Hiring Veterans – What do employers look for?

USA Mobile Drug Testing Shares What Employers Look for When Hiring Veterans

HireVetsFirst2Finding reliable, trustworthy employees is a challenge for any employer, but companies like USA Mobile Drug Testing have found success by tapping into some of America’s most qualified candidates‚Äîveterans.

Joe Strom, USAMDT’s CEO said ‚ÄúAs a veteran of the U.S. Army, I have a special place in my heart for veterans because of a shared camaraderie, and as a business leader, I value the standards they hold themselves to because that’s a rare train among civilians.

When we compare a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces to a civilian with no military experience, the veteran outperforms them nearly every time.

This isn’t a coincidence; our veterans have endured some of the toughest training in the world, held leadership roles at a younger age, and consistently placed mission accomplishment as their top priority.‚Äù

The challenge for many veterans though, is effectively translating their military experiences into terms that civilians can understand.

When you talk about things like leading a recon patrol, calling in an air strike, or conducting a raid, most civilians assume these experiences have no relevance outside of the military. In a way, they are correct because outside of private security or law enforcement, you are highly unlikely to engage in a firefight, but on the other hand, they are incorrect because they don’t understand the base skills needed to perform these type of responsibilities.

Tasks such as these require astonishing attention to detail, focus, and courage—these are all valuable traits in an employee. It’s important to emphasize the traits that allowed you to complete your mission rather than just the tasks themselves.

“We love to hire veterans,” said Karen Kitchen, owner of USA Mobile Drug Testing of Cleveland, “because they possess the ability to excel without supervision. Their experience enables them to quickly make critical decisions and adjust to dynamic conditions on the fly. We know that we can trust them to independently conduct highly sensitive work at a client’s location, perfectly, every time.”

Jon Spivey, CEO of USA Mobile Drug Testing of Atlanta expounded by saying ‚ÄúWhen we interview a veteran, we’re looking for someone who is proud of what they’ve accomplished, but is ready to advance to new opportunities.

Order and discipline are an integral part of military life, but they are usually handled differently in the civilian world. Far more tact and patience is needed when dealing with subordinates. That can be frustrating for veterans who are used to demanding (and getting) peak performance from their troops.

You have to accept that things are done differently in the civilian world.”

Strom says “When we hire veterans, we look for specific traits to find a good fit. Our criteria are based on solid business fundamentals and should serve as effective guidelines when seeing employment with any company that values veterans.”

We look for:

  1. Someone who is proud of what they’ve achieved. Fewer than twenty percent of the entire U.S. population has served in our Armed Forces‚Äîthat has value.HiringVeterans
  2. Someone who is ready to advance to new challenges. The military is a special place that only veterans can truly understand, but you should eagerly approach your transition to civilian life with the same level of commitment you had to your service.
  3. Someone who avoids military terminology. We know what an FOB, AO, and SOP is, but most employers and clients won’t. Resumes pile up quickly, especially in today’s weak job market, so you need to get your message across quickly and clearly.
  4. Someone who focuses on the experience they earned rather than tasks they performed. Most employers don’t care that you were a patrol leader as a Lance Corporal, but they would certainly be interested in the fact that you were responsible for the training and leadership of 12 subordinates. That level of responsibility is typically not seen at such a young age in the civilian world, so it carries significant weight.
  5. Someone who has a formal education. A college degree is a great asset, but don’t forget to include your military education as well. Some courses/schools, such as leadership or logistics, have obvious value to employers, but look for the hidden experience gained from military-focused course as well. For example, Scout Sniper School would teach attention to detail, patience, and structure.

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