Why hiring veterans is good for business
It is astonishing that US veterans have high unemployment rates. Although it is falling, it still remains at 9%, higher than national average of 7%. There are some speculations on why employers hesitate to hire veterans. Reasons ranging from fear of deployment to PTSD, or politics of war and stereotyping US veterans.
Since 2002, I have had the pleasure of working with more than 25 US veterans. Based on my experiences, I discovered that veterans have a few qualities in common that are very difficult to find in others :
1- Strong sense of teamwork :
When working with project managers who were veterans, teamwork was not just a cliché for them, it was part of daily routine in making sure that projects get done and get done right. From what I saw, they understood the value of each team member and how each member can contribute according to their capacities. They did everything in their ability to make sure that the team is in good shape.
2- Work well in diverse environments :
Veterans have experience working with different nationalities, have been trained to deal with diverse situations, and have been exposed to other cultures. Working with so many veterans either as managers, employees, or freelancers, I’ve never had any problems when it came to respecting differences and diversities.
3- Integrity and loyalty :
Loyalty in business is almost non-existent these days. Employers easily push employees out, and employees switch jobs on a regular basis. However, when working with veterans I noticed a distinct level of loyalty towards the company and even the project. That combined with strong integrity, veterans always added value to projects to which I was assigned as a manager.
4- Great communicators :
"Roger that !", "10-4", or simply "This is just to let you know that I got your e-mail" has been very common when I work with veterans. I don’t need to guess whether they received my message or not, whether they’ve started or not, or if they are on track. If two e-mails don’t get the message across, they pick up the phone and resolve the matter. They don’t waste time complaining about a problem, instead they tackle the problem and then discuss how to avoid it in the future.
5- High emotional intelligence :
With more than 25 veteran employees, managers, and freelancers I’ve never had any drama. Neither was there any need for "conflict resolution." A problem is a problem and it is seen as such. It is addressed professionally, resolved, and then we all move on. Even the most challenged veterans who were struggling with PTSD and TBI were able to maintain professional conduct and focus with much resilience and integrity.
Many advocates try to put a patriotic spin on hiring US veterans. With an international background that I have, I don’t care much for patriotism for any country. We are all citizens of the same planet with different cultures and backgrounds. So when it comes to hiring US veterans, let’s look at what every hiring manager should be thinking : "is this candidate good for business ?". From my experience, the answer has been consistently : "Yes !".
Video & Digital Media Producer
Why hiring veterans is good for business.
June 17, 2014