Diversity & Inclusion, Recruiting

Armed Forces to Workforce: A New Business Owner’s Guide to Hiring Veterans

If you’re a new business owner, it may be worthwhile bringing a few veterans onto your team. They often have a number of unique skills and attributes that can benefit your business, and there are also a few potential tax breaks for hiring them. But, it’s essential to understand how to best support veterans in your workplace so they can thrive in their new roles.

Benefits of Hiring Vets

  • Leadership skills: Many veterans have been in leadership roles during their time in the military. They know how to take charge and get the job done efficiently.
  • Work ethic: Because they’re disciplined and used to working long hours, veterans have an excellent work ethic.
  • Problem-solving skills: Veterans are often good at thinking on their feet and finding creative solutions to problems.

Types of Jobs Vets Thrive In

  • Management: Veterans are used to leading teams and handling responsibility with humility. This makes them well placed in management roles.
  • Sales and customer service: Veterans are great at building relationships and have good powers of persuasion. They also have patience and are used to dealing with a diverse range of people.
  • Manufacturing: Veterans can work well with their hands and are usually good at following directions and working with machines.

How Your Business Can Foster Veterans’ Success

Create an Employee Handbook

Be sure to include a section on your company’s policies regarding military leave, dress code, and other things that may be important to veterans. If your handbook is a PDF and you need to make significant text or formatting edits, save time and effort by using an online conversion tool to automatically convert your PDF to doc format.

Offer Training and Support

Some veterans may need help transitioning to the civilian workforce. Offer training and support to help them learn new skills and adjust to the workplace. You may also want to connect them with other veterans in your company so they can support each other.

Mentorship Programs

Pair each veteran with a more experienced employee who can serve as a mentor. The mentor can help the veteran learn about your company’s culture and systems and offer advice and support. This will also ensure vets don’t begin to feel isolated or lost in their new surroundings.

Tax and Other Credits for Your Business

  • The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is available for businesses that hire veterans who are members of certain target groups, such as those who are unemployed or receiving food stamps. To qualify, request certification from their state workforce agency. The credit is generally equal to a percentage of veterans’ first-year wages, and it can be claimed as an offset against the business’s federal income tax liability.
  • The Veteran Readiness and Employment Program (VR&E) offers salary reimbursement to businesses of up to 50% of a veteran’s first-year wages, up to a maximum of $5,000. The program is designed to help businesses offset the cost of training and employing veterans. To qualify, businesses must complete a training plan for the veteran that includes on-the-job training, and the veteran must be employed for at least 6 months.
  • The Wounded Warrior Tax Credit (WWTC) is a federal tax credit available to businesses that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities. The credit is equal to 40% of the first $24,000 of a veteran’s wages, up to a maximum credit of $9,600. To qualify, businesses must request certification from the Department of Veterans Affairs that the veteran has a service-connected disability.

Hiring a veteran can be extremely beneficial for your business and goes a long way toward improving society as a whole. With a better understanding of veterans and by setting your business up for their success, you’ll be well on your way to making a great hire.

Chelsea Lamb is a writer at Business Pop.