::Hire a Veteran!::

Unemployment among U.S. military veterans, particularly those of the post 9/11 era, peaked in 2011 and has declined steadily as a result of aggressive private sector initiatives. With about 200,000 service members transitioning into the workforce annually, employers have a truly exceptional talent pool to draw from when recruiting.

Numerous studies have been conducted that show the positive impact hiring veterans has on a company’s bottom line. Better performance, strong leadership skills and the ability to react quickly and precisely to new information and challenges are some of the characteristics that veterans bring with them to the team. Military service creates individuals who are trained to meet the highest standards and to work in a team environment pursuing common goals. Many times, introducing a veteran and positioning them to influence a group of employees can raise the entire team to the next level.

Although everyone is quick to agree that it is our civic responsibility to hire veterans, this may not be a thought that crosses the mind of a recruiter trying to fill open positions. Any employer that fails to tap into the pool of skilled, well-trained individuals who can make a business more successful would be foolish not to make a conscious effort to do so. Although the resumes presented may be unconventional and may contain jobs and responsibilities you are not familiar with, take the time to analyze the responsibilities of those positions and evaluate the skills it takes to perform the jobs. Those skills can be directly transferable to jobs in your company with minimal training.

In addition to infusing leadership and passion into your workforce, a direct financial impact of hiring a veteran could be a Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). For each unemployed veteran hired, a tax credit of up to $5,600 may be available. A tax credit of up to $9,600 may be available for a veteran with a disability. Using a software program that identifies veterans during the recruiting process is a great way to focus your recruitment on veterans. Payentry’s hiring and onboarding functionality makes identifying veterans easy. There are also programs available that provide additional professional development opportunities for veterans through the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.

Once you’ve made the decision to make hiring veterans a priority, take the following steps to ensure that the efforts you are taking pay off for both you and the new employee.

First, focus on alignment. Hire veterans within the firm to occupy work roles and situations so that their rare, valuable and differentiating attributes are leveraged to contribute toward your firms’ strategic goals and objectives.

Create meaning and purpose in the job assignment. Veterans typically have a strong need to find meaning and purpose in their work which was what attracted them to military service in the first place. Just as you would for all employees, foster engagement by consistently reinforcing how and why the veteran’s assigned work-role contributes toward the performance objectives of the organization.

Provide frequent and informal feedback on their performance. Again, you should be doing this with all your employees. However, veterans expect this type of engagement, will be receptive to it and may flounder without it. Veterans frequently report a lack of understanding related to workplace norms and customs, organizational reporting structures, and the basis for performance evaluation because these are not as structured as the military equivalent.

Communicate opportunities for further development, training and certification, and what may be opportunities to expand, move, repurpose, or refocus as needed.

Establish challenging goals and link them to organizational objectives. Engage the veteran in the goal-setting process as a means to cultivate commitment.

Remember, potential and readiness are not the same. Take the time to develop and mentor high-performing veterans to ensure they have the right mix of experience, skills and personal qualities to assume additional organizational responsibilities and leadership.

Adding focus in your recruiting process to seek out qualified veterans returning to the workforce can only show a commitment in growing our Country’s economy and to the long-term success of your business! Patriotism at its finest!