By: Mike Powers - TEKsystems, Veterans and Disabilities Outreach
As America is coming out of the two longest wars in its history the government is working to bring down the unemployment rates of veterans. Agencies are working to ensure employers are adhering to proper regulations related to the recruitment and hiring of veterans along with other groups. Veterans Service Organizations have grown tenfold as well yet unemployment remains high for those who have served. The post 9/11 climate demanded an intense focus on security and our nation met the call. It is important that companies help those who have served to prevent a generation of strife not only for veterans but their children and the following generations. It is an economic and moral imperative to bring down veteran’s unemployment to ensure the survival of an all-volunteer military. Our nation as well as our foes needs to know that a volunteer army can meet the demands of war and reintegrate or we are encouraging problems in our future.
Additionally, companies are often in competition to find the best talent. Recruiting from diverse pools of talent helps create a diverse workforce and ensures the best team is assembled to grow the company. Veterans are a large source of workforce talent that employers can engage. There are currently 21.8 million veterans. The military contains a very diverse population and veterans are already working side by side with individuals from different economic status, geographic origins, race, and religion, as well as mental and physical capabilities. Hiring veterans will help diversify organizations and moreover employ champions of diversity that can teach others how to work side by side with others in a productive and team oriented manner. Veterans are conscious of the welfare and betterment of those around them. It is engrained in them that the team comes first in order for the individual to do succeed.
It would be inaccurate to assume that the majority of service members had no other options but to join the military. The U.S. is one of the few all volunteer militaries in the world and many veterans were employed, in college, or joined to serve a higher calling. I believe this is due to the attitude of service many possess. Doctors had to leave their practice, lawyers and sales people lost their client base, some find out employer closed and moved, software programmers and IT consultant’s skills are outdated, or their spouses couldn’t maintain their position and raise a family alone. Those veterans had options prior to serving.
The service members I know from my seventeen years of service are very diverse people who utilize their experiences from college, civilian work life, family, and military deployments such as disaster relief or war. They can be role players, leaders, understand the big picture for everyone, learn many ways to accomplish the same task, know when to speak up or remain quiet and learn, read body language and subtle cues from others, be direct and over communicative when appropriate, and are always growing as people due to their exposure to different settings.
More reasons to hire veterans include:
- Veterans are often working in remote or new environments in which resources are limited so they must reprioritize and review options in order to complete a task on time so that the larger force is not delayed by one team or person.
- Pressure often crystallizes the goal and the most important actions to accomplish the goal or task in harsh settings. This allows the veteran to remain calm and prioritize actions with the goal in mind.
- Procedures and regulations are a cornerstone of military duties from aviation, maintenance, law, administration and enemy engagement down to daily wear of the uniform. This instills a strong respect for procedures regardless of their origin. Veterans are not employees that you have to worry about not adhering to rules from human resources to business management.
- Service members are taught to learn the job of the person above them in the event that person becomes incapable of fulfilling the duties. Veterans keep an omniscient view of tasks and can step in without preparation for the person above them or beside them. This can be an effective attitude in business during times of pressure or absence of a coworker.
- Veterans often join the military to fulfill a need to serve an entity larger than one’s self. The same reasons they enlist are often displayed in their desire to serve their local communities through flood relief, volunteering to coach, provide CPR classes, or even open doors for those in front of them. Their actions are performed knowing that they represent their parents, community, and fellow veterans.