Why America’s Veterans Are Great Recruits
Today’s post is dedicated to (1) the men and women who have served or are serving us in uniform; (2) anyone reading this who is able to hire him. and finally, (3) all the rest just because we need to be reminded. In my role as a freelance career coach, I strive to support veterans in the workforce. Today, Veterans Day, is the most appropriate time.
Veterans in the workforce
There are 16.5 million veterans in the US, about 6.2% of the adult civilian population. One in 16 American workers is a veteran. There are also 1.34 million service men and women in uniform. Even though the unemployment rate is lower for veterans (2.9%) than for the general population (3.8%), I remember when that wasn’t the case, so it’s a good idea – the correctly idea – to ensure that the careers of our veterans are sustained as they transition from uniformed careers to politics. They deserve nothing less.
On a personal note, I never met my Uncle Lew (my mother’s younger brother), US Navy, who was killed in action in the South Pacific. I recently presented his Purple Heart (awarded posthumously) to my son – to keep the honor alive.
In the meantime, here are 16 reasons why veterans make great hires, as I tell my veteran friends and clients.
1. Proven leadership
eatront line and battle tested, your leadership skills, which you developed at a young age, are superior to most of us civilians. You lead by example and experience.
2. Goal oriented
You are highly skilled at setting realistic but challenging goals – and achieving them. You are well trained in this.
3. Mission focused
You are used to working in an environment where everyone works together for the mission at hand.
You understand the critical importance of simple, clear communication. of good communication in all directions. and effective communication in a one-on-one, group or large setting.
5. Group work
You know better than anyone that teamwork is what accountability looks like to others and how much you and your teammates depend on each other.
6. Work ethic
Long hours of work under demanding conditions. Seeing things through to their conclusions. Not protesting but tolerant. “Yes I will do”. Sound familiar?
7. Performance under pressure
Monthly production or sales numbers, shipping deadlines, quarterly closings, last-minute crises, etc. Piece of cake compared to what you’ve seen.
8. Think on your feet
Not only can you perform under pressure, but you are extremely well trained to deal with surprises, adapt to change and think quickly.
You understand and respect the chain of command, but are still willing to bring forward new ideas when needed.
This is of double interest. You are not only well trained, you are also good at training. In other words, you learn quickly and are great at applying it. You have proven that you can make an immediate impact and that you can do it again.
11. Specific skills
Each of you has learned at least one specific skill: heavy machinery, computer programming, a foreign language, supply chain, etc. These apply directly to many opportunities.
12. Triumph over the odds
No matter how adverse the circumstances, you know how to prevail. You are much better at this than the average citizen. You don’t pass or make excuses.
13. Diversity, inclusion and empathy
You have worked in a very diverse environment: race, ethnicity, gender, age and – certainly – disability. You are sensitive to it.
14. Safety, health and operational standards
Once again, you are infinitely more aware of this than most others will ever be. This means respect for self, others, property and processes.
You don’t even need to discuss this. It goes without saying, but remind them anyway.
16. Background Checks and Security Clearance
Background checks for various levels of security clearances that more than 90 percent of you had far exceeded those you would likely need for work. This should give the employer confidence, not to mention significant cost savings, as your security clearance is transferable in almost every case.
Thank you for your service.
One more thing. Although modesty is another of your strengths, you have no choice but to be your own PR agent as you transition. You – and no one else – will be the architect, engineer and commander of your next big win.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your service – now and always.