By Debbie Gregory.
When hiring a new employee, employers want to find the most qualified candidate. They want a worker who shows up on time, every day. Employers want a worker who will accomplish all of their tasks with little to no supervision required. But most importantly, employers want someone who can perform the functions that their position requires.
In order to weed out undesirable candidates using up their valuable time, employers create criteria that must be met in order for applicants to be considered. Levels of education, qualifications and previous work experience can all determine whether or not a candidate will even be considered for a position. Unfortunately, one of these criteria unfairly eliminates a lot of Veterans from consideration for jobs.
Many employers treat the years of military service as a gaping hole in a Veteran job-seeker’s résumé. While a Veteran may have the knowledge and education to perform the functions of a desired job, they are not even getting called for interviews- many employers don’t recognize military experience as pertinent civilian job experience.
It is true that Veterans need to learn (and be taught) how to translate their service related work experience into qualifications that employers will recognize. But employers still need to count those years of working in the military as something besides a penalty.
A national survey conducted by Harris International found that 59% of working Veterans felt that they do not use their military experience in their current employment. This is a poll study, not a fact. But many employers share this belief. There are many aspects of military experience that a lot of employers and Veteran job-seekers tend to over-look during the hiring process. These features are universally desirable for nearly all job titles.
“If you’re early then you’re on-time. If you’re on-time, then you’re late.” This is the sort of ideology that is engrained into service members brains. Veterans are used to working in a job where they can’t call-in sick, and they can’t be late. Employers who want workers showing up every day and on time would be wise to look at Veterans.
“Failure is not an option.” Veterans have accomplished so much in their military careers. Starting with boot camp, continuing in multiple trainings, and right on through deployments and missions, Veterans have been continually put to the test– and they pass. Veterans know how to push themselves and motivate those around them. If employers are looking for a workforce that can produce results, they should hire Veterans. Veterans know how to get it done, PERIOD.
“Adapt and Overcome!” Military service members literally wear many hats. Veterans are used to training, retaining knowledge for and working in multiple job duties simultaneously. If employers want people working for them who can learn new skills and perform multiple job functions, there are few who adapt better than Veterans.