New research by RightManagement, the talent and career management experts within ManpowerGroup, suggests that many employers largely disregard the unique skills and experiences of military veterans when considering a candidate for a position. This unfortunate oversight leads to missed opportunities in acquiring top talent.
“Employers sometimes think military experience is narrow or not easily transferred to a business setting,” said Right Management Talent Management Practice Leader Ron Sims. “But veterans have a remarkable range of competencies and abilities of great potential value to today’s organization. The challenge has become one of changing some perceptions, or communicating with civilian recruiters and hiring managers the facts about veterans’ transferable skills.”
Employers that brush aside a candidate’s military experience in favor of more traditional business experiences ultimately undervalue veteran job seekers with such a myopic assessment. Sims (who is also a veteran) noted that employers should generally expect these types of advantages in hiring such candidates:
- Work Ethic – Companies want men and women who work hard and have a service-oriented attitude, and most ex-military candidates find this easy to do.
- Accelerated Learning Curve – Veterans have a proven ability to learn new skills and concepts rapidly, entering the workforce with identifiable and transferable skills, proven in real-world situations. This background can enhance an organization’s productivity.
- Respect for Procedures – Ex-military have gained a unique perspective on the value of accountability and can easily grasp their place within an organizational framework, becoming responsible for subordinates’ actions in relation to higher supervisory levels. They know how policies and procedures enable an organization to function.
- Performance Under Pressure – Veterans understand the rigors of tight schedules and limited resources and have developed capacities to know how to accomplish priorities on time, in spite of high stress.
- Leadership – The military trains people to lead by example as well as through direction, delegation, motivation and inspiration. Veterans know the dynamics of leadership as part of both the hierarchical and peer structures.
Right Management, as part of ManpowerGroup, helps organizations make better talent decisions. Their areas of expertise include talent assessment, leadership development, organizational effectiveness, and employee engagement, among others. Sims and his firm have helped veterans re-enter the job market in the U.S. as well as Canada.
“As the corporate world continues to struggle with a looming leadership shortfall, shifting demographics and a growing gap between needed and available skills it makes sense to take a close look at returning veterans,” said Sims.
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