Be a Difference Maker – Hire a Veteran

Veterans Day is November 11 and serves as a reminder of a veteran’s devotion to our country and a celebration of their readiness to serve others.  It is also an opportunity to raise awareness about the benefits of hiring from this pool of talent.

Business Reasons to Hire a Veteran

Extraordinary Capacity

Veterans often have a strong desire for achievement, are able to deal with uncertainty and work as if they are an entrepreneur. They come from a culture of trust and faith in co-workers and company leadership which fosters good teamwork.

Scott Fleckenstein, a former Marine and CEO of VimHR in Phoenix says, “In today’s business world we have been learning how to do more with less people.  It is not uncommon for one person to multi-task several items at a time and under pressure from their boss and deadlines.  Companies that hire veterans are gaining an employee that was trained as a leader at an early age. The leadership and task management skills of veterans are often far superior to college graduates.”

Prized Skill Sets

Military experience provides veterans the skills to link technology-based solutions to organizational challenges. The exposure veterans had to highly-advanced technology and technology training places them ahead of their non-military peers, according to research. You can also expect veterans to be able to transfer their technological skills to disparate work tasks.

That same research finds military experience gives veterans the ability to accurately evaluate a dynamic decision environment, and act in the face of uncertainty.

Company Diversity

Veterans are used to working with a variety of people and backgrounds under various conditions.

If your business serves global markets, veterans often have cross-cultural experiences that can add value and insight into the broader marketplace.

And Finally…Tax Incentives Through 2019

Not only do you reap the benefits of having a talented, experienced and skilled veteran as a team member, but employers can get tax credits for hiring a veteran. Federal tax credits from $2,400 up to $9,600 for the first year of a veterans’ employment may be available. The number of hours the veteran was employed, their disability status, their unemployment status and whether he/she is a recipient of vocational rehabilitation services from a state certified agency or the U. S. Department of Veteran Affairs are factors in determining the availability and amount of  tax credits known as Work Opportunity Tax Credits (WOTC).

What does this mean to an employer?

Adding a few simple steps to your hiring process for each new hire may make you eligible for tax credits.

  1. As a part of your online or paper application, on the day the job offer is made – have the employee complete Form 8850 and Form 9061.
  2. If they are a “qualified veteran” gather supporting documentation from the employee.
  3. File Form 8850/9061 with your respective state workforce agency within 28 days of hire. Don’t go this alone! Consider a tax credit processing provider like MaxServices to help.
  4. Once certification has been received from the state workforce agency the tax credit can be applied to offset year-end tax liability and may be carried over to other years.

Employment for veterans is an issue that is best demonstrated in this statistic from the Bureau of Labor:

Veterans with a service-connected disability had an unemployment rate of 5.4 percent in August 2015, not statistically different from veterans with no disability (4.3 percent).

When asked how Fleckenstein would like to be recognized for Veteran’s Day, he responded, “I was one of the lucky ones that came home from war in one piece.  The best way to recognize veterans is to volunteer time or money to a good non-profit that supports our veterans.”

If you are looking for more information on hiring veterans or other ways to support them, here are some of our favorite resources:

12 Valuable Sourcing Sites to Recruit Veterans a tool that can aid in hiring veterans.

Veteran Jobs Mission is a resource center dedicated to helping hire 1 million veterans at small businesses across the U.S.

10 Ways to Support and Honor Veterans provides creative ways to recognize the veterans in your community.

You can also read up on recent research that was published in April 2016 Revisiting the Business Case For Hiring a Veteran – A Strategy for Cultivating Competitive Advantage, by Syracuse University, Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) authored by J. Michael Haynle, Ph.D.