Finding Qualified Workers is Not Difficult When Hiring Veterans
Fifty-nine percent of HR professionals believe today’s job applicants lack basic skills and knowledge, according to a recent Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) survey report. The top reported skills shortages were:
- Basic computer skills
- Speaking English
- Reading comprehension
Furthermore, 84 percent of HR practitioners found skills shortages in:
- Critical thinking/problem-solving
- Professionalism/work ethic
- Written communications
Smart civilian recruiters can sidestep these gaps by hiring military veterans.
Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) published a study titled “The Business Case for Hiring a Veteran: Beyond the Clichés” in March 2012. The study discusses the many strong characteristics that military service develops, and why those characteristics are highly valued in the business world.
Chief among the findings are these veterans’ characteristics:
Veterans are great at transferring their skills to new tasks.
Veterans have been trained to plan for contingencies, different environments, and new scenarios.
Veterans have and use advanced technical training.
Soldiers are simply on the receiving end of more high-technology training than their age-group peers, and are better at using it across a variety of fields and tasks.
Veterans are resilient problem solvers.
They can adapt in the face of adversity, overcome hardships, and regroup. Military veterans show an enhanced ability to “bounce back,” compared to their peers who have not served – a quality critical in a variety of business settings where outcomes are uncertain.
Veterans are great team-builders.
They excel at organizing, defining goals and team roles, as well as plans of action in order to accomplish the task or mission. The belief that they can successfully merge with and contribute to an existing team is also strongly engrained.
“Employing America’s Veterans: Perspectives from Business” by Margaret C. Harrell and Nancy Berglass, (Center for a New American Security (CNAS), June 2012) complements and expounds upon the IVMF report. Leadership and teamwork skills were the most commonly cited reasons for hiring veterans in the CNAS study, followed by extraordinary work ethic.
Employers Weigh In
“Lots of younger officers and senior enlisted personnel get more leadership and management experience than civilians with similar years of experience. So they can come in and understand [our core business areas] but also have good skill sets leading teams and working in a team.”
“Ninety-five percent of the kids coming out of college have never managed before. They may be very smart, but they have no leadership experience. To find someone that is very smart and also has real leadership experience is huge for our business.”
“I think veterans work harder, have a better work ethic, and they work until the job is done. It is very rare for a military veteran to fail.”
“With the military, what we get is a person who wakes up every morning ready to execute the mission.”
See the IVMF study here.