You don’t have to wait for Veterans Day to honor a veteran. Your business can help honor veterans by hiring one. It’s a good diversity practice with benefits that go all around – to your business, the veterans you hire and the community at large.
Here’s a guide to the benefits of hiring veterans and tips for finding qualified candidates.
Leverage Transferable Skills and Valuable Experience
Veterans can be a tremendous asset in the workplace, bringing with them the spit and polish, experience and strengths of military training. Every business, whether small or large, can benefit from these qualities:
- Core values. Every military branch has a set of core values that revolve around the principles of accountability, commitment, integrity and service before self.
- Leadership. Service members are trained to lead, delegate, motivate and inspire – and prevail in circumstances that can test the mettle of the most stalwart.
- Strong team-player mentality. Loyalty is strongly enforced in the military. Veterans know the importance of building trust with their team and with leadership. They have a strong sense of responsibility to others and for their own actions, and know how to work with diverse groups of people to achieve a common goal.
- Disciplined work ethic. Discipline and commitment are the backbone of military training. For those who serve, it’s crucial to follow procedures and get the job done right the first time, especially given the high stakes of their operations. They also need to perform well under pressure and see their assignments through to completion.
- Planning and organization. Most military operations require advanced skills in resource planning, setting objectives, evaluating strengths and limitations, balancing workloads and logistics, and the many other aspects of managing critical projects and missions.
- Specialized training. All military service people receive advance training that often transfers directly to potential employment in the civilian world, including the medical, engineering, computer, security and administrative fields. Many vets have highly-specialized experience in large, complex projects, and employers looking to innovate their operations would benefit from these skills, including in the field of information technology.
Take Advantage of Government Tax Incentives
When you hire a veteran, you not only benefit from finely honed skills and abilities. If you complete the hiring process before December 31, 2013, your business may also qualify for a tax credit known as the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). The WOTC targets veterans who have faced barriers to employment:
- The Returning Heroes Tax Credit provides incentives of up to $5,600 for hiring a veteran who has been collecting unemployment insurance or compensation for at least 4 weeks.
- The Wounded Warriors Tax Credit doubles the existing WOTC for long-term unemployed veterans with service-connected disabilities, to up to $9,600 per hire.
The laws behind these credits are straightforward and the forms relatively easy to complete. Visit United States Department of Labor Work Opportunity Tax Credit for more information and how to apply.
How to Find Qualified Candidates for Your Small Business
The Internet offers a wealth of resources to help businesses find veterans who are seeking employment. Here are just a few to tap into:
- HiringOurHeroes, a program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, provides a means for posting veteran-friendly jobs, finding veteran job seekers, and learning the ins and outs of recruiting and retaining veteran talent.
- The U.S. Department of Labor provides a guide to veteran staffing assistance in your area.
- Employers.MilitaryHire.com helps employers find military veteran job seekers.
- U.S. Small Business Administration offers valuable need-to-know information on veteran labor laws and regulations.