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A Case for Hiring Veterans

Proving why veterans are perfect for the job

By Maurice Jones

Page 33

The military trains individuals to lead by example as well as through direction, delegation, motivation and inspiration. With a vast skillset acquired through their service, veterans serve as a tremendous asset to businesses and corporations of all sizes across a wide variety of industries. Military service members have a strong work ethic that typically accompanies top-notch education and training. Simply put, hiring veterans is good for business. The 2012 Study “Guide To Leading Policies, Practices & Resources: Supporting The Employment of Veterans & Military Families,” makes the case why veterans are great employees. Below are a few key points from the study. Access full study at vets.syr.edu.

Veterans Are Entrepreneurial:

Military training and socialization processes have been demonstrated to instill effective levels of self-efficacy, trust and a strong comfort with autonomy as well as a high need for achievement including effective decision-making in dynamic environments. According to the Small Business Association, military veterans are more likely than a nonveteran to pursue business ownership after serving.

Veterans Assume High Levels of Trust:

Military service members including personnel and veterans develop a strong propensity for trust and faith in coworkers, and also trust in organizational leadership. These abilities are constantly highlighted in organizational behavior literature as a significant quality in high-performance teams.

Veterans Are Adept at Skills Transfer Across Context/Tasks:

Service members often endure training that includes contingency and scenario-based pedagogy. As a result, cognitive heuristics are developed that apply knowledge/skills to transfer between tasks and situations. Veterans are particularly skilled in the ability to recognize and act on opportunities to transfer skills.

Veterans Have [and Leverage] Advanced Technical Training:

Veterans have been exposed to advanced technology and training that is often accelerated compared to a non-military employee. Members of the service have the ability to link technology-based solutions to organizational challenges and transfer technological skills to work tasks. Not only do military veterans have more exposure to high technology than their age group peers, but they make the most of it.

Veterans Are Comfortable/Adept in Discontinuous Environments:

The business environment is dynamic and uncertain, and firms are highlighted when they are able to meet the day-to-day changes and challenges. Research has demonstrated that the military experience is directly correlated in evaluating a dynamic decision-making environment. This ability is particularly strong in veterans that have been in a combat environment.

Veterans Exhibit High Levels of Resiliency:

The business strategy and applied psychology literature highlights the positive benefits of resiliency instilled in employees. Service members often have the ability to recover from failed professions and personal experience quicker than those who have not served.

Veterans Exhibit Advanced Team-Building Skills:

Research finds that veterans capture the key components of communication, equal time listening and talking, frequent informal communication, and engagement with those outside the team. Veterans are adept in organizing and defining team goals.

Veterans Exhibit Strong Organizational Commitment:

Military institutions provide adept socialization which informs veterans of the strong link between the individual and the organization. Veterans pay attention to detail when it comes to customs, organizational norms and ethical standards due to military training.

Veterans Have [and Leverage] Cross-Cultural Experiences:

Military service today requires and dictates that veterans must be skilled at operating across cultures and international boundaries. These services include higher levels of cultural sensitivity, speaking more languages fluently and more international experience, all while having a competitive advantage for the firm as globalization increases.

Veterans Have Experience/Skill in Diverse Work Settings:

Research continuously highlights the fact that all-volunteer military represents a reliable workforce with dynamic dimensions. These include educational background, ethnicity, culture, values and goals of organizational members. Multiple studies show that as a result of these dimensions, military service members are highly accepting of individual differences in a work setting.

Maurice Jones is a Metro Detroit freelance writer.