Recruiting

Hiring Veterans: The Hidden Value of Unconventional Workers

While America celebrates members of the U.S. armed forces, who have valiantly served their country, this Veterans Day, many military men and women are making the decision to enter civilian life. Those making the transition now are doing so at an ideal time, as employers are refreshing the hiring process, opting to redefine the idea of the perfect candidate to fill their open positions.

Hiring military veterans may seem like an unconventional strategy at first, but companies are reaping the benefits from giving these veterans an opportunity in the workplace. Normally an untapped, often overlooked resource by business owners and managers, veterans bring an overabundance of skills to the workplace that are proving to be a great fit.

Interpersonal skills

A core belief instilled in all service men and women is teamwork. Without teamwork, dire consequences could occur.

The No. 1 skill needed for successful teamwork is strong communication. A veteran’s communication focuses on clarity and precision to accomplish a goal. Even though this style of communication can come across as too direct for some, it can create a productive work team.

Veterans are also good at developing creative solutions when understaffed, which is critical in today’s business environment. During their service time, they learned how to solve some of the most complex problems in difficult circumstances with minimal manpower. These experiences equip them to quickly choose the best course of action to accomplish the task at hand without having a complete team.

This commitment to others, direct communication skills, and the ability to find solutions are valuable skills and resources in the workplace. Veterans tend to be unselfish workers who are committed to team success, which leads to company success.

Intrapersonal skills

Discipline, motivation, and innovation are some of the first skills every servicemember learns during basic training. In the past, those have been desirable qualities to a potential employer. However, with the shift to remote work, they are now essential.

The self-discipline instilled in veterans results in impeccable follow-through on all commitments, including meeting deadlines. Trusting employees to get their jobs done, especially in a remote environment, is a relief to managers and allows them to focus their time elsewhere. In addition, many veterans are proven leaders who can move up the ranks within a company to become team leaders and executives when given the opportunity. The strong work ethic ingrained in the military carries over easily to the traditional workplace, and their quick-learning leadership skills are an asset for any team.

Cross-trained

During their military training, veterans were trained in numerous areas on and off the battlefield. The more skills they had, the more valuable they were to their military unit.

The plethora of skills veterans offer and their ability to quickly learn and master new concepts are extremely valuable to any business, especially a small or midsize company facing limited manpower and resources. From computers to physical strength to management skills, veterans can fill numerous roles either separately or simultaneously.

That learning speed, combined with accuracy, makes veterans the Swiss army knife of a business.

Adaptability

Adaptability has become a necessary skill as companies have adopted remote or hybrid workplaces. Having someone who can adapt quickly and decisively to overcome the ever-evolving workplace challenges is invaluable. Members of the U.S. military have succeeded under pressure throughout their military careers. They are goal-oriented, trained, and focused to finish tasks, even in the hardest of circumstances.

Being calm and collected in tough situations may sound easy, but it is a hard skill to master. Not only can veterans bring that mentality to the workplace, but they can also teach coworkers how to maintain composure under similar circumstances.

In a world of remote work, virtual collaboration, and evolving policies, the expertise veterans bring to the workforce can translate and transcend any industry. They can make a great difference in the current and future business landscape and be a valuable addition to any team.

Sherice Sargent is an Air Force veteran and senior human resource specialist with Insperity, a leading provider of human resources and business performance solutions.