This week, Syracuse University’s Institute for Veteran and Military Families (IVMF) -- a national leader in veteran and military family research -- released an extraordinary study entitled “The Business Case for Hiring a Veteran: Beyond the Cliches.”
Among others things, the study confirmed what many of us already knew – hiring America’s veterans makes great sense and is a terrific investment for any company in America. I encourage wide dissemination of this report to corporate leaders throughout the nation.
Significant findings include:
- Veterans are entrepreneurial: It’s true – there are more than 66,000 veteran-owned small businesses in franchising alone. America is also stepping up in big ways to support the veteran entrepreneurial spirit -- several new programs aim to entice veterans to the world of franchising. The International Franchise Association runs one called VetFran, which requires that parent companies give veteran franchisees their “best deal” possible — often resulting in thousands of dollars off the initial franchising fee. There are more than 450 companies participating, and at least 2,100 veterans have opened franchises through the program so far. Some companies go even further — the UPS Store recently announced it was giving away free franchises to 10 veterans who qualify (five have already been given out.) In February, CiCi’s Pizza announced it will waive the franchise fee and offer a 50 percent cut on royalty fees to all qualified veterans who open CiCi’s franchises and hire a veteran manager.
- Veterans have - and leverage - advanced technical training: Beyond just having the technical training, veterans are already graduates of the world’s best training program – the Unites States military!
- Veterans exhibit advanced team-building skills: When I was in command of a Guided Missile Destroyer, I use to tell my crew, “When the team wins, you win…” It’s true – when companies do well; employees benefit (and vice versa). Veterans understand the meaning of “the team comes first” and they bring that same mentality to any company.
- Veterans exhibit strong organizational commitment: Loyalty goes a long way in the military – and that same organizational commitment stays with Veterans when they join corporate America. It’s an intangible that can’t be taught.
- Veterans have experience mastering diverse work settings: Veterans have had to perform in the toughest of circumstances. The mountains of eastern Afghanistan; villages in Kandahar; Baghdad; Mosul; Ramadi and so many more… the acquired skills and experience that American veterans have gained in the last 10 years of war can’t be taught or replicated in the classroom.
Ideally, this report will serve as an opportunity for all of us to re-double our efforts to hire America’s veterans. It’s a win-win – companies acquire talented employees and American veterans land jobs throughout the nation.