Why Hiring Military Veterans for Your Virtual Workforce is Good For Business
When you open up your organization to virtual employees, you open up new opportunities – not just for workers, but also for your company. Local talent may be sufficient, but expanding recruitment efforts beyond your geographic borders can ensure that your assembled team is made up of highly skilled and qualified workers.
Currently there are 21.8 million veterans in the United States. These veterans all have unique skills, talents, and experiences and yet, many service men and women find it difficult to re-enter the civilian workforce upon leaving the military. In 2011, the unemployment rate for veterans hovered around 12.1%, almost eight points above the national average. As the United States government scales down a few of its military endeavors, veterans will return high and the unemployment rate will continue to grow.
Companies with virtual work opportunities can benefit from tapping into this highly-skilled and ready-to-work population since veterans have many unique and appealing qualifications. Virtual work environments also create new employment opportunities for wounded and disabled veterans who face mobility challenges that can create obstacles in a traditional work setting.
The Business Case for Hiring Military Veterans
Hiring veterans is not simply a matter of patriotism, nor is it a matter of charity. A recent report from the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) makes the case that hiring veterans is simply good for business. Veterans bring a lot to the table, and the employers surveyed in the CNAS report cite some of the following reasons for hiring military veterans:
- Military veterans are used to adapting quickly to new situations.
- They have been taught to focus on the task and goal at hand.
- They are able to keep the big picture in mind while keeping a strict focus on the details of each step in the process.
- Veterans have respect for procedure.
- Veterans are used to working as part of a team, both giving and receiving directions from colleagues.
- Service men and women are highly trainable.
- There are tax deductions available for companies with hiring programs aimed at employing military veterans.
Disabled Veterans as Virtual Workers
Disabled veterans face even greater challenges when entering the civilian workforce than their non-disabled colleagues. It can be difficult, and in some cases nearly impossible, for these veterans to travel to job fairs and interviews. To remedy this, there has been a trend in recent years to offer virtual job fairs for veterans so that they can meet and interview remotely with potential employers. But what happens after they are hired? In many cases, traveling to and work presents extreme logistical challenges for wounded veterans. This challenge actually makes wounded veterans ideal candidates for virtual work environments. They are able to use their skills to contribute to an organization, without the logistical issues of working in an office.
Outsourced service desk and call center work can be ideal civilian career choices for wounded veterans. The work can be done from home, which is of course the biggest benefit to the worker, but the nature of the work can be an excellent match for military veterans. Service desk personnel must troubleshoot problems quickly, efficiently, and often under pressure. Customer contact agents also must be able to take ownership of problems, and see them through until they are completely resolved – another skillset that is prevalent among vets. Call centers are moving more and more towards a virtual work model, which means there are plenty of open positions available to wounded veterans looking for work.
Regardless of the industry in which you operate, there are many benefits to opening your business up to a virtual workforce. And there is no better place to find virtual workers than among the millions of military veterans returning home from service.