By Kimberly Kafafian
Later this month we will be celebrating Hire a Veteran day. Because hiring from this group brings so much to the table, I want to expand the spotlight to shine on more than a single day on the calendar. I think it’s so important to share with employers the benefits leveraging this talent pool offers their organizations every day.
Improving the Bottom Line
Wise business leaders recognize the value of having veterans in their workforce. So much so, that 250+ companies joined the Veterans Jobs Mission coalition, which is committed to hiring 1 million veterans by 2025. These businesses, which represent virtually every industry in the U.S. economy, include companies like Amazon, American Express, Hershey’s, Johnson & Johnson, JP Morgan and Home Depot. The list goes on and on, underscoring the benefits that come from hiring those in the military. Plus there are many other businesses that are not part of the coalition, which have their own initiatives for hiring and supporting veterans, such as Walmart and Starbucks.
Let’s explore why these businesses are making veteran hiring practices a priority.
Productivity and Performance
The skills and attributes veterans developed during their time in service increase performance and productivity. How? Well for starters, their military experiences have already provided these men and women with real-life leadership skills. Additionally, veterans are used to working in teams to achieve a common goal, and they understand how multiple teams work together towards an overarching objective. And, because they are trained to analyze all information before making a decision, veterans are capable of making the best choice available when looking at the options. These skills and attributes – in addition to any technical abilities mastered – go a long way in boosting productivity and performance.
There’s a lot of goodwill that goes along with hiring veterans. A survey from Just Capital and The Harris Poll found that 87% of respondents believe companies have a role to play in actively recruiting veterans to their workforces. And it seems, according to the survey results, that veteran hiring initiatives also impacts purchasing decisions.
A diverse workforce boosts creativity and innovation. Having teams of individuals of varying backgrounds, perspectives and experiences expands the opportunity for new ideas and processes. Studies show that organizations with a diverse workforce enjoy higher revenues.
Hiring veterans can also save businesses money. One study from the CEB Corporate Leadership Council found that, on average, veterans perform at higher levels and are less likely to leave a company. According to the study “for a company of 1,000 employees with 25 percent military veteran new hires, cost savings amounted to a whopping $325,000 per year.”
Filling Talent Needs
Hiring overall is a top challenge for businesses in today’s climate. With nearly 200,000 transitioning service members entering civilian life each year, veterans are an untapped source. Organizations just need to read between the lines on the resume to see how military service experience can translate into valuable business skills and attributes.
Additional Financial Incentives
While all of the above benefits work to boost performance and productivity for financial gains, there are also some tax incentives that businesses may be eligible for when they hire veterans. The Work Opportunity Tax Credits provides up to $5,600 for each unemployed veteran hired, and up to $9,600 for each veteran with a service-related disability hired.
Let me sum up this business case for hiring veterans with a quote from Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase & Co.:
“We have to compete for workers. The military is a great place to find talent. [In the military] they learn how to show up. How to be a team. How to respond. If they don’t do their job, someone could be seriously injured. They learn logistics, communication, sharing ideas, analyzing reports, cybersecurity. Give them a chance.”