Bridge the Skills Gap with Veterans and National Guard Members

July 8, 2014

Many companies are overlooking the opportunity to hire veterans and National Guard members to bring in high quality employees whose skills are and training make them high potential assets ready to fill the skill shortage that is holding back company growth.

Our military and the National Guard is the most technologically advanced in the world. Our soldiers have mounted complex operations all over the world requiring sophisticated skills including every aspect of living and working in demanding environments. The situations in which they have successfully operated are often unpredictable, requiring on-the-spot adaptation to overcome major challenges similar to those in growing companies.

Soldiers are expected to quickly fit into diverse teams from many cultures and nations and perform their roles without hesitation. They are trained to understand risk management and comply with demanding operational guidelines. They are committed to continuous learning, loyalty to their team members, and to find ways to achieve complex objectives regardless of what unexpected challenges arise without letting their team down.

In short, the training that our Guard members and veterans have during their military service provides them with tremendous qualities to bring to civilian employers. The military has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in the job readiness of these Guard members and veterans that gives them an advanced starting point for civilian employment.

Thousands of younger veterans and Guard members have successfully shouldered huge responsibilities in the military, well beyond the experience and responsibilities of many of their civilian peers. However, company representatives must be alert and discerning to relate this experience to the positions they are trying to fill.  Employers need to learn the specifics of how a candidate’s military training and experience relates to their job requirements.

Many times an employer will have the ideal candidate come for an interview but this won’t culminate in a hire.  This can happen because the screening and interview process doesn’t bring out how the veteran’s skills and experience match to the company’s needs and culture.

Contributed by Steve Nowlan, Campaign Director, American Jobs for America’s Heroes.

View the on-demand webinar “Recruiting and Hiring Military Personnel and Veterans: Proven Techniques & Best Practices” with Stacy Bayton, Erin Voirol and Brigadier General Michael Stone.