Patriotism in Practice: The Benefits of Hiring Veterans

By Jeanette Coleman, SPHR & SHRM-SCP on Nov 09, 2023
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Are you considering implementing an initiative to hire military veterans? We salute you! As a small to mid-sized business, you’re in a unique position to help former servicemen and women rejoin the civilian workforce, while your organization also reaps the many benefits of hiring veterans. 

In this article, we’ll explore the symbiotic relationship between former servicemembers and their civilian employers. You’ll find that veterans bring a lot of distinctive and exceptional skills to the table that reflects their years of experience, dedication and loyalty. 

We’ll also cover the tangible incentives behind hiring veterans, including available government support and potential tax benefits. Ready to explore the perks of adding this valuable asset to your workforce? Read on to learn about how you can become a veteran-friendly employer. 

employee life cycle

Why Hire Veterans: A Question Worth Answering 

According to the United States Chamber of Commerce, there are currently approximately 16.5 million veterans in the United States, and they are a highly educated and experienced population. 

More than one-third of all veterans have a bachelor’s degree or higher, and more than 95% have graduated from high school. Paired with their extensive training and unique abilities, veterans make exceptional employees. The soft skills these resources bring to the table are one of the many benefits of hiring veterans.

Here are just a few of the reasons why: 

  • Leadership skills 

    Many veterans, especially those with significant tenures, have extensive leadership experience. This makes them excellent long-term employees, as evidenced by the fact that “40% of all veterans work in a management, professional or related occupation,” as reported by the US Chamber of Commerce. 
  • Decision-making abilities

Have you ever had an employee who just couldn’t make decisions or execute plans? That’s rarely a problem for veterans, who have learned to think on their feet and make critical decisions under pressure. The high-stakes and often high-stress training your veteran employees undergo makes them go-to resources in the civilian workforce. 

  • Adaptability and problem-solving

    Military veterans are trained to take in a deluge of information that changes in real-time, while they figure out the best way for a team to move forward. If your work environment could benefit from an employee who can navigate complex situations with ease and deliver creative, effective solutions—consider a veteran. 
  • Unmatched work ethic

    United States servicemembers are disciplined, loyal team players who aren't strangers to hard work. Some of the most common gripes from managers today about their employees are their reports’ poor time management skills and lack of discipline, two areas where your veteran employees will excel. 
  • Ability to follow rules and schedules 

Veterans have learned the importance of a higher set of rules and are able to thrive while following them. 

RELATED:How You Can Use the Skills You Already Have to Become a Better Leader >> 

Tax Benefits of Being a Veteran-Friendly Employer 

We’ve reviewed many of the “soft” benefits of hiring veterans, but did you know that there are tangible benefits to being a veteran-friendly employer that are offered by the government? Here are three of the most significant sources of support: 

  • Work Opportunity Tax Credit 

    The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a federal tax credit available to businesses that hire certain applicants who may face barriers to employment. Among these eligible groups are veterans. 

    Businesses must apply for a certification stating their new hire is a member of an eligible group, after which they may be able to claim the WOTC. The WOTC can be claimed as a general business credit against income taxes. 
  • Returning Heroes Tax Credit

    Another tax credit available to many businesses is the Returning Heroes Tax Credit. Passed in August of 2011, this initiative allows veteran-friendly companies to claim a credit of up to $2,400 when hiring veterans who have received unemployment compensation for at least four weeks, and up to $5,600 when hiring veterans who have received unemployment compensation for more than six months. 
  • Wounded Warriors Tax Credit

    This tax credit provides employers with a maximum of $9,600 in the form of a tax credit if they hire a veteran who has received unemployment compensation for up to six months and who has a service-connected disability; the credit also offers businesses a credit of up to $48,00 for hiring a veteran with a service-connected disability within one year of their discharge from the military. 

RELATED:Guide to Hiring Employees with Disabilities >> 

Hiring Veterans: Recruiting Ideas 

Many companies are familiar with the benefits of hiring veterans, making recruiting these resources competitive. These employees are in very high demand, and U.S. data reflects that they face lower rates of unemployment as a result. Employers who want to secure these in-demand resources need to be creative.

Consider the following ideas: 

  • Post to veteran job boards

    The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs recommends two great sites for veteran-targeted job postings: and These sites are also a source of information on veteran-targeted job fairs. 
  • Translate military experience 

    If you already have a veteran on your team, you’re lucky! You can use this resource to your advantage to find more veteran recruits. Collaborate with your veteran employees to make your existing job postings more appealing to former servicemembers, and tweak your role descriptions to make desired skills easily translatable to military experience. 
  • Networking 

If your workplace is near a military base, you may be able to network directly at the source; military bases often host job fairs for servicemembers planning a transition out of the military in the near future. If not, any job fair or networking event can open up new opportunities to promote open roles to veterans, and you may even find some events tailored specifically to veterans in or around your community. 

  • Targeted advertising 

    Some companies are using targeted online ads to reach applicants with military experience. 
  • Mentorship programs

    Many companies with established commitments to hiring veterans have implemented mentorship programs for veterans within their organizations. These programs can help veterans with their transition into the civilian workforce, improve retention and satisfaction long-term, and more. 

behavioral interviewing

Join the Ranks of Veteran-Friendly Employers

When you seek to actively recruit veterans, you join the ranks of many successful veteran-friendly employers. The Society for Human Resource Management reports that “over the past decade, recognition of the tremendous value veterans bring to U.S. companies has led to accelerated hiring initiatives at major firms, including Walmart, Siemens, AT&T and Verizon.” 

Further, Starbucks has pledged to hire 25,000 veterans and spouses by 2025; Allstate launched an effort to recruit veterans in sales and ownership careers; and Prudential operates an initiative called VETalent to hire veterans in IT positions. 

As Roger Staubach, Executive Chairman at JLL Americas writes, “I invest in veterans not to do them a favor; they are actually doing me a favor because the qualities they bring to the workforce are invaluable.” 

Axcet HR Solutions: Your Guide to the Benefits of Hiring Veterans 

Are you looking to recruit (and retain) valuable talent in your workforce, like veterans? When you partner with Axcet HR Solutions, you’ll gain access to our state-of-the-art applicant tracking system; tailored recruiting, hiring, and retention strategy development; help crafting compliant job descriptions; and so much more. Plus, our tax administration and payroll experts can help you explore the tax credit benefits of hiring veterans. 

Recruitment and retention are just the beginning of what we bring to the table at Axcet. To learn more, schedule a quick consultation with our HR experts.

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