A Non-Charitable Case for Hiring Veterans

Often called the Greatest Generation, our predecessors of the World War 2 generation were called just that for what they accomplished after the war as for what they did during it.  In the post 9-11 years of the GWOT wars, a well spring of non-profits has erupted to support our fellow Veterans in their transition to the civilian sector of the economy.  It is a classic case of Veterans taking care of their own and it embodies the best spirit of brotherhood we have all felt since the first moment we put on the uniform. And while I would wholeheartedly support any effort to help those struggling to find passion and purpose this side of the uniform, I have always thought it odd to paint the idea of hiring a Veteran as an act of charity.  Rather, as a Veteran myself in the industry of hiring elite talent I look at the notion of hiring Veterans as an act of the obvious.

The Obvious Call

I have heard it said by an industry leader that when it doubt, do what the rich people are doing.  And 10 times out of 10, the rich people focus on hiring the right talent. But more than just talent, they hire those who are resilient, reliable, and know how to act on initiative. When you make a bad hire, particularly for smaller organizations, it can set you back a year or more when it comes to growth and market position.

At Academy Connect and through our work with The Sterling Group, what we consistently hear from the industry leaders is that they don’t have time to swing and miss on an executive level hire.  Sorry to burst your bubble America, but in a nation of over 300 million people I am here to tell you as a recruiting professional that there are a lot of swing and misses walking among us every day.

They wear suits like the heavy hitters, talk the jargon, and put their best game face on in an interview but a swing and miss by any other name is still a swing and miss.  If only there were a pool of Americans from which we could draw that come with a reliable set of qualities proven in the harshest of circumstances.  If only there was a pool of Americans who could turn the hunt for elite talent into a turkey shoot where the home run hitters are all about you. If only.

It’s Not Charity

Hiring a Veteran is not an act of charity, but rather an act of sound judgement.  Now, if we are talking about our fellow Academy Graduates then you are talking about men and women who have been vetted at the highest level since they were 16 or 17 years old.  Subsequently refined by training as an officer in the greatest military on the planet and then put through the crucible in combat or other high-stress environments, why would it be an act of charity if you get to bring that type of talent into your organization?

Yes, there are Veterans struggling to find their place on this side of the uniform and it can be a noble service to help them along that path.  But taking a free agent able to make an impact on day one into an organization that needs them is not charity.  When a Veteran comes on board for your organization they don’t need to be treated like the lost puppy who just found a home.  Rather, perhaps you ought to react like your favorite football team who just signed Jerry Rice in his prime to the squad.

I will continue to reach out to my fellow Veterans and Academy Grads for elite positions in various industries because it is the smart play. When rich people need talent, they look for talent and it just so happens I know where the talent congregates in large numbers. It’s not charity people, it’s the obvious.  If you are in search of executive and C-level positions, reach out to us here at Academy Connect or The Sterling Group and if you are a hiring professional who doesn’t have time for a swing and miss, we got you covered as well.  Always forward ladies and gentlemen, it’s not just what Veterans do it’s what the talent does.

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