If your company is being forced to adopt new strategies to attract talent in today’s competitive hiring market, start here: Help your hiring managers discover the human capital gold mine that is highly skilled military veterans.
We recently placed a candidate in a sales position in Germany for an American consulting firm. The candidate was a junior military officer (JMO), a captain in missile defense, who had only been in the civilian workforce for a few years. Today, he heads up the firm’s aggressive expansion across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
His meteoric rise is the norm, not the exception
Through the benefits of hiring military veterans, these successes happen all the time in:
IT and Cybersecurity
Marketing and Sales
One of my colleagues says it best: “When hiring managers meet these elite professionals at our Military Hiring Conferences, they immediately see their next business unit leaders and future C-level professionals. Skilled military veterans reliably rise to the top in the civilian workforce because leadership is what they’re destined to do.”
In these select candidates, hiring managers find invaluable characteristics:
Solid performance under pressure
Resilience in overcoming adversity and finding solutions
Strong team players focused on building and maintaining morale
Fast adaptation to new situations and directions
Staunch orientation to environmental safety, rules and regulations
How can you encourage this awakening within your HR organization?
Ask your HR team what is most important – industry experience or ability to lead? Industry-specific experience was once a requirement in filling key roles. This is no longer the case. Companies are prioritizing the more salient traits noted above. Anyone can learn an industry. Not everyone has the innate ability of a vet to inspire teams and drive results.
Skilled veterans have proven leadership experience
As your hiring managers look for candidates who have managed teams or divisions, they might be surprised to know there isn’t a more comprehensive leadership training program in the world than the U.S. Military. Veteran skills directly translate to corporate success. When you hire an accomplished military veteran, you get a professional who can see the big picture and how teams must interact to achieve objectives.
Veterans are champions of process improvement
Individuals who have climbed the ranks of the military constantly look for ways to improve team and process efficiency. Veterans are change agents who know how to ‘rally the troops,’ conceive and implement better processes, and improve performance.
Succession planning: Rising up is in their DNA
Your company’s leadership won’t be there forever, so your hiring managers should be looking years down the road as they hire today’s managers and directors. Military vets are built for succession, and hiring them today will help you build a solid bench of contenders who will be ready to step into leadership and executive roles.
I’ll close with one more question from Retired Brigadier General Gary Profit, senior director of military programs at Walmart: “This is arguably the largest talent-rich pool in the world. Who wouldn’t want them to join their teams?”