I recently read an article in The Motley Fool featuring Daymond John, one of Shark Tank’s successful entrepreneurs, sharing his thoughts on why veterans make great entrepreneurs. Daymond, the founder and CEO of hip-hop clothing company FUBU has created the Heroes to CEOs competition, hosted by Bob Evans Farms, a subsidiary of Post Holdings (NYSE:POST). The contest invites military veterans to pitch their entrepreneurial idea or business and the winner will be awarded a $30,000 business grant and an additional two-hour mentoring session. Daymond obviously sees the tremendous benefits veterans can add to businesses and so should recruiters. After reading the article, it confirmed my thoughts on why hiring veterans can benefit a company. Here are 3 reasons why hiring veterans is a winning strategy.
“This is my fourth year working with Bob Evans Farms and their commitment to supporting veteran entrepreneurship,” John said. “Over that time, I have learned immensely from the veterans who have participated in this contest and truly feel like I am the winner by being able to work with them and mentor them as they take on the new challenges in their business lives.”The Motley Fool
Obsession for the Mission and Client
Successful companies are made up of employees who have an obsession for the mission of the firm and its clients. In John’s opinion, this is one trait that separates veterans from your average worker: “They dedicated their lives to service,” John said, “so they come with the perspective of, ‘what can I do,’ for this customer.”
Military training focuses on accomplishing the mission, creating a primal-like obsession for success at any cost. The core value of serving becomes ingrained in them and is one of the reasons why veterans are so successful in the business sector. If a company wants to hire team members who will serve their clients with excellence, hiring veterans should be a key focus in the recruiting strategy.
“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” –Andrew Carnegie
Movies featuring a character(s) with military training will most always have the sense of duty to the team as a central aspect of the plot. In real life, I’ve seen veterans lead teams to accomplish unreal results. They have an instinct for motivating their team members around a common goal because there is no “Me” or “I” in the genetic code for veterans.
The ability to not only focus on accomplishing a company goal but to also motivate your team toward that goal is invaluable in today’s marketplace. Veterans do not have to be named leaders to smash goals. They tend to have the innate ability to influence their peers in ways that civilian team members and leaders take years to learn.
Low Cost per Hire
As the market heats up, companies will continue to focus on the most economic way to hire the talent needed to meet their goals. Hiring vets is a low cost strategy without a talent trade-off. Why?
According to RecruitMilitary.com, when you hire a veteran, you receive all of the benefits of their training and tenacity with a shorter learning curve. They are accustomed to intense training and have the ability to adapt quicker than most of their civilian counterparts. Additionally, there are some tax benefits to hiring veterans which makes this a no-brainer for businesses who want the best talent who will propel their company to success.
Food for Thought
According to the Human Resource Executive, many of the strengths veterans develop during their service are “intangibles,” Sue Bhatia notes, which may be hard to convey on a resume—but are essential to workplace success: leadership and teamwork abilities, attention to detail and ability to work under pressure, for instance. Eight years ago, when the veteran unemployment rate was at its peak of nearly 10%, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and 10 other companies started the Veteran Jobs Mission with the goal of collectively hiring 100,000 veterans.
The coalition now includes 200+ companies and has hired 550,000 veterans as of November 2019. This is clear evidence that businesses have an important role to play in expanding opportunity and why hiring veterans should be a key focus in the recruiting strategy.
**It’s also important to note that companies can also increase their diversity by hiring veterans. The veteran candidate pool is made up if roughly 20% African-American, 9% Hispanic, and 15% women. In addition, if you are a federal contractor or subcontractor, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) requires you to take affirmative action to recruit, hire, promote, and retain veterans that fall into certain groups.
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