By Kate Fazio
Proud. Tough. Strong. Determined. These words describe the men and women who serve in the armed forces. Many business leaders recognize these qualities and hire veterans for the values they hold and qualities they developed while in the military.
Some reasons employers give for hiring veterans include:
Leadership qualities: Again and again, employers cite leadership qualities as a key attribute of the veterans they recruit. In a New York Post article, Stephanie Smith of Macy’s Military Executive Development Program says that veterans understand that “getting things done is not just about giving orders. It’s about winning over workers.” Service members sometimes get leadership opportunities at a young age, such as former soldier Shane Robinson’s experience managing $5 million worth of classified equipment at 18 , according to a Forbes Magazine article . These leadership qualities make veterans a great asset to employers.
Strong team orientation: Robinson describes how the military teaches that in order “to become a good leader, one must first be a good follower. “ Teamwork is emphasized in military values, with the understanding that the mission of the military is a grand one that cannot be accomplished without the strong commitment of each service member. He further says that eterans bring this orientation to positions in the civilian sector, having gained the experience necessary to know “how to take orders – and when to give them.”
Always get the job done: Phil Demersky of Jack Daniels Motors says in the New York Post article that he jumps on opportunities to hire veterans because he knows that “they’ll get to work on time … they’re polite, take direction well and always get the job done.” Demersky says these qualities are more important than knowledge of his industry because he can teach that. “In addition to integrity, veterans have proven that they can handle the stress of business because they have had to get things done in combat situations that involved moral dilemmas, uncertainty, and risk of physical harm.”
For these reasons and many more, companies have the opportunity to hire great people by hiring veterans. Matthew Thompson, co-founder and COO at the start-up ID.me, sums it up by saying that today’s veterans “were forged in the fires of a long war … we’re just now seeing how good these men and women really are.”
Kate Fazio was an employee at Screening for Mental Health.