The Unexpected Benefits Of Hiring A Veteran

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The "Greenlight a Vet" campaign provides a visual way to show appreciation for veterans. Displaying symbols of support keeps veterans top of mind for many. Some turn that awareness into action.

Helping veterans find jobs tops that list for Ted Daywalt.

During his 28 years in the Navy, Daywalt discovered a consistent problem: His wife had trouble finding work whenever he was transferred. He noticed that many transitioning out of the military also have trouble finding work. It really hit home for him when a Sergeant Major had been talked into paying an outplacement firm $5000 to help him find a job.

Daywalt saw a better way. He started VetJobs so that veterans, including those transitioning out of the military, and their families would "have a great resource available to go out and find work."

Making Connections

According to the nonprofit campaign Got Your 6, 250,000 service members exit the military and reenter civilian life every year. Even though statistics demonstrate that veterans stay in their jobs longer and tend to be promoted faster than their civilian counterparts, connecting veterans with employers is challenging.

As with filling any open position, the challenge is two-fold. One part involves advertising the position to the right audience, and the other part is getting that audience to respond. VetJobs helps fill this gap, providing a single point of contact for employers and veterans.

The organization's mission of "making it easy for employers to reach and employ all the members of the military community" has become increasingly important. As Daywalt explains, the "Department of Labor has realized the need to ensure that everybody hires disabled people and veterans."

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program (OFCCP), for example, now requires any company with more than 50 employees to have 7% of the workforce be veterans and 7% be people with disabilities.

Finding qualified candidates is challenging enough. Mandating a percentage for veteran hires puts additional pressure on employers.

Veterans Have Business Skills

VetJobs frames it differently. It offers hard numbers on the benefits of employing veterans, including these:

  • 60% of enlisted personnel can program in at least one computer language
  • 92% of active duty military use computers at their places of duty
  • 40% of military personnel have job assignments that involve information resource management

Computer programming. Computer use. Management. Those are all skills businesses want in new hires, not to mention leadership experience, which many leaving the military also possess.

As with any hiring process, companies have to be mindful of fair hiring practices. Laws such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) still apply. With veterans, OFCCP and other government regulations related to hiring veterans also come into play.

Extra red-tape can be off-putting, but Daywalt offers a solution: preparation. He suggests connecting with the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). It offers training on compliance issues related to OFCCP and prepares companies for the types of audits and assessments involved in hiring veterans.

Untapped Talent For Your Business

Think about the positions you have open, and the skills you need at your company. Chances are, there's a veteran who has those skills and may be a good fit. Thanks to VetJobs and similar organizations, it's now a little easier to find one.

Do you make an effort to hire veterans?

Let us know @goodhiretweets #veteransday.

Max Wesman

Max Wesman

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Max Wesman leads all aspects of GoodHire services, from strategy to product development and design, to legal compliance, to customer support. Before joining GoodHire, he launched enterprise and small business software solutions for Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft.

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