The issue of veteran unemployment is a hot one for the country right now. Time and time again, you’ve heard both politicians and military and business leaders talk about the fact that veterans make great employees and that hiring veterans is good for business. What often gets lost in these highly publicized sound bites are the specific reasons why veterans make great employees. At RecruitMilitary, we’ve been in the business of connecting veterans with career opportunities in the civilian world for over 13 years. During that time, we’ve seen countless examples of how the inclusion of veterans in an organization’s workforce creates value for that organization. Veterans are dependable, highly-skilled leaders and team players who successfully and effectively meet the challenges presented by today’s competitive and ever-changing economy. We believe that veterans make excellent employees for 4 main reasons — their character, skills and training, diversity, and in many cases, possession of security clearances. In honor of Veteran’s Day, we wanted to write this blog to explain these qualities and let you know why you should include veterans in your workforce. To help us do that, let me introduce you to Chris Newsome, a RecruitMilitary employee and great example of what a company gets when it hires a veteran.
Chris is 28 years old and is employed by RecruitMilitary as an Account Executive. In that role, he is part of a team of RecruitMilitary employees responsible for helping employers, franchisors and educational institutions connect with veterans to help them find the careers they are looking for. In addition to working part-time at RecruitMilitary, Chris is also a full-time student at the University of Cincinnati and plans to graduate in May 2012 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology. Prior to joining the civilian workforce, Chris was an infantry paratrooper and rifle squad team leader for the famed 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army and served two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. As a rifle squad team leader, Chris led a team of four combat infantry soldiers in combat operations – in layman’s terms, Chris and his team went door to door to enter and clear homes, towns and cities. Chris’ experience in the military has made him a trained, skilled leader. He brings this ability to everything he does and possesses the following attributes which make veterans excellent employees:
- Character – Like most veterans, Chris demonstrates a work ethic and maturity beyond that typically seen in many of his non-serving peers. He is optimistic and thrives in ever-changing and uncertain environments. Chris, like other veterans, is a proven leader who is disciplined, loyal, resourceful, intelligent and focused on results. He consistently demonstrates the ability to think quickly and is able to operate very well in stressful environments. Chris, like many veterans, is an effective team player who takes pride in his success and helps others achieve success as well.
- Skills and Training – In the time between his military service and his employment at RecruitMilitary, Chris worked in the financial services industry. By being successful in such a wide range of areas (e.g. the military, the financial services industry and the recruiting industry), Chris demonstrates another common attribute of veterans – the ability to learn new skills quickly and adapt them rapidly to their current position. Like many veterans, Chris is a quick learner and a creative thinker. He consistently demonstrates an ability to use the leadership skills and experience he gained during his military service in his civilian roles. Because of the skills and training received in the military environment, veterans often do not need specific industry experience to make an immediate and positive impact for their civilian employers. Additionally, Chris, like most veterans, is well-educated. In RecruitMilitary’s experience, over 30% of veterans hold college degrees and often excel in sales and other positions because of their problem solving abilities, collaborative nature, persistence, intelligence, and respectful manner.
- Diversity – During the course of his military service and deployments, Chris worked with a diverse group of people in many diverse environments. As a result, he welcomes and values diversity. Veterans, as a group, are incredibly diverse. As of October 1, 2011, RecruitMilitary had 435,000 registered veteran job seekers in its database at www.recruitmilitary.com. Of those, 15.6% were women, 21.7% were African-American, 9.2% were Hispanic, 2.1% were Asian, and 1.2% were Native American.
- Security Clearances – If you are looking for employees with security clearances, veterans are excellent candidates. Like many veterans, during his military service, Chris had a Secret level security clearance. As of October 1, 2011, RecruitMilitary had 87,606 registered veteran job seekers who held security clearances of varying levels registered in its online database. Of those, approximately 48,447 held active security clearances and 39,159 previously held security clearances, making the process of updating background checks significantly easier and less costly.
Chris Newsome’s skills, character, experience, integrity, work ethic and commitment to service and excellence make him a valuable member of the RecruitMilitary workforce and he is not alone. His skills, training and ability to contribute are like that of the many soldiers and sailors who transition from the military into the civilian workforce each year. There are approximately 1.4 million personnel on active duty in the United States Armed Forces and roughly 14% of them, or 200,000 people, transition out every year. Because this talent pool replenishes annually, there are more than 8 million veterans aged 25-54 in the current national workforce. Due to the fact that armed forces personnel can retire with full pensions after 20 years, the oldest of those transitioning veteran job-seekers are typically 38-45 years old. If you are looking for employees who can hit the ground running and make an immediate positive impact on your organization, we recommend looking at veterans because we have seen them do just that for their employers every day.
On this Veteran’s Day, we would like to thank Chris and all those who serve and have served our country in our armed forces for their service and sacrifice and we would like to ask you — if you hire only one person this year, why not hire a veteran? There has never been a better time to hire a veteran than right now. Should you need help finding veteran job candidates for your organization, please visit our website at www.recruitmilitary.com or call us at 800.226.0841. We look forward to hearing from you!