Should you consider hiring a veteran in the same way that you consider anyone else?
With everyone you hire, you should always put them through the same steps.
You should interview them, carefully review their résumé, conduct employee testing, confirm earlier employment, and anything else you routinely do.
But I have a personal opinion about veterans that I’ll offer in this tip.
If all things are equal between two candidates and one is a returning veteran, I would seriously consider hiring the vet.
What do we know about the veteran that would be a plus to your business?
Well, we certainly know they are very disciplined. They’ve gone through an incredibly rigorous physical and mental training to equip them in the business of fighting a war.
Now, granted you may not need the specific skills of hand-to-hand combat or self-suturing a wound, but there’s s great deal to be said for someone not only willing to become that disciplined but who actually accomplishes that level of discipline.
That trait can certainly translate into good things in your workplace.
What about the subject of “respect?” Is that an important quality to you? If it is, then a veteran is someone who at least understands the importance of respect. Whether you’ll gain this person’s respect over night is another story, but when you do, I imagine it will be quite strong.
Here are a few other qualities the veteran likely brings to the table:
- A very high awareness of the chain of command.
- A clear idea of getting things done. There are no high marks given to the soldier who can dismantle every part of his hand gun but not be able to put it back together in perfect working order. There are many very “busy” people in today’s workplace. Those who get things actually DONE are a real asset.
- A strong sense of loyalty.
- Self-reliance. Your veteran has likely been taught to survive under the most challenging conditions, using solely what he’s learned in his training.
Well, you get the idea. All in all, a veteran brings an additional collection of skills and attributes very worthy of considering.
Update: I just read an article in Parade Magazine, written by Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks. Here’s a short excerpt:
“If you are an employer, give veterans a fair shake. They don’t want your pity or a handout. What they deservve, however, is genuine understanding of the skills they’ve gleaned. Serving in the military qualifies one to be more than a security guard. Veterans come with a can-do spirit. Many possess leadership and decision-making experience that exceed that of civilians 20 years their senior. They know how to follow orders but also how to exercise initiative. Hiring veterans isn’t charity—it’s good business.”
To back up those words, Howard Schultz made a public commitment to hire 10,000 veterans and their spouses in the next five years.
VERY WELL DONE, Mr. Schultz!
As the law varies in each area, please check with an attorney to ensure you are applying these tips within the law.
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