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Why Employers Should Consider Combat Boots A Bonus

By John Ramirez, dean of operations, College of Doctoral Studies USA CSM (Ret.)

Your new hire may not be wearing combat boots. But employers would be wise to look for them on a resume when making hiring decisions.

With unemployment rates reaching historic lows, U.S. businesses are facing an unusually competitive market for attracting and retaining talented employees. Not since 1969 have employers experienced an unemployment rate this low, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting sub-four percent unemployment for much of 2019.

Although these rates bode well for jobseekers, they present business owners with a unique challenge for recruiting talented employees and keeping them in key positions long-term.

When looking for talent, employers would be wise to consider a group of individuals who share a common qualification ― military service. Studies show that they receive promotions faster, stick with companies longer and bring more work-related experience to their careers.

A recent study titled the 2019 LinkedIn Veteran Opportunity Report, which looks at the underemployment of veterans found that military veterans tend to outperform their civilian counterparts in four ways, which may be meaningful to U.S. employers in today’s labor market.

  • Retention:  Veterans remain with their initial company 8.3 percent longer than non-veterans.
  • Promotion: Veterans are 39 percent more likely to be promoted earlier than non-veterans.
  • Education: Veterans are 160 percent more likely than non-veterans to have a graduate degree or higher.
  • Experience: Veterans with bachelor’s degrees have 2.9 times more work experience.

Indeed, military veterans bring a unique value to the labor market, and they bring a unique skillset. They often possess soft skills and social/emotional intelligence traits from their military training that make them highly competitive from an employment perspective.

These skills include time management, solid communication, teamwork, commitment to individual tasks, group leadership and the ability to learn new tasks quickly.

Every soldier develops these skills during their military service and obviously the more tenured the veteran and, depending on the rank he or she held when they left military service, the stronger these skills. Additionally, veterans come with a wealth of experience and have multiple skills in various roles, responsibilities and duties.

Truth is, the characteristics veterans must embody in their military role are the same characteristics that constitute a path to success in civilian jobs. During my 27-year military career, I learned how serving our country can make veterans strong employees and desirable hires in today’s competitive labor market.