The Strategic Imperative of Hiring Veterans


Hiring Veterans

Date: Author:

Sarah Harrison

INvets Mission Statement

Partnering with veterans, their families, and Indiana communities to facilitate a meaningful transition to civilian life while strengthening Indiana’s economy.

Drawing inspiration from leaders like Steve Cannon, a distinguished military veteran and former CEO of Mercedes-Benz North America, we recognize veterans as an invaluable asset to corporate America. Cannon, a West Point graduate from the class of 1986 with a distinguished military career, offers a profound perspective: “I would just encourage anyone in a position of leadership in corporate America to think about this human resource as an incredible asset. Yes, they may have to go through a transition… but I will tell you that they are superbly trained, they are highly motivated, and they’ve started their career in service. This is our chance to give back. They have served, and now is our chance to serve them and set them up for success.”

While I applaud the insight and philosophy surrounding the value of veterans, I anticipate employers may still ask the question: WHY? In response, I would like to share two valuable articles that provide short yet informative perspectives for employers to consider the “why” and for transitioning military personnel to recognize their invaluable contributions:

  1. From US Veterans Magazine: Benefits of Hiring Veterans
  2. From Monster: Hire a Vet

Founded and run by former military service members, INvets is fueled by our unique experiences and the personal stories we’ve heard from the veterans and families we are dedicated to assisting. Here are some observations I believe are crucial to include:

Potential Barriers to Successful Hires:

  • Vocabulary differences between veterans and corporations.
  • Understanding transferable skills that come with a veteran.

Strategies for Success:

  • Education on both sides regarding vocabulary and transferable skills.
  • Building a strong culture and teamwork to provide a thriving work environment.
  • Establishing a Military Resource Group for sharing experiences and mentorship.
  • Recognizing that veterans can succeed in various roles, not just operations.
  • Encouraging open conversations about mental health.

Principal Factors to Note for Employers and Veterans:

  • Not every veteran was engaged in combat.
  • PTSD is not exclusive to veterans; not every veteran has PTSD.
  • The biggest cause of PTSD in the civilian demographic is road traffic accidents.
  • Veterans should communicate their skills clearly, avoiding unrealistic salary expectations.
  • Veterans should ask questions to understand the differences in civilian employment structures.

The value of employing a veteran is immense. My experience has taught me that their ability to assess information, pivot, and take quick action based on insights, even in adverse conditions, their adaptability, continuous learning, leadership, resilience, and their sense of teamwork are precisely what employers desperately need in corporate America today.