Veterans Help Solve Staffing Problems

You can’t get a good job without experience and you can’t get experience without a good job. That’s an old adage that is more valid today than ever, and one that has hiring executives really scratching to fill personnel needs with quality people. With the current unemployment rate added to the equation, the picture becomes even bleaker.

Companies advertising for vacancies wind up with hundreds of resumes for every position, but find that few have the right qualifications. As many employers know, it’s doubly hard to find a potential worker who brings the desire, drive, determination, and dedication to make it in business. High tech firms are really feeling the “people pinch” and some have even developed programs with local junior colleges and vocational/technical schools to ensure a reasonable supply of qualified workers.

Fortunately there is a ready supply of workers available that would make most corporate recruiters green with envy. They are trained in marketable skills. They have demonstrated that they can apply themselves and will show up for work each day. Many are skilled technicians and they are clean from both the drug culture and the police blotter. Most have also been trained in leadership skills and are able to manage assets effectively and profitably. And finally, as many corporate recruiters are finding, they are skilled at operating within a “structured” environment.


Extraordinary People

This group of “extraordinary” people are called VETERANS. More correctly, they are the soon to be or recently separated men and women from the armed forces of the United States. They are actively seeking employment and bring a wealth of training, experience and dedication to the workplace. They have an attitude that is generally different from that found in the rest of the workforce. They are confident, well traveled, able to adjust to rapidly changing situations and they are problem solvers.

The numbers are significant. According to recent figures from the Department of Defense, almost 200,000 men and women leave the service every year. These newly released veterans have a depth of experience that ranges from the individual in their early 20’s who has served for only two to four years, to the senior manager leaving the service with a record of success spanning over 20 years. They are all high school graduates (with very few exceptions) and many have college credits ranging from a few semester hours to MBAs and PhDs. Many are leaving with a a strong desire to build another career and more importantly, they WANT to work and they want to contribute.


Trained By the Best

Even more significant is the degree of technical training and experience offered by this group. It has long been recognized that the U.S. military offers some of the finest technical training in the country today. And for employers who are looking for technicians, this group is looking for you.  How valuable is a microwave radio equipment repairman trained by the U.S. Army, who spent over six months, eight hours per day in a classroom environment learning his job? Add three years of hands-on experience and you have an individual in his early twenties who can really add much to any company’s team. The types of skills available are not just restricted to high tech either. They include administrators, security specialists, medical technologists, truck drivers, aviation and vehicle mechanics, HVAC specialists, communicators, and in fact almost any skill that can be found in the private sector.

Military workers are a good bet for any company in any position. They have been screened, have demonstrated that they can perform (in many cases under pressure), are trained in a skill, and they are eager to reenter the private sector workforce. Veterans provide a source of workers and managers that is unequaled in the country today. They are people who operate well within a team environment and can be counted upon to add to the profit picture. They exhibit character and integrity and, more importantly, they are leaders to whom success means doing a job and doing it well.


Bill Fitzpatrick is a sales coach and author working with local businesses to help them improve performance. Visit