Companies devote significant energy and resources to recruit top talent. Despite their best efforts, they often are unable to fill open positions with talent that truly meets their needs. A sure route to overcoming this challenge is to hire veterans.
Veterans bring a host of character traits that are difficult to beat. They are hard-working, detail-oriented, quick to learn, adaptable, often have leadership experience, and are motivated by an attitude of service to country and community.
Frustrated by employees who grumble if unexpected events keep them at work past quitting time? You won't find this attitude with veterans. They come from an environment where four hours of uninterrupted sleep is a luxury. More importantly, the duty to get the job done and do it well has been deeply ingrained into them. Their lives often depended on doing a job well. You will certainly appreciate their work ethic as members of your team.
That same ethos that drives veterans to get the job done drives them to pay close attention to detail and to do the job right. Over their military careers, whether they lasted three years or thirty, veterans have learned to operate a wide variety of equipment, much of which requires great attention to detail to operate correctly. Now, you are unlikely to use the same equipment in your business, but the important skills of being able to quickly master complicated subjects and equipment is a skill that transfers to any industry.
The process of hiring veterans can seem daunting. Sometimes veterans resumes seem to be filled with technical jargon and it is not always apparent how veteran skill sets map to civilian careers. While each veteran's skills, experiences, and career goals are unique, here is a broad overview of the various military ranks and what experience you can expect.
Junior enlisted service members have ranks such as Private, Airman, and Seaman. These veterans usually have only a few years of experience in the military. But they likely have gained valuable hands on experience in their field, have learned how to learn new skills, have learned to be solid team members who get the job done, and may have had a few opportunities to try their hand at leading a project.
Non-commissioned officers have ranks such as Corporal, Sergeant, and Petty Officer. They have demonstrated success in the junior enlisted ranks and have been promoted into supervisory positions. They often have received formal leadership training and are accustomed to being in charge of a small team and leading that team to get the job done. As first line supervisors, they often work alongside their team and are not afraid to get their hands dirty.
As non-commissioned officers advance in rank, they move from supervising one team to supervising many teams. This can involve responsibility for 10, 30, 100, or even 500 or more personnel. These non-commissioned officers act as the “right hand man” (or woman) to a commissioned officer. They are in charge of overseeing the execution of increasingly complex projects involving increasingly large numbers of people.
Commissioned Officers have ranks including Lieutenant, Ensign, Captain, Major, Commander, Colonel, General and Admiral. Commissioned officers often enter the service after receiving a college degree. Commissioned officers often alternate between leadership roles where they are directly responsible for short and long term planning for an organization and staff roles where they focus on a specific aspect of planning for an organization. These specific roles can vary and might include HR, operations, logistics, communications, or maintenance.
How can your business attract this talent? It may seem difficult if you don't have an office near a military installation. But it doesn't need to be difficult. Many organizations such as MilitaryHire specialize in helping veterans find jobs and helping companies hire veterans. They make it easy to reach a large population of transitioning veterans with your job openings and offer you access to veteran resumes so you can find top talent for your organization.
Now that you have the inside track on how to hire top talent from the veteran community, there's nothing left to do but to do it. Hire a veteran today!
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Comments  by Sean Pritchard — Posted on Apr 15, 2015 in Hiring Veterans