Top 6 Reasons You Should Be Hiring Veterans
Our veterans train hard and work fearlessly to do their jobs and protect our freedoms, but they aren’t always given an equal opportunity to apply their skills in the civilian workforce when they return home. According to recent data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2015, 4.6 percent of all veterans, or approximately 495,000 individuals, were unemployed. This problem has been a topic of discussion in recent years, as the government has created programs to try to decrease the veteran unemployment rate. Unfortunately, some companies are still hesitant to hire veterans.
Not All Companies Want to Hire Vets
Although veterans are often viewed as hard working and dedicated, studies and reports over the years have pointed to a few reasons employers are sometimes reluctant to hire former service men and women. These include:
- Stereotyping: Common stereotypes of soldiers suggest rigidity, anger management issues or PTSD. To an employer, this may cause concern for interactions with other employees and the individual’s ability to think for him or herself.
- Deployment Fears: Hiring a veteran who is in the military reserves means there is a possibility of a future deployment, which would interfere with productivity and could require starting the hiring process all over.
- Confusion about skillsets: Most employers don’t know what skills are required in each military role and therefore don’t always understand if the veteran has qualifications that will translate to a civilian role.
- Acclimation concerns: Serving in the military is not exactly like working in a corporate environment. For employers, this may mean allowing for an adjustment period, which may not always be efficient for the business.
While these reasons may have some degree of truth, none of them should discourage small and large businesses from hiring veterans. With upfront communication and a clear understanding of qualities and skills by both the applicant and hiring manager, employers can help our military heroes get the jobs they need while benefiting from the discipline and dedication a veteran brings.
Are you hiring vets at your company? Here are the top six reasons you should consider it.
1. Hiring Vets Is Serving Your Country
Perhaps the most obvious benefit to hiring a veteran is the gratitude and repayment you are providing for his or her service to the country. Delaying school or a job search to defend your people is extremely admirable and should not result in struggles when you return to civilian life. When companies make an effort to hire former service men and women, they are taking the opportunity to serve those who have served, which in turn, provides support for the military as a whole.
2. Veterans Have a Strong Work Ethic
Each branch of the armed forces trains its service people to work hard, work efficiently and consistently perform. A strong work ethic is critical in the military, as unfocused and unreliable service could result in the loss of lives. Veterans have been trained to do what needs to be done to achieve their goal or complete their mission. These qualities are extremely valuable in the workplace, as they translate to reliability, consistency, self-discipline and professional maturity.
3. Vets Are Team Players
Serving in the military is serving as part of a team. When your safety is determined by how well you work with others, you understand the responsibility you have to those working with you. This results in more dependable and cooperative team members who take accountability for their actions.
Veterans also are ingrained with a sense of loyalty, both for their team and leaders. Their military experience generally includes working with a diverse group of people with various skill levels, making it easy for them to transition to a new team upon hire.
4. Hiring a Vet is Hiring a Leader
Leadership is a critical component of training in the armed forces, as service members may face situations where they have to show confidence and initiative to solve a problem. Not only are they expected to lead, motivate and delegate when appropriate, they have to do these things often in high-stress situations. This training helps keep them focused on the task at hand to find the best way to achieve their goal. In the office, these leadership skills translate to the ability to keep calm and offer direction to their teammates, all while leading by example.
5. Vets are Vetted
The majority of the individuals who serve in the military go through extensive background checks to achieve different levels of security clearances. Since many companies now perform background checks before hiring a new employee, this makes screening a veteran easier. In fact, hiring a vet could save your company money on special background checks, as you can request a transfer of their status instead of paying for investigations. Employing an upstanding former service member also poses less of a risk to your business operation.
6. Tax Credits
Hiring a veteran could come with tax incentives. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), for example, is available to companies that employ and retain vets. How much of a credit an employer receives is dependent on the veteran’s hours worked and wages earned after one year:
- 120 hours worked: Employer can claim 25 percent of the vet’s wages from the first year
- 400 hours worked: Employer can claim 40 percent of the vet’s wages from the first year
To collect the WOTC, employers must submit an IRS Form 8850 and ETA Form 9061 within 28 days of hiring the veteran.
Another tax incentive offered to employers who specifically hire unemployed veterans is the Returning Heroes Tax Credit. If a veteran has been unemployed for four weeks or more, the company can claim 40 percent of the first $6,000 in wages paid, up to $2,400. When hiring a veteran who has been unemployed for greater than six months, employers can claim 40 percent of the first $14,000 in wages paid, up to $5,600.
While some employers have concerns about hiring veterans, doing so often brings a great benefit to the company. If you are not actively looking to hire former service members, you may want to start a new initiative.
Are You a Vet Seeking Employment?
As companies are receiving greater encouragement to hire former service members, veterans should be applying with greater confidence. If you are an unemployed vet looking for a job, fill out an application with Atlas Staffing and we will help you find the position that is the best fit for your skills. And thank you for your service.
Contingent Workforce Management Solutions
How to Retain Contingent Employees