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Hiring Veterans: Why Veterans Make Excellent Employees

Hiring Veterans: Why Veterans Make Excellent Employees

Contributed by Alan Rohlfing

Nearly a year ago, I posted one of my first blogs for Military Connection, one that had a focus on why employers should hire members of the military community. It was called “At Least Ten Reasons to Hire Veterans,” but by the time I reached the closing paragraph, I had parlayed that into 25 reasons. Although I didn’t want to just rewrite that original post, I did want to take a closer look at some of those elements on my list. If you’re an employer reading this, you either already ‘get it’ or maybe my words will encourage you to seek more Veterans for your open positions. If you’re a jobseeker with military experience, once again I encourage you to take inventory of the items on this list and use them to sell yourself…both on your resume and in the interview.

Across the various workforce development groups I’ve been a part of over the last ten years or so, my teammates and I have spoken to and worked with literally thousands of employers. When we’ve had those conversations, here are some of the reasons why Veterans make excellent employees…

Leadership experience. At the top of nearly every employer’s wish list is to on-board someone who can make a sudden and lasting impact on their workforce, someone who has already successfully held positions of leadership. If those positions happened to have involved troops, it might have ranged from leading just a few men and women in the early stages of a military enlistment, to serving at the helm of thousands of warriors near the end of one’s career. The successes and failures, and the subsequent growth from lessons learned, can help develop a maturity that’s hard to find. And those that have successfully led men and women in uniform haven’t always been at the top, so they usually have a keen ability to work as either a team member or a team leader…and they can give or follow directions, depending on the needs of the organization.

Performance under pressure. While I typically avoid blanket statements, I’m comfortable saying that everyone in uniform is trained to do their job under less-than-ideal conditions or in a ‘lives depend on it’ scenario. I’ve been in units that trained at every turn for their wartime mission, taking every opportunity to train in the dark, in the rain, in the cold, and without a second to spare. Every training event is essentially a rehearsal for an eventuality most of us pray will never come. A by-product of that training, for many, is the ability to work efficiently and diligently in a fast-paced environment. A sought-after skill for many hiring managers, for sure.

Strong work ethic. If there’s one attribute that employers seem to assign to military jobseekers more than any other, it’s this one. Whichever branch of service, in whatever part of the world…those in uniform know what hard work looks like. For some, the work ethic comes naturally; for others, it comes after being honed in countless situations and unforgiving conditions. In either case, a strong work ethic, coupled with systematic planning and organizational skills, can do wonders for a workforce.

Specialized, advanced training and technical skills. Whether hiring managers are looking for those with the latest training and certifications in IT or someone who has the transferable skills of a commercial truck driver or First Responder, the specialized job training that military schools provide are world-class. Regardless of the industry in which an employer’s open positions lie – transportation, logistics, intelligence, manufacturing, or any other – there are folks transitioning from active military service or still serving in the National Guard & Reserve that are ready to fill them.

Discipline, with a healthy dose of flexibility and adaptability. One definition of discipline is “training to act in accordance with rules.” Combine that with the ability to flex and adapt and you have a potential workforce all-star who can adjust and excel at whatever the corporate environment throws their way.

Attention to detail. Long considered a hallmark of military Veterans from every branch of service, detail-oriented employees are also on most employers’ wish lists. That soft skill – being able to spot whether things are as they should be or corrections are needed – is one that comes more naturally the more it’s put into practice. It also often comes with a host of similar traits, such as a commitment to excellence, a history of meeting standards of quality, and a respect for procedures and accountability.

So there starts another list…one that goes into just a little more detail about why Veterans make excellent employees. To all you small business owners and hiring managers out there, I highly encourage you to connect with job-seeking Veterans (and those Military Spouses, too) for your open positions…you’ll be glad you did.

Until next time…

Best High Tech Jobs for Veterans

techjobs

By Debbie Gregory.

High tech jobs for veterans are a natural transition, given their abilities to take initiative, problem-solve and make decisions, skills that they honed during their military service.

Those who have served are also well-versed in computers.

For employers, hiring military veterans makes perfect sense. If you’re wondering what some of the top high-tech jobs for veterans are:

  • Project Manager is probably the most natural transition point for most service members. They are in charge of the planning and execution of a particular project, and the foundational skills required are quite similar to what many learn in the military.
  • Solutions Architect is a great position for problem solvers. Solutions architects work with their company’s clients processing feedback on their company’s product, and providing solutions based on that feedback.
  • Software Development Manager is a managerial position, a good use of leadership skills. There are a number of responsibilities, but the primary ones are to get a product out the door or deliver results to the customer.
  • Data scientists are in demand, and the position entails knowing how analyze and interpret complex digital data, such as the usage statistics of a website, especially in order to assist a business in its decision-making.
  • Analytics Managers design, configure, and maintain a data analysis tool that allows them to analyze data and make conclusions about it.
  • Software Engineers apply the principles of software engineering to the design, development, maintenance, testing, and evaluation of the software and systems that make computers or anything containing software work.
  • UX Designers enhance user satisfaction with a product by improving the usability, accessibility, and pleasure provided in the interaction with the product.
  • Mobile Developers will work in the development of mobile applications.
  • QA Managers monitor software testing processes or test new products.

