Watercooler

5 More Reasons To Recruit Veterans

I recently talked about how to recruit veterans and if you had a chance to read that post, you know that the number of ways to do so is growing as more and more service men and women are coming home. But just as vast as the number of ways to recruit veterans is the number of reasons to hire veterans.

There’s a lot of talk these days about our social responsibility to support returning veterans. I absolutely believe we have a duty to do our part, but there are many reasons that also make it a smart business move. Take a look at these five reasons to recruit veterans:

1. Leadership Experience
The military is very leadership oriented. This hierarchical focus lends itself to military personnel gaining leadership skill and experience along the way. As any HR manager knows, training employees to become leaders can be one of the toughest aspects of learning and development. Veterans with leadership experience make excellent project managers and leaders. 

2. Tax Incentives
The VOW to Hire Veterans Act was signed into law in 2011 and offered a tax credit of $5,600 for firms that hire long-term unemployed veterans, and the Wounded Warrior Tax Credit, which provides firms with up to $9,600 for hiring long-term unemployed veterans with service-connected disabilities. These tax incentives that were first implemented in 2011 have been extended until the end of 2013, and as announced in April, will soon be made permanent.

Though there is some controversy surrounding the ethical use of these tax credits (Did you catch Representative Tammy Duckworth rip Braulio Castillo a new one?), these tax credits are a good thing and have helped to keep the overall unemployment rate for veterans at 7.1%, below the national unemployment rate, which stands at 7.6%.

3. Performance Focused
Military personnel are typically given a specific goal or mission and their activities and duties for a given amount of time support the fulfillment of that goal. Having employees in your company who are goal oriented and performance focused can be a valuable thing.

4. Team Oriented 
Veterans have much experience that is based not on their own success, but the success of their team and organization as a whole. At the same time, they are taught to take ownership of what they do. Having both these qualities is something that can really benefit your organization, whether the veteran you’re hiring is part of a new team or will be integrating into an existing team.

5. International Exposure
Most veterans have experience with different cultures and politics, which is a huge bonus for international companies. Their military jobs likely required them to be sensitive to cultural differences and possibly even learn new languages. Often times, veterans also have experience with working in a diverse environment, which is representative of today’s workplaces.

Do you plan to focus on recruiting veterans this year? Tell us about your reasons for doing so in the comments below.