The Case for Hiring Veterans

By Adam Robinson,
May 27, 2013

Whether it’s flying a flag, going to a parade or attending a memorial service, everyone has a different way of honoring those who have fallen while fighting for our country. Although these
gestures are well intended, for many, Memorial Day ends when the barbeques come to a close. 

The case for hiring veterans

Perhaps one of the most impactful ways of honoring the fallen is ensuring the well being of soldiers returning home. As more and more companies are budgeting for new hires, proactively hiring veterans is just one way we can thank those who have served while remembering those who never made it home.

But it’s not quite as easy as that, and the 6.2 percent veteran unemployment rate is a prime example of that. Many hiring managers and veteran job seekers alike state the following as the primary challenges to hiring a veteran/being hired as a veteran:

Lack of required education

Many employers want (or expect) their new hire to have a four-year college degree. However, many veterans enter the military directly after high school, thus finding themselves “unqualified” for certain roles. What employers don’t always understand is that although [some] veteran job seekers don’t have a diploma stating they have sufficient educational background, their military training and application of skills are largely transferrable.

Translation of skillset 

Whether one has spent four years or fourteen years serving, the time spent learning, applying and refining their skillset set is extensive. Regardless, many employers fear that the skills military personnel have developed aren’t applicable to civilian careers. This assumption couldn’t be further from the truth though. Not only do veterans have a strong sense of loyalty, but they also thrive in collaborative settings, are natural leaders, goal focused and driven, and are quick learners. Sounds like the recipe for a perfect candidate, right?

Competition with other job seekers

Because veterans are competing with job seekers who have been in the civilian workforce much longer, they often find themselves being overlooked by hiring managers due to their “short” resumes. Though they don’t likely have experience with a variety of companies, that doesn’t mean they are lacking necessary skills. Remember, it’s not about the years spent working, it’s about the experience gained within those years. 

So, as you get ready to wrap up your long weekend and head back to work, honor those who have fallen through ensuring the well being of soldiers who have made it home. 

Try using an interview scorecard to ensure you make the best hiring decisions while remaining objective.  

About the Author

Adam co-founded Hireology with the mission to help growing companies make better hiring decisions through data and better technology. Adam is passionate about entrepreneurship, donating time to a number of organizations that support the entrepreneurial cause. Adam completed his undergraduate study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and received his MBA from DePaul University in Chicago, IL.

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