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Half Trained Already: Why Veterans Have a Head Start

Hiring Veterans

When individual employees work well together, businesses thrive. However, keeping a workforce running like a well-oiled machine is not always easy and even a small cog missing from a key gear can cause major malfunctions. Replacing those missing or broken parts in your business can be difficult, but there is one particular class of citizen uniquely qualified to fill almost any position with minimal training: veterans. During their military careers, vets pick up a variety of skills and a particular mindset that are likely to benefit your business. They have already learned a variety of leadership skills, know how to follow instructions with accuracy, and above all, know how to operate efficiently and cohesively with their unit. Depending on their role during their service tenure, they could have some or all of these skill sets.

Military service members must adapt to changing conditions rapidly, so learning new skills and concepts is second-nature to them. They are always ready to acclimate to new situations. In the Army, soldiers adhere to the “two up, two down” concept, meaning they know the needs and expectations of leaders in the chain of command two ranks above and below their own. This gives them insight into the needs of the organization as a whole and enhances their ability to make proactive decisions for the good of the company.

A large portion of military service members join their branch at a relatively young age. The average Marine enlists at age 19. Their extensive and intensive training enhances their leadership qualities, and they typically advance to a decision-making role within the first two years of their service. Vets are well accustomed to a highly structured environment working with other members in both higher and lower ranks. They can thrive in any position within a company and are excellent, motivated candidates for promotion from within. Vets’ experience dealing with high stress is particularly valuable to businesses when they are under pressure from revenue decline, changing regulatory requirements or other uncertain situations. Achieving goals under pressure is something they’ve been doing for years, and they bring that ability with them to their new careers after they retire from service.

While teamwork is very important for most businesses, some rely heavily on individuals’ abilities to perform tasks on their own as well. All military branches require both types of work from all service members to perform as expected. Even if their individual responsibility was something as simple as keeping their bunk tidy every day, you know your veteran employee will form any necessary habits to ensure they’re always completing their required personal tasks independently, without having to be reminded constantly.

If your business hasn’t considered seeking out veteran applicants, perhaps these facts will persuade you to change that. Owners and hiring managers should evaluate the skillsets they require from their employees and compare them to those nurtured through military service to isolate which military skills, or even which service branches, could benefit their business and add the most value. It’s all about what your business requires, and what these veterans already know and do. Perfect Technician Academy has partnered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce “Hiring our Heroes Initiative” and Centurion Military Alliance to provide veterans with extended career advice that they will need for a successful transition back into civilian life. We welcome veterans from all branches and backgrounds that are interested in pursuing a career in HVAC-R to come to our school for the training they need to get started on their path to a successful civilian life.