Over the past 15 years, thousands of soldiers have returned to the United States after serving around the world. Military men and women are looking for civilian work that lets them continue to use the skills and values they learned in the military. Many veterans have qualifications that will make them significant assets to your team while offering a range of other business benefits.
Benefits of Hiring Veterans
After serving in the military, many veterans have advanced job training and skills that benefit a wide range of companies. Adding veterans to your workforce can help your whole team by filling open positions with workers who know how to learn fast and work as a team.
Hiring veterans also makes good business sense. Companies that hire veterans are eligible for multiple tax credits, including the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, the Wounded Warriors Tax Credit, and the Returning Heroes Tax Credit. These credits can save you thousands of dollars a year by merely hiring a qualified worker.
Large companies across the nation realize the benefits of hiring veterans returning from service. Starbucks has hired almost 9,000 veterans and military spouses since 2013 while Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and other large tech companies are hiring thousands of veterans as part of a Joining Forces initiative.
How to Hire Veterans
When hiring veterans, you need to be aware of what you are legally allowed to ask and what you should not ask. Remember that veterans may not be able to speak about some previous work experiences and are not accustomed to boasting about their accomplishments. You also need to avoid any questions that may be a basis for discrimination.
For instance, you never ask a veteran if they will be deployed again soon, if they were injured in combat or if they are disabled in any way. You also cannot ask about the type of discharge they received from the military.
Instead in your interviews, focus on the job and the skills relevant to the work. You can ask about their education, their training, and their previous work experiences. Ask them about qualifications listed in the job description, just like any other candidate, but keep in mind that the military may be their only work experience. Tailor questions to fit this experience. Instead of asking, “When did you help an upset customer?” ask about helping a teammate instead.
Where to Find Veterans Looking for Work
You can connect with veterans looking for work through various websites and other resources. For instance, Military.com offers guidance in hiring veterans and the opportunity to join with veterans via job boards. You can also contact a Veteran Employment Representative in your area who works with companies to hire veterans.
You can also save time in looking for veterans online by working with a staffing agency. Staffing agencies have hundreds or thousands of resumes on file and can help you quickly find the right candidate for job openings.
Additional Resources for Hiring Veterans
Some veterans may take some time to adjust to civilian life. You can learn more about these adjustments, the importance of Employee Assistance Programs and other information through these resources:
- U.S. Office of Personnel Management Veterans Service
- Optum Services – Employer Guide to Hiring Veterans
- United States Department of Labor Hire A Veteran Toolkit
Hiring veterans is more than just good for our nation’s soldiers; it’s good for your business. Many veterans make excellent employees, helping your company achieve your business goals.