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Organizations across the country have been hit hard with a plethora of challenges over the last two year; Covid-19, cyberattacks, civil unrest, economic crises and more. Now that the economy is in an upward direction, the labor market is suffering unprecedented shortages of, not just good employees, but workers altogether. On top of this, SHRM reported, in their June 22, 2021 “Insights,” that a record-breaking number of employees are quitting their jobs. The stability of a workforce seems to be out of reach.

But there appears to be an overlooked cache of strong candidates available to all organizations – veterans. It is estimated that 200,000 service members exit the U.S. military annually. Smart companies have long realized this, but many more have not.  Veterans come with the right attitude for worker success. We know that work attitude is the most important ingredient to being a successful employee.

Snelling Staffing, a national recruiting company and subsidiary of HireQuest, Inc. provides strong arguments for hiring a veteran, almost all of which boil down to work attitude. Veterans are extremely loyal. In fact, Snelling reports that statistics show veterans usually have longer tenure with companies than individuals without military experience. E.A.S.I-Consult® has additional data showing a 17% reduction in turnover with healthcare workers who score high on our work attitude test, the Work Styles Predictor (WSP®). (See Reduce Turnover.)

Snelling alludes to work attitude, writing of “intangible skills” or “work ethic,” something I have done from time to time in my own writings. They go on to describe veterans as “…. workers that have been tested in ways that other people have not.”

The truth is work attitude can be broken down into a number of dimensions or characteristics. Snelling describes other work attitude dimensions, such as dependability, an area in which you can expect veterans to excel. Organizations can rely on them to show up to work on time (Dependability) and take pride in their work (Quality Initiative). At E.A.S.I-Consult, punctuality and reducing turnover are two key areas our clients report as reasons they come to us for work attitude pre-employment assessment.

Team Orientation is a big component of job success. In Snelling’s words, “teamwork is woven into the very fabric of military life.” Adaptability is another work attitude that you can expect from veterans. They learn early in their careers how to succeed in a variety of settings. At the same time, openness to training is important in every job. Training is a crucial component in every branch of the military, beginning with the first day of service. On top of this, what can’t be overlooked is veterans’ leadership abilities. The military trains their people to be leaders who know how to direct, delegate, and motivate others.

I’ve had the privilege to witness this firsthand. In my earlier career, I was responsible for assessing candidates for supervisory roles in a Fortune 100 beverage company. Our screening system was quite elaborate. Candidates participated in a full day, “day in the life of a supervisor,” simulation, with business-related role plays, group tasks and decision-making challenges. Veteran candidates typically succeeded in these challenges at a rate of 2:1 compared to candidates with no military experience.

According to HirePurpose, most employers are eager to hire a veteran. I don’t doubt this for a minute. The struggle they face is knowing how military skills would be applicable in the civilian workplace. Veterans face the same struggle, translating military skills, characteristics, and experiences to the workplace. There is a ready tool recommended by SHRM that can help veterans and recruiters make the translation for technical skills. This is the online military skills translator.

I have highlighted what we see as the most important ingredient for worker success and that is work attitude. I’ve shown that there is a great amount of overlap between what is needed in all jobs and what you’ll find with veterans.

The great companies hire veterans!

About the Author

David Smith, PhD, is the founder and CEO of E.A.S.I-Consult®. E.A.S.I-Consult works with Fortune 500 companies, government   agencies, and mid-sized corporations to provide customized Talent Management solutions. E.A.S.I-Consult’s specialties include leadership assessment, online pre-employment testing, survey research, competency modeling, leadership development, executive coaching, 360-degree feedback, online structured interviews, and EEO hiring advisement. The company is a leader in the field of providing accurate information about people through professional assessment. To learn more about E.A.S.I-Consult, visit www.easiconsult.com, email ContactUs@easiconsult.com or call 800.922.EASI.