National holidays like Veterans Day celebrate the importance of veterans in society, but events like National Hire A Veteran Day celebrate another angle of their importance to our culture: the skillset and unique attributes they bring to the workforce.
National Hire A Veteran Day was founded to unite those who recruit and veterans seeking jobs, according to MilitaryBenefits.info. It was created by a Marine Corps vet in 2017, and ever since the holiday has presented a unique opportunity to discuss how hiring vets enhances company culture.
Why is job searching a challenge for many veterans?
“The transition from the military to the civilian private sector… two different cultures collide,” explains Nick Busse, Corporate Military & Diversity Recruiter at Leaf Home. “As civilians, you learn to structure yourself in your adult life. You become very self-reliant. In the military, you always have a structure. You always have someone to ask questions, you have answers to everything before you get there. For many service members transitioning to life in the civilian structure, this lack of structure can be a lot to adjust to.”
This change up in structure can cause a professional with years of experience to feel as though they’re starting from the ground up. This, in addition to moving, changing your environment, and adapting to a new schedule can be stressful. Busse himself knows what that transition feels like, as he served in the U.S. Army for 13 years.
“When I transitioned to the civilian sector, there was quite a bit of pressure,” he admits. “And I tend to do well under pressure, but I was aware that there was anxiety there. I found my way to Leaf by networking with industry-leading military professionals, and I decided to go through a mentorship.”
Mentors can help transitioning service members reassess their resume, understand jargon differences between military terminology and civilian terminology, and explore new ways to find resources and network.
There are also outlets, like DoD SkillBridge, that connect service members with civilian work opportunities.
What skills do veterans have that make them an exceptional candidate?
Recruiters find themselves working with people from many diverse backgrounds, and veterans bring to the table a background unlike any other. They come from a disciplined and ordered team that’s tightly knit, and they can bring to any organization the same level of dedication. Their resume, however, may look a bit different than a civilian one. As many military veterans will have only one employer to list (i.e. their respective branch of the military), a skill-based resume is often a great choice for them.
According to resume building website Novorésumé, veterans often have skills like:
-Proven Ability To Work As A Team
The website goes on to outline an example of how military members transitioning into the civilian sector can craft an eye-catching resume. It advises to avoid military jargon, which is an important point for veterans to consider, as they may deal with many hiring personnel that come from civilian backgrounds.
Why should I hire a veteran to be a part of my team?
“Veterans have all sorts of skills that you might not normally see,” says Nick Busse. “They have leadership, adaptability, and problem-solving skills. Veterans make great employees because they make great leaders, they’re problem solvers, they adapt easily, they’re loyal, and they’re dedicated.”
Diversity, he continues, promotes a healthy workplace. And the military, Busse points out, is one of the most diverse groups around.
“Different places of origins, different backgrounds, different lifestyles,” begins Busse, “And yet when you bring those people together, everything comes together. They can accomplish anything. Plus, service members bring with them the attitude that it’s one team and one fight.”
It has been proven time and time again that a diverse workforce benefits companies, from improving growth rate to retention rate. Great Place To Work, an organization that recognizes companies with a people-first mentality, points out in a recent blog post that companies with this approach have employees that look forward to work, take pride in their work, and have a desire to stay with the company for years to come. Leaf Home is proud to be a Great Place to Work-Certified™ Company, a fact that’s largely due to the incredible people that comprise its team.
Creating a diverse presence in an organization should include the recruitment of military members, and National Hire A Veteran Day celebrates that sentiment.
“My advice to recruiters would be to get involved with military recruitment resources,” says Busse. “Resources like Skillbridge, Hire Heroes USA, and Vets 2 Industry help you discover veteran talent.”
To celebrate National Hire A Veteran Day this year, start planning opportunities to expand your own team with military talent. The numbers speak for themself… veterans are bringing that special something to companies across the nation every single day.