It’s tough to find good help these days. According to one recent survey by Silicon Valley Bank, four out of five US businesses are planning to increase their headcount over the course of 2017 — but 90 percent of executives say they’re finding it extremely challenging to track down the right talent to help their businesses grow.
One solution to that talent crunch could be for business owners to start thinking about veterans.
At present, there are nearly one million unemployed military veterans across the United States. Many of them are desperate for work — and from an employer’s perspective, the unique qualities veterans possess could make some ideal job candidates. The government has also made a point of introducing a variety of benefits and incentives for business owners willing to take a chance on out-of-work veterans.
But if you’re still in doubt, here are 15 reasons your business could benefit from hiring military veterans:
Veterans are Goal-oriented
Very few professions focus exclusively on goal completion — but one that does is the military. Veterans are trained in engineered environments that target nothing but mission achievement, and military personnel are taught to exercise collaboration, cooperation and personal development in order to achieve their targets.
Veterans are Trained Leaders
If you’d like to foster in-house talent and hire genuine leadership candidates, veterans are a natural fit. Experts say the average Marine is recruited at age 19 and by age 20, is typically promoted to become a non-commissioned officer and placed in high-stress leadership roles.
Veterans Take Responsibility Seriously
From day one, military personnel are trained to take their jobs extremely seriously. They have it drilled into them that stupid mistakes, bad decisions or blatant oversights can get their comrades seriously hurt — or worse. You can’t unlearn that, and so veterans will usually bring that enviable level of precision into the workplace
Veterans Know How to Make Decisions
The military is strategically designed to create leaders — and in doing so, it forces all recruits to embrace their intuition. Veterans have been trained to absorb every single piece of information they can find before making a snap judgement, and so they can typically be relied upon to make the best choice available at any given time.
Veterans Speak Their Minds
Although they’ve been trained to obey orders, very few veterans are “yes men”. Because of their leadership experiences and intuition skills, as employees, veterans won’t shy away from flagging mistakes or asking the boss to think twice about a big decision.
Veterans Work Well Independently
If you’re after an employee who you’ll be able to trust managing crucial processes in your business, you can’t do better than a veteran. Studies indicate military personnel are more likely to take major initiative than their co-workers — which is probably why U.S. veterans are also 45 percent more likely to start their own businesses.
Veterans Have a Great Work Ethic
When you’re in the military, slacking off isn’t an option. Every task you’ve been asked to do must be done for a reason, and veterans have been trained to understand that. As a result, you can expect veterans do understand the meaning of hard work.
Veterans Can Help You Organize
The military thrives on structure and organization. It’s their bread and butter, and all personnel are trained from day one to embrace that organization. If your business is in need of a bit of help in terms of structure, veterans have the skills needed to steer you in the right direction.
Veterans Receive Education Assistance
If you want employees who are always looking to learn new skills and enhance their personal development, veterans have got a leg up on the competition. Thanks to government-provided financial assistance, veterans are able to take advantage of accreditation opportunities and degree opportunities that could bolster your businesses talent pool.
Veterans Know Technology
Military personnel are typically trained to understand the ins and outs of complicated mechanisms and technological procedures — and as a result, they’re likely to track industrial trends and strive to keep your business up-to-date on those trends.
Veterans Understand Globalization
In this day and age, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a small business in America that isn’t touched by globalization in some shape or form — whether they’re outsourcing manufacturing, shipping to customers abroad or purchasing exotic commodities like coffee or cocoa. When you’re trying to develop a strategy that takes these international factors into consideration, it helps to have a military mind on standby. A lot of veterans will have overseas experience, language skills and intimate knowledge of global markets that make for a great business asset.
Veterans Understand Health and Safety
If you’re operating in an industry that must adhere to strict health and safety standards, hiring a veteran will save you a lot of time and energy in training. Veterans are trained to take health and safety protocols extremely seriously, and have a proven track record performing in a drug-free workforce guided by personal health and fitness.
Hiring a Veteran Saves You Money
The U.S. Government’s Special Employer Incentives (SEI) program enables employers to hire a qualified veteran trainee at an apprenticeship wage. Employers are also reimbursed for up to half each veteran’s salary to cover certain supplies and equipment, additional instruction expenses and any loss in production.
Hiring a Veteran Means Tax Incentives
If you hire an eligible unemployed veteran, your business can take advantage of a number of tax incentives. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), Returning Heroes Tax Credit and Wounded Warriors Tax Credit can provide your company with annual incentives of up to $9,600.
Veterans Don’t Give Up
Worried about team morale? Hire a veteran. Military personnel are trained to be relentless in achieving their goals, and they can help your team show more initiative in order to overcome monumental hurdles.
Hosts Mike and Tricia Marino are a retired military family with three children. They retired from the Navy with just over 20 years of service in 2011 and returned from Japan serving as civilians on a Navy base.