A Guide to Hiring Veterans in Your Small Business

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A Guide to Hiring Veterans in
Your Small Business

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There’s a strong business case for
hiring veterans. Military veterans bring unique experiences and
skillsets to the table and are known for their loyalty, integrity,
and strong work ethic. Companies that hire military veterans also
benefit from tax incentives and a positive public image. Want to know
more? Here’s how to tap the talent of America’s veterans for
business success.

Transferable Skills
for Veterans

From a civilian’s perspective, the
military workforce can seem like a different world. However, military
veterans possess many skills valued by employers.

Soft Skills

Veterans are widely recognized for the
soft skills they bring to the civilian workplace. These include
skills like:

  • Integrity

  • Leadership

  • Teamwork

  • Communication

  • Critical thinking

  • Planning

  • Problem-solving

  • Resilience

  • Flexibility

  • Dependability

Hard Skills

Hard skills specific to a veteran’s
MOS can translate to the civilian workforce as well. Take, for

  • IT and cybersecurity. Tech
    jobs are in high demand for both large and small businesses, and
    veterans who worked as IT and cyber operations specialists are
    well-positioned to transition into these careers. Veterans also have
    access to IT
    training programs
    through Hire Our Heroes and other

  • Translation services.
    Military interpreters and translators are skilled in a variety of
    languages including several Middle Eastern languages. How
    much do translators make?
    Expect to pay $25 or more
    per hour for translation services for niche target languages.

  • Maintenance technicians.
    Military mechanics work with automotive and mechanical
    equipment, industrial control systems, and blueprint and technical
    diagrams, making these veterans ideally suited for jobs
    in building maintenance
    . New building maintenance
    technicians earn around $40,000 per year.

Incentives for Hiring

Employers may be eligible to receive
incentives for hiring veterans.

The most well-known is the Work
Opportunity Tax Credit. This federal tax credit of up to $9,600 per
qualifying worker is available to employers who hire target
including certain military veterans. Before
claiming the WOTC, employers must apply for and receive certification
of a worker’s eligibility.

The HIRE Vets Medallion Award is a
federal-level award that recognizes companies that hire, retain, and
develop veteran employees. Small employers can qualify for a platinum
or gold medallion based on the percentage of veteran employees among

How to Become a
Veteran-Ready Employer

Employers should do more than hire
veterans. Creating an environment where veterans thrive maximizes the
benefits of hiring military veterans.

Getting approved as a Registered
Apprenticeship Program is one important way that employers can
recruit and develop veteran employees. Registered apprenticeship
programs that get certified under the GI Bill are eligible to provide
GI Bill benefits
including housing allowances and
stipends to qualified apprentices.

Employers should consider appointing a
dedicated human resource professional to support veteran employees.
Veteran employee initiatives should help veterans integrate
and adapt
to the civilian workforce as well as learn
job-specific skills and concepts. This requires managers and leaders
to acquaint themselves with military culture and terminology in order
to meet veterans on common ground.

Familiarity with military culture also
empowers organizations to effectively screen and interview veteran
candidates. Tailoring
to military applicants ensures talented
candidates don’t fall through the cracks as a result of irrelevant
interview questions. Interviewers should questions about an
applicant’s discharge status or disabilities. Such questions are in
violation of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment
Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Military veterans add diversity to your
team while offering hard and soft skills that are highly valued in
the civilian workforce. However, the advantages of hiring veterans
may not be obvious to organizations new to military culture. Use this
information to improve your veteran recruitment and retention
strategies so your company can reap the benefits of hiring America’s


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