If you own a small business, one of the best ways to honor veterans this National Hire a Veteran Day (July 25) is to hire one. Indeed, while veterans returning to civilian life often have difficulties finding good jobs, the fact is, veterans have specialized skills and other attributes that make them excellent employees.
Hiring veterans is a smart business decision and here are the top 5 reasons why:
1. Veterans have a great work ethic: It is called military discipline for a reason. When it comes to working hard, veterans are often well-equipped to stay on task. When you’re a service member, your job requires focus, determination, and precision. Anything less could mean lives are at risk, could mean your safety, of the safety of others, is at risk. Being a service member instills a drive within people to stay disciplined and focused, keeping at the task at hand until it is completed.
These skills easily transfer to working in business; veterans understand the meaning of hard work and getting the job done, which, as you well know, are desirable qualities in employees.
2. Veterans are trainable: Although veterans may not know the ins and outs of your small business, they nevertheless possess one quality that makes them very good employees: trainability.
Service members are used to listening to superiors, getting feedback, learning, adapting, and taking on new challenges. All of these qualities make them very trainable employees. Veterans take direction well and when given a new task, can learn and execute it.
3. Veterans know how to work in a team – and how to lead: Working in teams is fundamental to being in the service; that’s how things get done and missions accomplished. Service members must be able to work with a variety of people, collaborate, and be a valuable member of a team.
That said, what is also driven home in the service? Being a leader. There are many opportunities to rise in the ranks of leadership when in the military, which allows veterans to already have the knowledge for how to run a team.
So yes, veterans can definitely be a great addition to your team, but also, when given the right guidance, lead it.
4. Veterans are excellent problem solvers: Veterans know firsthand what it means to find solutions to tricky challenges. They have experienced thinking on their feet and working under pressure in demanding situations.
That adaptability and inventiveness is another reason why they make great employees.
In any business, problem solving is a valuable skill - when tough situations arise, it is important to have employees who can diffuse problems and find innovative solutions when none might be seemingly available. Veterans, with this skill already, make good employees for this very reason.
5. Bonus: There are government incentives for you to hire a veteran! Hiring a veteran is smart because of their plethora of skills, and you also may be able to qualify for government incentives for doing so.
- The Internal Revenue Service’s Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program was created to encourage companies to hire groups that had a hard time finding jobs, including veterans. They provide certain tax breaks if new hires meet Qualified Long-term Unemployment standards - anywhere from $1,500 to $2,400 in tax credits.
- Additionally, Wounded Warrior tax credits can be claimed if you hire veterans with disabilities. If you want to learn more about tax credits and incentives for hiring veterans, find more on the VA website
On this Veterans Day, the smart move is to look to hire a vet.
Steven D. Strauss is one of the world's leading experts on small business and is a lawyer, writer, and speaker. The senior small business columnist for USA Today, his Ask an Expert column is one of the most highly-syndicated business columns in the country. He is the best-selling author of 17 books, including his latest, The Small Business Bible, now out in a completely updated third edition. You can also listen to his weekly podcast, Small Business Success.© Steven D. Strauss
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