A View From The Wood

5 Reasons to Hire Our Nation’s Veterans

Telos CEO John Wood
It is really discouraging to read that unemployment among our nation’s military veterans was over 12% in 2011 among those who served since 2001, outpacing the national unemployment average.
So, why is it so difficult for our returning service men and women to find well-suited careers?  Some articles point to the perceived drawbacks of hiring veterans, which include negative stereotypes about anger issues resulting from combat stress.  PTSD is real, and many veterans face the horrible effects of combat long after they return home.   But as an employer, why would you rule out all veterans as potential employees because of the possibility that they may have a problem with continued stress?
Another preconceived notion some employers have is that it's expensive to recruit vets (i.e., you need outside help to do so) or they don't know where to start.  There are several free sources for employers to post their jobs and search for veterans such as, Warriors to Work and Hero 2 Hired.  In addition, State employment agencies have veteran representatives who offer free assistance.  The state agencies all have local offices and are looking for company partnerships.
There are so many positive reasons to hire our veterans—reasons that span well beyond our “patriotic duty.”  At Telos, we aren’t just beating the “hire our heroes” drum; we are backing it up with action.  The Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight released a report a few weeks ago confirming that of the top ten small businesses receiving government contract dollars, Telos ranked the highest in veteran hiring: 34% of our new hires are veterans.   We are taking this seriously.
So why should your company consider hiring veterans?  If your goal is to hire the most qualified person for the job, then here is a quick list of five characteristics that are commonly found within the veteran community:
  1. Character – A strong work ethic, commitment to integrity and honor
  2. Leadership – Ability to make the tough calls, to lead by example
  3. Expertise – First-hand insight into the requirements of the warfighter and understanding of the military community
  4. Resiliency – Accustomed to an agile work environment
  5. Loyalty – Commitment to an employer that treats them well, leading to longer tenure
Yes, we owe it to our returning service men and women to help them transition from the battlefield into a civilian career.  But more importantly, our veterans are of a high caliber that any employer would be lucky to hire.   

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