Why Veterans Make Great Employees
   


Veterans often have Attributes,

which make
great employees!



1) Understanding that actions and behaviors reflect on the organization
Military personnel, like other public servants, are always under scrutiny whether on a mission, back at the base, or on leave.  They seem to understand that everything they do and say reflects on the integrity and reputation of the organization.  If general leadership isn’t your strong suit they can be a valuable asset in helping you understand group dynamics and how to motivate the workforce in a positive way.   All military leadership training starts with learning to be a good follower and productive member of a team.

2) Cross-cultural skills
Our military personnel have the opportunity to interact with people of many countries.  They might supervise local contract employees on base, conduct medical evacuations, or provide resources in humanitarian missions.  Our veterans also have had the opportunity to work alongside others from all over the United States, providing them with knowledge of diverse cultures within our own country.   Today's vets have likely seen combat and lead teams in extraordinarily complex environments so they are already experienced leaders, mature beyond their years. They are familiar with other countries, cultures and religions, adapting well to new situations.

3) Innovation
Many hiring managers may not always grasp that veterans may actually be more, rather than less, innovative in their thinking than non-veterans.  Just as in the private sector, there are many opportunities for improving processes and results.   In some cases, being in the field requires adapting to uncertain or changing circumstances, not being able to receive assistance from back-up teams, which further develops innovative thinking.  Veterans are well rounded, they’re comfortable wearing multiple hats and taught to problem solve and multitask from the first day of basic training.

4) Ability to create something where nothing existed before
One veteran implemented “life support” systems in a previously undeveloped area meant.  He directed the development of an infrastructure to house, feed, and take care of the basic needs of thousands of people.  His logistical skills consisted not only of accessing supply chain resources but, more significantly, creating the supply chain.

5) Presentation skills
Many veterans, especially those who became officers, have excellent presentation skills.  Some have fielded inquiries from Congressional representatives; others have spoken before senior executives (such as a Four-Star General). Delivering accurate information and being clear in meaning are both critical. 

6) Quick Thinking
Missions and field exercises require leaders to quickly analyze situations, continuously process new and changing information, and make sound decisions.  They have often received training on certain techniques, such as maneuvering a helicopter in a dust storm with no visibility, but real-world scenarios with life-or-death consequences can help hone focused thinking aligned with quick action under pressure.

7) Desire to re-use and recycle
Veterans know how to conserve resources by sharing inventory (equipment, supplies) with other facilities.  Some know how to redistribute parts to sites worldwide; others know how to claim serviceable but unneeded equipment from a nearby site.

8) Preparedness and flexibility
Readiness for deployments or impromptu operations plays a central role in many military job descriptions.  Making sure that equipment is operating correctly and that supplies are ready allows responsiveness to organizational needs.   In addition, understanding that uncertainty is the norm yields flexible employees.. They are trained to pay attention to every detail and have an unrelenting sense of mission.  Veterans of our Armed Forces have been through a process that teaches them to be self-reliant yet team oriented.

9) Insight into how their actions impact other people
Doing a good job doesn’t mean just getting a good performance review, it means that fellow soldiers are as safe as possible and that critical missions are successful: the cargo plane with military troops is loaded properly; the helicopter that is transporting the critically wounded will respond to pilot controls, etc.   Military personnel are likely the most well-versed people in our country when it comes to equal opportunity, sexual harassment, family support, ethics, conflict of interest and many, many more commonplace corporate HR policies.

10) Demonstrated commitment to the greater good
Our veterans have shown that they have put themselves in danger to protect our freedom. Being able to sacrifice personal reward for greater, collective good is often a valuable asset.

Our veterans posses many more skills, such as project management, purchasing, and team leadership skills.  (10 Reasons Why Veterans Make Great Employees, by Julie Rains,11 November 2008) http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-why-veterans-make-great-employees



Americans can learn from Israel


Israel has a technological edge in the world. 
There is no single answer, buy they reveal many great insights.

Most Israeli job interviewers do not ask where you went to college, but where you served in the military, and what you did.  That tells a lot about who that person is.  In Israel, almost every single Israeli serves in the military.  He is put through training on how to lead, manage, and make very difficult decisions with very little information under enormous pressure.  These skills hard-wire young people for being entrepreneurs and helping to run start-ups.  They give the chance for every soldier to express himself and say what he really believes without punishing him.  Sometimes listening to them, they offer stupid ideas 40 to 60% of the time, but 20 to 40% of the time they have wonderful ideas.  (Major General Aharon Ze’Evi Farkash) 

Once they are out of the army, the soldiers take the same skills they learned tracking terrorists, and use them to make life safer for civilians.  Many Israeli IT companies are founded by alumni of an elite highly secret military intelligence unit known as Unit 8200, which includes engineers.  This group specializes in cyber warfare.  Major General Aharon Ze’Evi Farkash was the commander of the Unit 8200 for 4 years.   He reports that 80% of the engineers in his company have come from Unit 8200.  When he retired from the army, Major Farkash used that experience to help design the security system FST21, which is a virtual doorman using both voice and facial recognition to protect offices and apartment buildings.  Israelis are proud to say that many of their high-tech ideas come from their experience in the army, an idea some say could also benefit American companies. 

American businesses have much to learn about how Israel has integrated their military people when they come out of the military into the economy.  It really has to be part of everybody’s culture, and certainly the heroes who are coming back to America from Iraq and Afghanistan.  They need to be first guys to get the jobs, because they have actually taken the leadership and led, and they are the kind of people who you want to hire.   (Jonathan Medved)

Israel is often called the start-up nation.  Telaviv has been voted the 4th most innovative nation in the world, and the 2nd best high-tech center in the world, just after Silicon Valley.  From the I-phone to the Play Station, many of the ideas behind our favorite gadgets came from inventers in Israel.  American  companies have purchased many small Israeli startups to grab their technology for the flip-top cell phones, keyboards for smart phones, Intel Pentium chips, the ability to print straight from your computer, the flash drive, the chip in the I-pad, the OS that runs the Amazon Kindle, the chip that controls the Sony Play Station, the 3-D sensor in the XBOX connect, and the smart phone app Waze.   

Israelites are also compelled to create new things. 

•    One key cultural attribute is that they debate, challenge and argue, getting better results.
•    Their roots, DNA and education result in always being skeptical and asking questions. 
•    Failure is part of the process of becoming a success.  They just keep trying when they fail, understanding that failure can come with risks.  They know how to learn from their mistakes.  An entrepreneur who has tried and failed has a far-better statistical odds of succeeding than an entrepreneur who has never tried it before. 

(Jonathan Medved, Israeli Venture Capitalist; Dan Senor, author of Start-Up Nation; Major General Aharon Ze’Evi Farkash, CEO, The 700 Club report, September 9, 2013, http://www.cbn.com/special/made-in-israel/)

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