5 reasons why veterans could be the answer to your recruitment problems

Are you finding it harder to find qualified candidates? Have you got skills gaps you’re struggling to fill? If you’ve answered yes to either of those questions then we’d like to give you five reasons why employing ex-military talent could help you.

These five reasons draw on our free toolkit, Capitalising on military talent: How to develop an Armed Forces friendly recruitment practice

Reason 1 - Veterans fill skills gaps

  • Recent research strongly suggests the skills which many veterans possess are a close match for skill shortages that employers face today.
  • Survey data from Deloitte highlights that veterans are well-placed to meet critical gaps in cross-functional skills, which include strategic management, managing or motivating staff, team-working and positive attitude.

Reason 2 - Strong technical skills and unique qualities

  • Good technical training - with over 200 trades in the Army alone, many veterans are trained and experienced in a range of technical roles,including engineering, project management, HR, policing, transport, logistics, IT and communications – all transferable to the civilian workplace.
  • Cross-functional soft skills - Organisations that employ veterans report that they exhibit much needed cross-functional skills, notably team-working, motivating others, powers of communication, problem-solving, organisational skills and strategic thinking.
  • Leadership - Veterans have excellent leadership skills, with increasing responsibilities placed on them as they progress through the ranks.

Reason 3 - Valuable attitudes and are adaptable

  • Valuable attitudes - veterans bring valuable attitudes and behaviours to the commercial workforce, such as loyalty, mission focus, willingness to accept responsibility, strong work ethic, resilience and a positive ‘can-do’ attitude.
  • Used to pressurised environments - they are accustomed to working in highly pressurised environments and know how to act decisively and calmly. They are also known for their adaptability, a skill gained from experience of working across geographies and diverse environments.
  • Constantly learning - Military personnel are constantly learning and training throughout their career, employers report that these same individuals remain very trainable and capable of learning new skills in the private sector.

Reason 4 - Highly effective employees

  • Highly engaged, more loyal - Many employers report increased loyalty and engagement amongst their ex-military employees. In a survey of 50 employers carried out by Deloitte, 76% of employers said that veterans tend to have lower rates of sickness absence when compared to their non-veteran workforce and are likely to be promoted more quickly. 40% also said veterans stay for longer.
  • Better retention rates - As one of the largest employers of veterans in the UK, BT has shown that the company’s veteran employees have a higher retention rate, lower sick absence rates and fewer early leavers due to performance or discipline issues, and that there is potential for significant productivity gains in the first six months of an employee’s service due to some veterans taking less time to achieve full competence.

Reason 5 - Good for business and society

  • A survey of 100 employers carried out by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) showed that 74% of employers wish to publicly support the Armed Forces. Many described their pledges as 'the right thing to do' that reflect favourably on public perceptions of their company.
  • Employers that make a particular effort to hire disadvantaged military jobseekers will help to reduce the cost of unemployment for wider society.
  • Recruiting veterans also reflects the social responsibility of an employer and builds goodwill with the military community, customers and employees.

A free toolkit to help develop your Armed Forces recruitment strategy

So if you’re willing to look at hiring ex-military personnel then our free toolkit, Capitalising on military talent: How to develop an Armed Forces friendly recruitment practice, offers a range of practical suggestions to help you attract, recruit and retain ex-military talent.