Have You Thanked a Veteran Lately? Have You Hired a Veteran Lately?

It’s no secret that I have a huge amount of respect and admiration for the men and women – past, present, and future – that make up our Military. You will see that every opportunity I have to pay back our military, I will do it without complaint. It boils down to this one sentence, “They risk their lives so that I may be free.” There are very few instances where I would willingly go into harm’s way to save those I do not know. These men and women do it every day.

As we approach Veterans Day, it is a good moment to stop and think about how you thank Veterans for what they have done, are doing, and will do in the days to come.

Have you ever considered hiring a Veteran? Yes, it is wonderful to personally thank any Veteran that you may see. And it is valuable to host charity collections for Veterans. But how about considering a Military person as an employee?

Maybe you are hesitant because of their experience level. In one of our recent Facebook shares, the article discusses hiring ‘under-qualified’ employees. Many military members have been taught skills that are transferable; however, some of them may seem underqualified at first glance because they may have used military-type language on their resumes that doesn’t necessarily translate well for hiring managers with civilian workplace experience. Keep this in mind when looking at their application. Do you need someone who is able to keep calm and think strategically when things are going haywire around them? Does this sound like any experience the military may have taught a potential employee? If you have ever thought about bidding for a government contract or need employees with government clearance (particularly if you are subject to affirmative action plan reporting), hiring veterans helps your company distinguish itself from others.

Did you also know that many applicants will not market themselves as having served in the military? Some find it an honor and part of their duty to serve America and therefore do not want to put it “front and center.” Others are worried about any negative connotation an employer may have about veterans. If you find that there is a break in employment history, you may want to ask if they served because military service is not always obvious. Many of our clients ask if an applicant has ever served in the military as part of their standard employment application in their applicant tracking software portal. This can help identify a veteran who has not made his/her service known in other parts of the application.

Forbes released an article November 9th titled, “5 Reasons Leaders Hire Veterans”. The author, Meghan Biro, did an excellent job at pinpointing and expanding on these skills: leadership, grace under pressure, performance and results-oriented, self-sacrifice, and communication and goal-setting.

A program that was started last year by JPMorgan Chase called the 100,000 Jobs Mission helps connect companies and Veterans. Their goal is to hire 100,000 veterans by 2020. You can sign up on their site to help with the mission. Your company’s logo will be displayed on their page and it will be linked to your career site.

Hiring a veteran can be a great opportunity to gain a loyal, dedicated, hard-working employee. But make sure you are hiring for optimal job fit first and foremost. It is not good for you or the veteran to hire the wrong person for the wrong job. Taking a second look at a veteran’s application is a good way to say thank you on this Veterans Day.

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