that your business may be eligible for a number of federal and state tax credits for hiring veterans

Though veterans bring a number of transferable talents and skills to the table, they are often underrepresented in the workplace. Job applicants may be overlooked due to misconceptions about their experience or even physical and mental health. Learn how your recruiting team can overcome unconscious bias with our free webinar, How to Remove Bias From Your Hiring Process.

Topics: Talent, Recruiting

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