Hiring veterans and veteran-owned businesses is good for business. In our latest NP Connects, we were fortunate to hear from a panel of speakers who shared how a veteran’s insights can guide a team or organization to success. The panel included:
- Vivian Greentree, Navy veteran and Senior Vice President of Global Citizenship at Fiserv
- Armand Hunter, Army veteran and Associate Director of Veteran Outreach and Peer Support at Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Program
- Dan Luna, former Navy SEAL and founder of 3LX
- Dan Wagner, former Army Special Ops Blackhawk pilot and Global Head of Strategy and Implementation Consulting at Data Robot
We also had the great privilege of speaking with former Army Staff Sergeant and recipient of the Medal of Honor Clint Romesha. Clint shared his advice to veterans transitioning into civilian life.
Why hire veterans?
Veterans make outstanding employees owing to their work ethic, team focus, detail-oriented yet agile to accomplish goals, and the ability to excel under pressure. Having trained to see the mission comes first, veterans are a highly motivated and flexible asset.
Veteran-owned businesses bring the same drive and impose identical standards on their civilian employees. Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Coast Guard, and Airmen all know resilience.
To paraphrase Dan Luna:
If the success of your business involves risk management, technical skills, solid judgement and leadership from all levels, diversity and inclusion, then hire a veteran.
Do not view veterans as a diversity metric. Recognize them as a great resource to increase your competitive advantage. Challenge yourself and your Human Resource department to open screening processes wider to include more vets when searching for candidates.
Businesses can help newly transitioned service members into roles as new employees/coworkers by inviting them to self-identify, provide a vet a mentor that is a veteran, and create a resource group.
Advice to veterans transitioning into civilian life
Medal of Honor Recipient Clint Romesha shared several tips for veterans transitioning into civilian life. Clint’s insights apply equally to anyone going through a professional transition.
- Plans don’t always go as planned. Entering civilian life is not an open door. You must prove yourself.
- Find a mentor to learn the rules and procedures. The big barrier to transitioning successfully is the language barrier—how things are described in the military—with jargon and terminology with civilians. A mentor can help with that, too.
- Take initiative when things need to be done.
- You will have to prove yourself. Those veterans that think they’re owed something struggle the most. You are owed the opportunity to prove what you are worth.
Thank you again to our panel of speakers—for their service, their time today, and their valuable insights on building a veteran workforce.