Did you know that racially and ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to perform better? Companies and organizations of all sizes recognize this and are working hard to ramp up their diversity and inclusion (DI) efforts. At MilitaryHire.com, we are committed to helping diversify the workforce by connecting talent to companies that prioritize DI and by amplifying the voices of minority populations.
With about 200,000 servicemen and women transitioning out of the United States military every year, the exceptional pool of talent continues to grow. Organizations are quickly learning that veterans offer a wide range of specialized knowledge, experiences, and skills.
If you’re looking for information on how to accelerate your DI efforts in order to be able to pull from the most diverse pool of skilled candidates, you’re in the right place. MilitaryHire has more than 650,000 highly skilled and trained military professionals in our database.
Benefits of Hiring Veterans
Veterans should be at the top of every employer’s hiring list for many reasons. In 2018, the unemployment rate for veterans hit an all-time low.
The unemployment rate dropped to just 3% among female veterans and 3.5% for male veterans — down from an average of 5.1% for men and women in 2016. These statistics prove companies are taking notice of the excellent work of this highly skilled and employable population.
Benefits associated with hiring veterans include:
A Diverse Hiring Pool
The people that make up the military workforce are much more diverse than other industries across the U.S. In fact, the U.S. military has a racial diversity percentage of 43% non-Caucasian members — that’s compared to the U.S. workforce, which comprises 37% non-Caucasian members. This means that the
U.S. military is an excellent resource for D&I talent pools.
Diversity is not only about race, gender, sexual orientation, and other federally protected classes, however. It’s also about how employees contribute their unique experiences, backgrounds, and ideas. Veterans have an extremely broad spectrum of skills, experiences, and perspectives. They also bring an unrivaled understanding of leadership, teamwork, and work ethic. Veterans know how to solve complicated problems and think and act quickly on their feet. Many have worked with cutting-edge technology and are acquainted with and comfortable in cross-functional environments.
Diversity in the military is only expected to keep growing. The Department of Veterans Affairs projects that minority veterans groups will grow from 23.2% of the total veteran population in 2017 to 32.8% by 2037.
They Take Responsibility Seriously
Military personnel are trained to take their jobs seriously from day one. They have it drilled into them that careless mistakes, bad decisions, and blatant oversights can cause serious injury or worse to their comrades. This isn’t something you can unlearn. So veterans bring a level of precision into the workplace. They also understand commitment and dedication and take their responsibilities very seriously.
They Are Trained to Perform
The military is a high-performing organization made up of high-performing men and women. These men and women sustain high-performing organizations by understanding the people they lead and taking advantage of the diverse skills, talents, and other attributes that derive from everyone’s unique experiences. This leads to incomparable precision and increased productivity.
They Understand Globalization
Many veterans bring experience from overseas to the workforce — something that’s increasingly important in the global economy. In today’s world, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a business, even a small business, that isn’t touched by globalization in some way — from outsourcing manufacturing and shipping to tourists buying exotic commodities like cocoa or tea. As a business leader, when you work on developing strategies that take these global factors into consideration, it’s extremely helpful to have a military mind to pick. The overseas experience that many veterans have means that they have language skills and firsthand knowledge of markets in different parts of the world — an incredible business asset.
They Are Team Players
Military service creates people who earn the respect of their peers and understand the importance of being able to work together as a team — camaraderie is a critical part of the military experience. Most veterans spend years of their life cooperating with, respecting, and relying on their teammates to stay safe and complete tasks. This experience lends to veterans understanding the value of a diverse group working together to achieve a common goal.
They Are Leaders
Veterans are trained in the military to accept and execute responsibility for tasks, resources, and their behavior. This unique training inspires leadership and motivation, delegating, and giving clear direction. Their experiences in a highly team-oriented and hierarchal environment allow them to understand how to take and give orders and when each is appropriate.
Their Core Values
If you’re looking for someone you can trust, there’s no better candidate than a veteran — they have a proven track record of trustworthiness and live by a strong set of core values and a code of ethics. Post-service, veterans continue to conform to the same basic principles they were taught while serving:
- Service before self
There Are Financial Benefits Associated with Hiring Veterans
In addition to the improvements to the bottom line from diverse talent, increased performance, stronger leadership, and the other benefits we touched on above, organizations that employ veterans may be eligible for Work Opportunity Tax Credits (WOTC) of up to $5,600 for every unemployed veteran they hire, in addition to up to $9,600 for every veteran with a service-related disability hired.
