Why You Should Hire Veterans

By: Chris Skaggs | @chrislskaggs


Military service prepares veterans for a huge variety of careers. Veterans work hard and are motivated, disciplined, ethical team players that are ready to handle whatever comes their way. According to some, the war for talent of decades past may be over; however, in today's economy, finding the right resource is still an incredibly difficult task.

There are also huge implications for hiring the wrong individual. Don't believe me, check-out these statistics on the cost of a bad hire:

  • 80% of employee turnover is due to poor hiring decisions
  • 41% of businesses estimated the cost of a bad hire to be over $25,000
  • 1 in 4 businesses estimated the cost of a bad hire to be over $50,000

At TSP, we don't just love hiring military veterans—we’re part owned and operated by a military veteran. Rick Skaggs, president and co-founder, along with longtime friend and business associate Frank Gonzalez, CEO and co-founder, launched his career with service in the U.S. Army. During his time in the military, Skaggs received numerous military awards and also earned a Certification for Advanced Electronics.

“I proudly served in the United States Army for 3 years and I would do it all over again if I had the chance,” said Skaggs. “In 1973, I went to basic training as an 18-year-old kid and when I completed my military service with an Honorable Discharge in 1976, I was a man. It was in the Army that I learned responsibility, honor, pride, and hard work. I learned so many life lessons and got to travel all over the world – I will be forever thankful.”

We could probably write a blog post 3,000+ words long on the benefits of hiring a veteran, but then again, if it was that long, who would read it? At any rate, here are just a few reasons you should consider hiring veterans to support your business.

Diversity, inclusion and now belonging are all terms that HR professionals are putting at the forefront or their hiring initiatives. A diverse workforce makes us stronger as a business and as a team. When people come from different backgrounds, they each offer unique perspectives that can lead to incredible ideas.

Veterans are especially good at working with all kinds of people who represent different races, genders, geographic origins, religions, and more. They know how to cooperate and work together to accomplish great things.

The United States Military takes some of our youngest adults, both men and women, and turns them into a world-class team. Teams excel because of great leadership. Colin Powell once famously said,

"Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership."

Take the quote above and replace "soldiers" with "employees" and you can easily see how leadership in the military and in the business world aren't all too different.

I remember the day I heard that my 18-year old cousin was going to join the Air Force. I don't believe I had ever seen her room clean or bed made in all the years of going to her house. I figured the attention to detail the military requires, in conjunction with the life my cousin was accustomed to, was a recipe for total disaster.

I couldn't have been more wrong. What was instilled to her in a few short weeks was amazing.

Attention to detail for military individuals is not optional – a lack thereof could result in someone being killed. That level of attention to detail is something most CEO's would be envious of for any employee.

In the military, everything is done for a reason and everything has a documented process. Veterans have a special perspective on operational systems and procedures that is instilled in them during their military careers. They have a way of seeing how everything works as a whole, plus offer ideas on how to improve organizational processes.

The ability to keep an eye on the big picture while still following process and provide suggestions for improvement is a valuable skill for any employee to have in their toolkit.

Companies who specialize in high pressure situations would be wise to hire a veteran. Take for example emergency IT support. Since those people are dispatched to fix the problem—and fix it fast—it’s good to have engineers who know what they’re doing and can stay cool in a crisis.

Great engineers not only resolve issues quickly, but also stay calm and positive through the process. Veterans are great at not only fixing the issue, but keeping clients informed about the status so they can manage as well as possible and plan accordingly.

Military service often inspires the best in people, and we respect the integrity veterans exemplify. Integrity is even spoken about in a 1983 Air University Review article,

"Integrity is a primary element of military professionalism and the hallmark of the professional officer. Without it, the profession loses the trust of the society it serves, and lack of public trust ultimately threatens the nation’s ability to maintain the force levels necessary for peace and security. In other words, a lack or perceived lack of integrity can have a devastating effect on the military profession and its relationship with civilian society."

Businesses and the military alike must operate under the highest standards of integrity to be successful and thrive. We've all seen businesses fail when integrity is absent.

Smart companies are spending a large portion of their budgets on people operations, specifically talent acquisition. In today's environment, the battle for talented employees is tough, and making the right decision when it comes to hiring is essential to company success. Whether you're a start-up or an established company, who better to help you in this battle than veterans.