A 2016 report by The Society for Human Resource Management found that companies face significant challenges finding the right people for the right jobs. However, hiring managers for industries employing engineers are solving that problem by recruiting military veterans with degrees. Veterans have the rare but effective combination of technical expertise and soft skills, making them well-rounded employees.
In today’s competitive business arena, applicants need to be able to show a wide range of skills, qualities, and experiences in order to get hired. For example, companies are placing more of an emphasis on one’s emotional intelligence, and ability to lead. The following list of qualities are easily transferable from life in the military, to work as a civilian, and are highly sought after by companies from all industries. GE, Intel, 3M, and Verizon are a few of the Fortune 500 companies actively hiring veterans with engineering degrees. They recognize that those who served in the military have much to offer private industry.Communication
In the military, effective communication skills can be the difference between life and death. Although the circumstances in the business world are not nearly as dire, the ability to communicate effectively is highly valued and necessary. It is often communication skills that separate one candidate from another when both have equal technical expertise and education. Many veterans are well-versed in communicating clearly and calmly; a highly valued skill in civilian organizations.Teamwork
Teamwork is a core value of all military branches. Veterans understand they must make individual contributions and sacrifices for the good of a team. No one wants to be the one to let their team down on the battlefield, or in the boardroom.Integrity
Keeping one’s word, aligning one’s word with actions, and adhering to moral and ethical principles is the basis for integrity. Military veterans understand that integrity is not something for which one can be trained. It is an inherent trait that is cultivated in the military and highly valued in the private sector.Adaptability
Being able to quickly adapt to new situations is a quality that many veterans have. Many service men and women have learned to become adaptable as they are called on to respond to changes in a strategy, directive, or environment. Those who can adapt to ever-changing environments are a highly valued asset in the corporate world.Leadership
Effective leaders must be dependable, make decisions quickly, and motivate those in their charge. The military cultivates leaders who do these things well while also understanding the importance of followership. Another particular trait of veterans is their comprehension of servant leadership which can boost morale, build trust, and lead to both successful team and organizational outcomes.
Increasingly, companies are realizing that veterans have a collection of soft-skills, technical expertise, and a wide range of culturally diverse experiences that are easily transferable to business operations. By taking advantage of this once neglected talent pool, companies are likely to enhance their overall business operations and gain a competitive edge in the marketplace.
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