As the military expands it technical skills and resources, veterans are a great resource for business.
Today’s military is more technology focused than ever before. A lot of folks in the military learn the world’s most advanced tech on a daily basis. The systems they work with are cutting-edge systems, dependent on the technical skills of the soldiers, sailors, and airmen (women) who manage and run them. After their service time is ended, these highly trained individuals can be your organization’s source for your next great tech hire.
Companies are scrambling to fill more and more essential roles, as the industry continues to grow. Yet veterans are still an untapped resource that is often overlooked due to a lack of understanding about their technical skills and abilities. Potential employers may assume that veterans have missed out on the fast-paced tech advances that took place in the private sector while they were active duty personnel. That may have been true decades ago when technical innovation seemed to be bypassing military operations, but they have more than caught up! Today’s military often use the most advanced, leading-edge technology to communicate, navigate and analyze data.
Misconceptions about what sort of skills one picks up while in military service abound, and some employers mistakenly believe that the skills that veterans have are not transferable outside of the military world. But like the military, tech is a field of change and advancement on an almost daily basis. That’s why Microsoft and other Silicon Valley companies have created training programs for information technology employment in the last few months of their service time via the Vow to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 which allows service members to begin the transition process while they are still on active duty. Not only the technical skills they’ve amassed but the traits of leadership, self-discipline, problem solving skills can put them far ahead of recent college graduates. Their maturity and capability for teamwork dovetail nicely into the technical professional world. Veterans supply an attractive candidate pool for fast-paced, innovative companies, and tech roles offer both a competitive wage and, even more important, a career path.
It’s not just large companies that benefit from hiring veterans. In fact, a small business might benefit even more, starting with hiring a veteran trainee as an apprentice. Under the U.S. Government’s SEI (Special Employer’s Incentive) employers are reimbursed for up to half each veteran’s salary to cover certain supplies and equipment, additional instruction expenses and any loss in production. That’s a pretty good deal to bring on a trainee who already comes with many of the personal skills you want, such as leadership ability, teamwork, and dedication.
The specific programs that you might benefit from include the above referenced Vow to Hire Heroes and SEI along with the ‘Work Opportunity Tax Credit’. ‘Returning Heroes Tax Credit‘ and the ‘Wounded Warrior Tax Credit’ which doubles the WOTC value when hiring veterans with a service-related disability. To learn more about these and other programs contact your local Veterans Affairs office. Perhaps most importantly, you’ll be truly showing a veteran how much your business truly appreciates their service and sacrifice.
As the need for skilled technology workers continues to grow more and more employers are expanding the pool of potential resources to include veterans. Don’t forego the chance to add one of these highly skilled individuals to your tech team with your next hire! Otherwise, you’re missing out on a valuable group of people who are dedicated, resilient and highly skilled.
As a leading technology recruiter, GATE believes in exploring all sources for the best match for your needs. Beyond just technical knowledge, we consider the equally important traits of leadership, dedication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills when evaluating candidates for your organization. We have the knowledge to help you identify veterans for an apprenticeship or a highly skilled vet, ready to hit the ground running!