Veteran’s Day may be behind us, but it’s always a good time not only to honor our service members, but also to recognize the valuable set of traits that veterans bring to the professional world. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs outlines several coveted characteristics common among military veterans, including follow-through, discipline, and work ethic. also lists 10 reasons to hire vets:

  1. Accelerated learning curve
  2. Leadership
  3. Teamwork
  4. Diversity and inclusion in action
  5. Efficient performance under pressure
  6. Respect for procedures
  7. Technology and globalization
  8. Integrity
  9. Conscious of health and safety standards
  10. Triumph over adversity

It’s no coincidence that veterans are known for these traits. In fact, it’s very intentional. Military culture is undeniably powerful. From recruitment to onboarding to training and development, the military executes its HR processes with purpose and precision.

That’s why when you hire someone with a military background, you have a good idea of what you’re getting. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could make other hires with the same level of confidence?

You can, using predictive analytics. When you shoot from the hip in hiring, you might get lucky every now and then, but high-performance cultures don’t happen that way.

With predictive analytics, you can do more than target a strong work ethic or sense of duty. You can target the specific skills, traits, and behaviors that drive success in your particular organization. Veterans often make great hires, but unless you’re the military, hiring like the military isn’t going to be your magic bullet. You need a strategy all your own.

Here’s what you need to do to make predictive analytics work for you:


First, you need to know what you’re trying to predict. For example, if your organization’s primary focus is on reshaping its brand through excellent customer experiences, then you need to determine what success looks like, particularly for your front-line staff. That might mean hiring high-energy people who are social, accommodating, and resilient.


When you see a military background on a resume, you can at least make some assumptions about the candidate’s personality. But what about everyone else? Well, you can quit the guesswork altogether when you measure candidates against a job success model, like this one for restaurant managers or this one for salespeople.


Success is a moving target. As jobs change and cultures evolve, so must your hiring process. Set up a system for tracking key metrics like new hire engagement, manager satisfaction, and 90-day turnover. That way, you’ll know whether your assessment tools are well calibrated and whether the traits you’re targeting are truly predictive of success.

Greg Moran is the president and CEO of OutMatch.

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