During the hiring process, the goal is obviously to learn as much as you can about a candidate. You are trying to figure out if they have the skills and traits you are looking for before you decide if you want hire them. This is often difficult, as the hiring process is not usually enough time to learn everything you need to know about someone. However, when you include veterans in your hiring search, you are introducing a pool of people with some amazing qualities.
Too often veterans are bypassed during candidate searches because they don’t have the experience companies are looking for. While everyone else was busy going to college, doing an internship, or gaining experience at another job, veterans were busy serving our country. As a result, their resumes may not be as impressive at first glance. However, veterans have qualities that other candidates may lack.
1. Veterans are hardworking and disciplined
One of the first things that the military instills in its members is a strong worth ethic and discipline. The military wouldn’t be able to function if the members didn’t know how to keep at a task until it’s complete, or how to persevere when the going gets tough. Chances are your company will not be able to throw anything at a veteran that is harder than what they had to do in the military. When you hire a veteran, you won’t have to worry about your new employee slacking off, or getting distracted – which is a great benefit to any organization.
2. They’re also able to learn new skills quickly
When you join the military, you enter into an entirely new world. As a result, you are required to learn new skills, and to do so quickly. All throughout their military careers, members are constantly required to learn how to do new things, and how to master them in a short amount of time. When these traits are brought to your organization, it means less resources spent on training, and less time cleaning up mistakes.
3. You can always count on veterans to follow directions
Another common trait among veterans is the ability to follow directions. Military members know the importance of the chain of command, and will respect it when they enter into your organization. Every once in a while companies make hires where a new overly-confident employee thinks they know better than their boss, and will start doing things their own way. You don’t want to spend your time correcting your employee – you want them to do what you ask, the first time you ask. When you hire a veteran, you can count on this person to follow directions.
4. They already know how to work effectively on a team
One of the main reasons the military is so effective is because it functions as a team. If everyone acted independently of one another, it would be complete chaos. No matter what branch of the military you are in, or what role you are filling, you must be able to work with a team. Not everyone has the ability to work with a team, and some would rather do their own thing. While this is good in some roles, more often than not teamwork skills are needed in the corporate world. Veterans have spent years working with other people, and have learned the best ways to communicate to achieve a common goal. If you want your team to function smoothly, make sure there are some veterans in it.
5. Most exhibit strong leadership skills
Not only can veterans work with a team, but they can lead them. If you’re hiring for a managerial position, you want someone who has experience leading other people. This experience is crucial – knowing how to get the most out of a team, and how to communicate with them is not something that can be taught. You need hands on experience, leading people of all different cultures, ages and genders; military veterans have that experience.
6. More often than not, honesty is an important value among veterans
Finally, more than anything, a veteran will be honest with you. In many cases a new hire may be too timid to speak their mind, and keep their opinions to themselves. Or they will be so focused on impressing the boss, that they don’t point out when they think something is being done wrong. With a veteran, you’ll rarely have this problem. Veterans know the importance of being honest, and will always be so with you. Lying or not speaking up in the military can lead to some serious consequences, and as a result veterans have learned not only the value of being honest, but also the way to go about it. A veteran will never be disrespectful, but will always speak the truth.
Hiring a veteran is the right thing to do
When you want to make a great hire, you should strongly consider turning to a veteran. Veterans possess all of the qualities companies are looking for in their new hires. You could take a chance hiring a non-veteran, only to find they have attitude issues, or don’t know how to work in a team – something your interview process was unable to catch. A strong character is at the essence of a good hire, so who better than a veteran?
If improving your company with an excellent hire isn’t enough for you, here’s one more bonus reason to hire a veteran: it’s patriotic. Your company benefits from being in the United States, and you benefit from living in it. Veterans dedicate years of their lives serving their country – hiring a veteran is one small way to reward that service.
Between strong character traits, and the ability to give back to your country, hiring a veteran is an easy decision. So the next time you are starting the hiring process, be sure your resume stack contains plenty of veterans, and that you give them strong consideration during the process. They may not have the same corporate background as your other candidates, but they more than make up for it with the skills and character traits they picked up in the military.