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Show Your Stripes: Hire Vets

Post-recession, the hiring outlook for U.S. veterans is beginning to take a turn for the better. Recently, more and more businesses are tipping their hats in honor of hiring veterans. In fact, in a recent survey of 2,440 hiring and human resources managers, CareerBuilder reports that one-third of employers are actively recruiting vets over the next year, up from 27 percent last year.

However, more than 720,000 of America’s 21.4 million veterans are still without a job, leaving room for improvement. More can and should be done to give our heroes better job security when they return home.

Benefits of Hiring a Vet

Nearly 180,000 veterans re-enter the civilian workforce each year, so what better time to recruit them than now? With the dwindling of troops overseas, greater attention must be placed on providing meaningful employment upon return.

Veterans are a unique kind of candidate. They possess valuable skills pertinent to almost any job on the market. These include:

  • Excellent teamwork skills – Working in tight-knit quarters gives military personnel a renowned understanding of the importance of teamwork. They know that loyalty builds trust, and a unified team increases productivity.
  • Strong work ethic – An interview may not tell you this, but take a good look at a veteran’s military background. They know how to take and give orders, adhere to a strict schedule and consistently perform.
  • Self-discipline – Vets take a vow to protect and defend this country, and they hold true to their word. They undergo rigorous training and commit themselves to excellence in the field. They also are no stranger to working under pressure.
  • Diverse communication skills – Vets are well-traveled and often work in groups with diverse individuals, so many understand the need to be flexible.
  • Leadership skills – The unpredictable nature of battle requires that each individual be a leader, and all of the above are skills attributed to great leaders.

Hire Smart: Hire Vets

Companies can start hiring vets by calling college and university career centers to meet potential candidates on campus. Many campuses have ROTC programs and can get you into contact with the right people. Another great resource is the virtual job fair, such as, which allows employers to meet candidates without leaving the office. For a full, step-by-step guide on hiring vets, visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s website, where you can find recommended action steps such as:

  • determining employment opportunities and creating detailed job descriptions,
  • using military language in outreach material,
  • alternatives to full-time employment,
  • accessing credible resources to help you look for qualified veterans and wounded warriors seeking employment, and
  • knowing what you can and cannot ask during an interview.

Veterans might be the right fit for your business. Recognizing their skills is a step closer to ousting the very real unemployment reality many of them already face.

In honor of Veterans Day today, Nov. 11, we’d like to thank all those who have fought and those still serving today.