4 Financial Reasons to Employ Veterans
Each year, about 200,000 veterans are job-hunting for their next position after their service ends. Furthermore, the PEW Research Center found that just one in four veterans have a job secured before leaving the military.
Luckily though for business owners of any size and entrepreneurs, hiring veterans doesn’t only help them and their families start a new chapter, but it can immensely benefit their own business. This article will outline just a few economic perks for onboarding and employing veterans:
1 Relocation Assistance
Fortunately for employers, the military offers government aid for a final military move. Because of this, veterans have access to relocation support and programs like the Department of Defense Transition Assistance Program, the National Resource Directory (NRD) and the VMET (Verification of Military Experience and Training). These informational and educational resources include federal government, state government, private sector and networking websites.
While these services are comprehensive and provide insight on a variety of relocation topics, it’s still crucial to have open and honest conversations if you’re a company hiring a veteran and they are making a large move for you. For example, maybe this is their first civilian job, or the first position after the military that they’re uprooting their family for. Be sure to ask questions about their work habits and lifestyle choices:
If they have to come into the office a certain amount of days of the week, suggest neighborhoods that have an easy commute to avoid rush hours.
If they are planning to buy a house, give them information as to how much house they can afford and what that looks like with military coverage.
If they have extensive travel for work, provide recommendations of developments close to the airport to eliminate additional hastles.
2 Tax Credits
Whether you’re a family business or larger corporation, tax credits are a huge financial bonus. First, there’s the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) for employers. This general business credit is run by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the U.S. Department of Treasury for targeted groups including qualified veterans. Owners and veterans must fill out the Pre-Screening Notice and Certification Request for the Work Opportunity Credit (Form 8850). It’s important to do this in a time sensitive manner too, either on the day or prior to an offer letter. Monetary credits go upwards of $9,600 for the new employee’s first year of employment.
Aside from this federal tax, there’s also the Returning Heroes Tax Credit and Wounded Warrior Tax Credits. For the Returning Heroes Tax credit, there is a differentiation of veterans who have been out of work for at least 4 weeks (short-term unemployed) or who have been out of work for more than 6 months (long-term unemployed). Either 40% of the first $6,000 in paychecks (up to $2,400) or 40% of the first $14,000 in paychecks (up to $5,600) will be given. For the Wounded Warrior Tax Credit, it is 40% of the first $24,000 in paychecks (up to $9,600) for long-term unemployed service related disabled veterans.
Awards for hiring and retaining veterans are not only positive for finances, but they are also great for building and growing your company in a sustainable manner. They can help to get your company’s name out in the community, retain employees and build rapport or loyalty with particular partners. One such award is the HIRE Vets Medallion Award which is given with either a platinum or gold designation. As the single federal-level veteran’s employment award, it’s a prestigious honor for small (1-50 employees), medium (51-499) or large (500+ employees) employers.
If you’re a business owner and get this award, think of authentic, genuine ways to share this news with employees and others. Maybe this looks like a day in the office that’s dedicated to shouting out veterans and allowing them to share their stories. Or, have your marketing department create internal and external content to share on social channels or digital platforms. And, for recruitment teams they should strategize how they want to showcase this to prospective job candidates.
4 Subsidies, Reimbursements & Non-paid Training
To continue, Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) offers salary subsidies, reimbursements and unpaid experience training. Subsidies not only help employers with managing their own costs and budgets as they can incrementally increase the salary being paid to veterans, but it gives veterans tangible lessons, knowledge, tools and training to expand on during a type of internship period. When you compare subsidies versus reimbursements, reimbursements can go up to 50% of salary. After a veteran is entered into the Special Employer Incentive Program, VR&E representatives will help guide this process along as a type of career coach.
Like recent graduates looking to break into an industry, work experience is a key to success. Luckily, the VA Non-Paid Work Experience (NPWE) can help. This provides an opportunity for veterans who have a particular dream job but do not have a relevant degree, past internship or past related title. Businesses can benefit from this especially during a recession or a pandemic where overhead costs and budgets are tight and layovers might be foreshadowed. They don’t have an obligation to pay a salary to any veteran in this program as a full-time employee.
Reminders to Employers
While these financial incentives are great for businesses, it’s critical to remember that the veterans you’re hiring are much more than dollar signs. First, they’re not only statistics. If you want to truly build a more inclusive workplace for veterans in 2022, have a cohesive and complete diversity, equity and inclusion strategy. Second, it’s imperative that everyone, from entry-level staff to leadership members, do not rely on assumptions, stereotypes or biases of veterans.
Lastly, hiring veterans at your company not only has its financial perks, but it can do great things for your company culture. For veterans, having others they can relate to in the workplace can make for a warm and inviting environment. For non-veterans, these unique perspectives can open their eyes.