A military veteran seeking employment in the civilian workforce.

Article

The Benefits of 
Hiring Veterans

By Samira Searcy, Aston Carter Military Liaison/Outreach Specialist

Veterans represent a robust group of individuals who are highly trained and educated in their field throughout their years of military service. This experience allows them to develop diverse expertise and skill sets, which directly relate to their success as employees and the value they bring to a civilian organization.

However, one of the main challenges veterans and employers may encounter is a knowledge gap in how military skills transfer to a traditional workplace. A military career path is often highly defined and specialized, so veterans can struggle to identify civilian jobs that match their skill set. Alternatively, hiring managers may not be familiar with the terminology or experiences listed on a veteran’s resume, so learning how to bridge this gap is crucial to the success of both veterans and the companies that hire them. With additional understanding and support, your company can more easily tap into this vast and highly qualified candidate pool.

Why Hire Military Veterans?

Given the expansive skill sets veterans possess, there are many benefits of bringing on a new hire who has a military background.

Adaptability

Veterans’ resilience and adaptability help them thrive in challenging situations, including moments of organizational change. As the shifts brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic taught us, the ability to navigate rapidly changing situations is welcomed in any work environment.

Security Clearances

If you work in a setting that requires employees to obtain security clearances, many veterans either hold active clearances or have held them in the past. This makes it easier for them to qualify for the necessary clearances that may be more challenging or time-consuming for a non-veteran to obtain.

Tax Credits

Your primary reason for hiring a veteran should be for the unique benefits they can bring to your organization. However, hiring a veteran may also make you eligible for a tax credit. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is managed by the IRS and Department of Labor to offer additional incentives for employers. These incentives are based on factors such as employment and disability status.

Top Transferable Military Skills

For employers new to working with veteran candidates, there are resources available to help you identify how the needs of your organization might align with the skills of a veteran.

Here are a few of the top transferable skills that a veteran may possess:

Project Management Ability

Similar to logistics, time management and an ability to navigate complex problems are tremendously valuable skills for any workplace. Because veterans have dealt with serious logistical challenges during their service, they often know how to coordinate with teams to reach shared goals in a timely manner.

An Aptitude for Technology

Every branch of the military offers extensive training in advanced technologies. For example, some of the Army's Advanced Individual Training (AIT) schools teach service members how to deploy and manage global Information Technology (IT) systems, manage personnel records for thousands of service members, and employ advanced analytical techniques to identify critical information about competitors.

Interviewing and Hiring Veterans

If you’re interested in bringing a veteran onto your team, take a moment to consider their background as you begin the hiring process. A veteran may be hesitant to apply because their experience might not be precisely what the job description calls for. Here are some ways you can help.

Meet Veterans Where They Are

In order to reach veteran candidates, consider posting your job on boards that cater specifically to veterans seeking employment. You can also include language encouraging them to apply, such as statements acknowledging military training that is equivalent to civilian training. This may help a veteran see that you’re willing to train them on job-specific tasks, in exchange for the unique perspective they’ll bring to the team.

Interview Experience

In contrast to most civilians who typically have interview experience, veterans may have never had a formal interview. In the military, change in rank typically occurs on a points-based system, with no interview required. Because they might not have experience in interview settings, they may find it challenging to showcase their full potential.

Here are a few tips on how to conduct a job interview with a veteran candidate:

  • Help them feel comfortable. Remember that veterans may have limited interview experience and might feel nervous. Explain which resources and programs your company offers to veterans and explain the ways that you can support their successful transition.
  • Give them an opportunity to shine. Ask them about their proudest moments while serving in the military, so you can see the passion and drive they’ll bring to your organization.
  • Be mindful of industry jargon. Some terminology does not translate between the military and civilian spaces, so if you use an industry-specific term, remember to define it.

After a successful interview, keep in mind that your responsibility doesn’t end there. The transition to civilian life can come with challenges, so be ready to support your new hire throughout their training period and beyond.

Supporting Veterans on the Job

The civilian workforce can look very different from the military world veterans are accustomed to. To support them during this time, be prepared to connect your veteran hires with resources designed to help them succeed. If you don’t have internal resources available, partner with nonprofits that support veterans. Some examples include:


Connecting Employers with Veteran Job Candidates

The advanced training veterans receive during their military experience can bring a new perspective to a civilian role, which amounts to increased levels of overall success and growth. Working with a recruiter can help employers connect with veterans and match their skill sets with job opportunities.

Opportunities for connections are also available through the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). The SkillBridge program is a military and veteran resource program that gives active-duty military service members who are within 180 days of transitioning from military service access to competitive internship and pre-apprenticeship opportunities. This program matches soon-to-be veterans with industry partners to help them get the training and experience they need to transition into the civilian workforce. In return, industry partners get access to these skilled and diverse workers. Aston Carter, for example, is an Authorized Industry Partner with the SkillBridge program.

If you are looking to hire veterans or would like to learn more about how to best support your veteran employees, reach out to Aston Carter today.

After 20 years of service in the United States Army, Samira joined Aston Carter in 2021 as the military liaison and outreach specialist. Leveraging her passion and experience, she launched our Military Outreach Program which provides employment opportunities and career advancement for veterans. She is currently serving as the chair of Service 2 Solvers, an employee resource group where she provides coaching and mentorship to the service members, veterans and first responders of Aston Carter. Samira has also been central to Aston Carter becoming an authorized industry partner with the SkillBridge program, which provides active-duty military service members with access to competitive internship and pre-apprenticeship opportunities.