If you have a technical background, consider one of these great career paths.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

 

Jobless Rate Rises for Post 9/11 Veterans in January

unemployment

By Debbie Gregory.

In 2011, Congress passed and President Obama signed into law a program giving employers tax credits to encourage veteran employment. Other programs also have encouraged companies and government agencies to hire veterans.

In spite of those efforts, the unemployment rate for the youngest generation of veterans jumped to 6.3 percent in January, the fourth time in the last seven months that group’s figure has been substantially higher than the overall veteran rate.

The figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which reflect the last month of President Barack Obama’s time in office, represent about 211,000 Iraq and Afghanistan era veterans looking for work. That’s almost 46 percent of the total of all U.S. veterans filing for unemployment benefits in January.

Young veterans, the ones between the ages of 18 and 34, face challenges in the employment marketplace that non-veterans never have to face and that older veterans have already overcome.

In many cases, it is hard to translate the work that was done in the service to a civilian equivalence. There are also few calls for riflemen, artillery spotters, missile technicians and many other military positions.

The January 2017 veteran unemployment rate was 4.5 percent, compared to the non-veteran rate of 5.0 percent. In December, the Iraq and Afghanistan era veterans’ rate was 5.7 percent.

With additional training and responsibility, the unemployment rate of young veterans should be lower than the rest of the population. That’s why the higher number of unemployed younger veterans does raise concerns.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics officials estimate that nearly 9.8 million veterans are in the U.S. workforce today, with roughly 32 percent of them having served in the military after 2001.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

 

Veteran Employment Stats Reveal Jobless Rate for Post 9/11 Veterans on the Rise

bls

By Debbie Gregory.

While the average 2016 unemployment rate for the latest generation of veterans is on schedule to be approximately 5 per cent, November’s rate jumped to 6.5 percent. This increase brought the veteran employment rate to its lowest level of 2016.

While the November unemployment statistic for post-9/11 veterans might not look good, there is still plenty of reason for optimism.

The unemployment rate spike from October, when the rate charted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics was 4.7 percent for post-9/11 veterans, is large. But such spikes are far from rare and are often followed by similarly large drops. For example, the rate jumped from 4.7 percent this February to 6.3 percent in March and then tumbled to 4.1 percent in April.

Jackie Maffucci, research director for the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, has said that because the post-9/11 unemployment data is based on a very small sample size, such volatility is common.

Economists advise not to pay too much attention to any one month’s results but rather to look at multi-month trends.

Those trends have been toward lower post-9/11 veteran unemployment for years, with unemployment dropping lower in 2016 than it has ever been before. A single month’s rate spike cannot change that.

To view the Bureau of Labor Statistics full report regarding the unemployment status of all veterans, which was updated on December 2, 2016, go to https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t05.htm.

NOTE: Veterans who served in more than one wartime period are classified only in the most recent one. Veterans who served during one of the selected wartime periods and another period are classified only in the wartime period.

If you are job hunting, make sure to check out the MilitaryConnection.com Job Board, as well as the Virtual Job Fair, where you’ll find jobs for military veterans as well as employers who are hiring military veterans.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

The Best Choice for Technical Jobs: Hiring Military Veterans

technology

By Debbie Gregory.

When it comes to employers in the technology sector seeking candidates to fill their open positions, hiring military veterans makes perfect sense. By using their problem-solving skills, their abilities to make quick decisions and their initiative, veterans are a great fit.

If you’re wondering what the top high-tech jobs for veterans are, here’s what you need to know:

  • At the top of the pay scale, Solutions Architects make a median base salary of $199,500, and this is a great position for problem solvers. Solutions architects work with their company’s clients processing feedback on their company’s product, and providing solutions based on that feedback.
  • Software Development Managers make a median base salary of $135,000, and this is another high paying position. Because this is a managerial position, your leadership skills will pay off.
  • While Software Architects make a median base salary of $130,000, there are not many openings in this career choice.
  • Data scientists can expect a median base salary of $116,840, and the demand is fairly high. The position entails knowing how to manage and store data.
  • Foundational skills required for Project Managers are very similar to the skills learned in the military. This position’s base salary is approximately $106,680.
  • Analytics Managers, who analyze data and making conclusions about it, can expect to make a salary of around $105,000.
  • With a median base salary of $95,000, Software Engineers are in high demand.
  • UX Designers make a median base salary of $91,800, and these jobs are in high demand.
  • Mobile Developers can expect to earn around $90,000. These positions are also in extremely high demand.
  • QA Managers monitor software testing processes or test new products, and make a median base salary of $85,000.

If you have a technical background, consider one of these great career paths.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.