What’s more, many veterans are eligible for a number of programs that contribute to their professional development. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers educational benefits, home loans, and a broad spectrum of technical and employment-based training programs.
Benefits of a Diverse Workforce
By 2044, groups formerly seen as “minorities” will reach majority status, meaning if you aren’t working on D&I initiatives now, you risk falling behind competitively and financially — diverse companies boast 2.3 times higher cash flow per employee, and 43% of companies with diverse boards noticed higher profits. Some of the other benefits of a diverse and inclusive workforce include:
More Innovation Company-Wide
When you have a team full of people with a variety of skill sets, life experiences, and cultural backgrounds, your chances of getting fresh ideas and perspectives skyrockets. This allows managers to leverage each person’s strengths and bring your team together to achieve your goals.
In fact, a Harvard study of six different teams and how they responded to new, complex, and uncertain situations found that teams that were more cognitively diverse scored the highest. The researchers concluded that higher cognitive diversity leads to greater performance and faster learning — all factors that can spark creativity and innovation.
Attract and Retain Talent
There’s no getting around it; a diverse workplace is essential for businesses looking to attract and retain top talent. A Deloitte study found that millennials tend to stay with companies longer when they feel the company understands the needs of a diverse workforce. Unlike previous generations, millennials have grown up with the notion that diversity and inclusion are critical, and it’s something they intentionally consider when making a job decision. Fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment helps your company look more appealing to job seekers and current employees alike. Organizations that embrace D&I efforts are seen as more socially responsible — something else that is increasingly important to today’s consumers.
Empower and Engage Your Employees with Diversity
Diversity in the workplace has benefits that stretch much farther than brand recognition and increased profits. When you build a diverse corporate culture, you also provide new opportunities for current employees, who gain the chance to see things from a new perspective, learn about different cultures, and discover fresh approaches to work. This fosters an enriching experience that helps them grow professionally and personally.
Diversity and Inclusion Best Practices
The best practices to follow when supercharging your DI efforts include:
Finding a diverse hiring pool to choose from.
- Making all employees feel welcome and important. Your employees should feel like they can be themselves and that they won’t be judged for differing views and cultural practices. This facilitates a sense of belonging and leads to employee loyalty while also fostering better social bonds and creativity in the workplace.
- Automate the DI practice. Setting goals for hiring may be great for expanding diversity in terms of the numbers, but this won’t automatically create an inclusive culture. To create the best DI experience and retain and keep top talent, take a proper look at the total employee experience so that you can promote inclusion daily and then measure its impact.
- Remember that inclusion is a continual process. DI is not a “set it and forget it” deal. To truly foster the most diverse and inclusive environment, you are going to have to work on your efforts daily. That includes tracking progress and always finding areas to improve.
- Help your employees thrive. Develop a corporate culture that helps and allows employees to contribute their unique skills to your organization. The best-fit employees are those who are capable of bringing your mission, values, and purpose to life with their hard work and dedication. But you need to work to help bring the best out of them.
- Understand your purpose. As you try to build a diverse and inclusive workplace culture, you have to connect the dots between what’s going on inside and outside of your company. What does your brand convey about your culture and people? Are your customer base and employee base on the same page? If not, why? Inclusion encompasses the way a company operates, works, communicates, and contributes.
- Employee resource groups are an excellent way to facilitate diversity and inclusion among veterans. These groups increase employee engagement and can help veterans adjust to corporate life at a large organization. Veterans who went straight from high school to the military have a particularly hard time adjusting to civilian jobs, and these groups can be key to getting them acclimated to a new routine while also recreating the camaraderie that veterans have come to love and rely on and many even refer to as the highlight of their service.
When multiple voices — each with their own outlooks and experiences — come together, each task at hand gets a fresh perspective that leads to innovative ideas that break barriers and help scale your company. This leads to higher productivity and strengthens your competitive advantage — not to mention the fact that your talent pool widens exceptionally.
Most organizations are aware of the competitive advantages of a diverse and inclusive workforce, but many aren’t prepared to successfully attract, hire, and retain military professionals. In fact, studies have shown that veterans often feel misunderstood by potential employers. This is why it can be extremely beneficial to partner with an agency that has expertise in recruiting and hiring veterans, like MilitaryHire.com. MilitaryHire is your preferred military hiring network. Our mission is to “Serve Those Who Served.” We connect veterans of America’s armed forces, military spouses, and family members with employers who value the experience and skills that military service encompasses. Browse our qualified and diverse pool of military professionals and get started recruiting top candidates today!