VetCor is a veteran-owned and primarily veteran-staffed (including our franchises) emergency services restoration contractor. There is no doubt we attribute our success to hiring veterans – but why? What is the Value of a Veteran and how do our veterans contribute to our success?
Before I address those specific questions, I would like to highlight some important aspects of our veteran population and explain why these are significant. Let us begin with defining the barriers and dispelling the rumors.
Understanding the gap: The charts highlighted here provide a clear indication there is an ever-increasing gap between the veteran population and those we have sworn to protect. This gap means there are fewer civilians who have ever interacted with a veteran, so they draw conclusions based on what they see in the media or in movies – most of which are misguided.
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Defining the stigma/barriers and dispelling the rumors:
- All veterans have PTSD. This could not be further from the truth, and the small percentage who legitimately have PTSD do not have this disorder for the reasons you might think. For a better perspective into this disorder, as it pertains to veterans, please watch this presentation by Sebastien Junger - Sebastian Junger TED talk.
- Veterans have an autocratic leadership style. Make no mistake – we do when required, but this is just one of many tools in our leadership toolbox and typically the last we choose to utilize. The U.S. Military is a leadership laboratory and veterans are exposed to a myriad of leadership styles and techniques. While studying for my MBA in leadership, many of the leadership concepts covered in that curriculum, I learned during my first five years in the military.
- All veterans do is “shoot, move, and communicate.” Only around 25% of military personnel serve in combat related specialties and only a percentage of them engage in direct combat operations. The vast majority of the military is comprised of support related specialties ranging from cooks to doctors and just about everything in between.
- Most veterans are uneducated. To the contrary, a 2015 study clearly indicates otherwise.
Now that I’ve addressed some of the stigmas regarding our veterans, and before I indicate all of the positive attributes most veterans possess, I’d like to shed light on some of the barriers veterans experience when transitioning from military to civilian employment. The two areas typically presenting the biggest challenges deal with the resume / interview process, and the lack of a network.
If we are intellectually honest with ourselves, what is a resume and what is an interview? To me, it is the process of telling others about your individual accomplishments so they can see / hear how awesome you are and ultimately make a hiring decision. This very process directly conflicts with the culture and norms our veterans embrace while in the military. Not only do most veterans have a difficult time translating the remarkable skills gained from their military service into a civilian oriented resume, you are asking a veteran who has the team oriented concept deeply ingrained in his conscious to deliberately put the “I” in Team – it just doesn’t work. This is the primary reason many veterans struggle with this process.
Finding the right job often requires establishing a network as building relationships is much more effective than most other means of finding employment. Transitioning veterans generally do not have a network. They have moved from state-to-state, country-to-country every 3-4 years, and seldom transition back to their hometown. The process of establishing a network in the civilian community is new to them and presents a challenge. Understanding these unique challenges is critical for those contemplating hiring a veteran.
It is now time to answer the two important questions posed earlier - What is the Value of a Veteran and how do our veterans contribute to our success? The average veteran spent at least four years living the military values of their respective service, and those values align perfectly with VetCor’s: ASPIRE to Greatness...
- Accountability and Responsibility for everything we do or fail to do
- Service to the customer and strive for 100% complete satisfaction
- Pride in the quality of our work, in each other, and in our reputation
- Integrity is never compromised. Our word is our bond
- Respect on customers, their time, their property, and their resources
- Excellence in all of our actions and communications
You can be confident the veteran on your team will arrive to the customer on time, fit, polite, and respectful. Additionally, our experience has shown most veterans have unquestionable integrity and solid leadership skills. They are reliable, loyal, trustworthy, agile and adaptive. They typically have very high standards and a remarkable work ethic with a mindset to always accomplish the mission and never accept defeat. The nature of military service, changing positions every few years, produces an inventory of lifelong learners as they are required to perform at a high level in their new position in a short amount of time.
Let’s say all of your employees already possess these same attributes and that aspect alone isn’t enough to motivate you to hire veterans. The other significant value of a veteran has a direct effect on your bottom line. Many veterans are able to share the benefits they’ve earned from their service with their employer.
- Many veterans have medical coverage and do not need company medical benefits
- VA has a program where they pay ½ of the salary for veterans hired through their vocational rehab program.
- Many states have specific programs that offer employers financial benefits for hiring veterans. One example in Florida is the Veterans Florida Training Grant. We receive approximately $3500 for each veteran we hire and train.
So if you were to ask me the secret to VetCor’s continued success and our sustained 94% extremely satisfied rating of our technicians….shhhh….don’t tell anybody….
We hire VETERANS!