As a result, today’s returning vets are enjoying a higher rate of re-employment than their baby-boomer predecessors at companies including Wal-Mart, JPMorgan Chase, Prudential, USAA, State Farm and more. Collectively, the firms are committed to hiring close to a million returning vets.
Capital One and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched “Hiring 500,000 Heroes” two years ago with the goal of engaging the U.S. business community to hire a half-million veterans by the end of this year. So far, 255,000 hires by more than 1,400 businesses of all sizes have been confirmed toward this goal.
Why are they taking such a proactive stance? Many employees believe that the structured military training vets receive can serve them well stateside.
“They are trained to react quickly to changing conditions,” explains Harley Lippman, founder and CEO of business consultancy Genesis10. “It’s all about accountability and supreme dedication. They’re punctual. And they’re great with teamwork—the things that make them effective soldiers would make them great employees.”
Bernard Hyland, who runs CALIBRE Systems’ “Veterans to Technicians” program for Audi, told CEO Briefing that vets make attractive employees due to their military work ethic and dependability. In addition, “The government has invested a tremendous amount of resources in teaching and training veterans,” he said. In just a year, the program has resulted in the hiring of about 100 military vets as service technicians and advisors at Audi dealerships across the country.
AVOIDING POTENTIAL HIRING PITFALLS
Lippman cautioned that, in job interviews, some vets tended to be too humble or provided short, military-style answers. By understanding this, employers can ask the right questions and compensate for the limited responses, ultimately hiring the right vet for the right job and successfully integrating them into the work environment.
Hyland cautions that companies need to hire vets for the right reasons. “Some companies hire vets because it’s good PR and they think they’ll fool their customer base into thinking they’re doing something patriotic,” he said.
Both Hyland and Lippman are convinced that the unrivaled discipline of American veterans is an invaluable characteristic in the workplace and is beneficial to the overall efficiency of a company. With today’s skilled workforce shortage, veterans are more than qualified to fill the need.