Why Hire a Veteran?

As the Veterans Program Manager at Job1USA I am rarely asked why a company should hire a veteran, but my question to employers is why should you want to hire a veteran? I have received a wide variety of answers, but the one I receive most often is “it’s the right thing to do.” While I don’t disagree, hiring a veteran is not a debt to be owed. Veterans want to earn the position, they like to compete, and in most cases, they will have experience far beyond the requirements for most jobs.

Hiring veterans is a smart thing to do. Aside from the incredible skill sets taught in the military, they come with the values associated with service; Honor, Selfless Service, Commitment, Integrity, and Loyalty. While these values can be present in non-veteran candidates, those who have served in uniform, in most cases, emanate these values above and beyond your average applicant. In a survey conducted by Monster.com, 87 percent of companies who hired veterans stated veterans had a lower turnover rate, a smaller learning curve, and a better appreciation for diversity. Veterans are not afraid of change and have a very adaptable nature.

If you still need more convincing, you can even get paid to hire veterans. That’s right; companies who hire veterans are eligible for both federal and state tax credits. Under the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, companies hiring qualified veterans can receive from $2400 to $9600 in tax credits on the federal tax burden. State benefits range from tax credits to wage augmentation. In Connecticut, Employers can receive up to $12,000 in wage off sets for hiring a veteran and providing skill training over a six month period. Ohio Currently has three different bills at the state house, including a credit for hiring National Guard and Reservist, which will continue to add to the attraction of hiring veterans.

In that same Monster.com survey, 67 percent of employers, who did not actively hire veterans, stated that the main reasons they do not were skills translation and mental health concerns. This leads to some confusion. Veterans are taught to translate skills for the employer. With that being said, any employer can search for military skills translator on the internet and have 10 different options available in less than a second. The minimal effort added to clearly understand what you are looking at could cost your company a great employee. As far as the mental health concerns, saying that veterans are mentally unstable is the equivalent of saying women are not as smart as men, or only a certain race of people can do a job. It is a general and ugly stereotype and, in most cases, illegal.

So, why should you hire a veteran? Hiring veterans is good business, with unparalleled results. Veterans bring skills and values which are not commonly found in non-veteran candidates, and companies who hire veterans are rewarded with tax credits and wage offsets. Veterans breed loyalty and have a positive effect on culture. Opening your company to hiring veterans is a good business choice. Not simply for the tax credit or because you feel a debt is owed, but because you could miss out on the best employee you have ever hired by closing the door on this opportunity. Open the door, hire a vet.


Dan Stanton

Veterans Program Manager- Job1USA

For more information on recruiting, hiring, and retaining veterans please contact the Job1USA Veterans Division (419) 315-1997 or dstanton@job1usa.com and listen to the Job1USA Veterans Radio show every Saturday from 1 pm to 2 pm on 1470 WLQK talk radio.