Misconceptions about Hiring Veterans
When you think of a military man, the image sketched out in the mind is that of a smart looking, a person with discipline, punctuality, and dedication to duty as his forte. However, when it comes to hiring military veterans in the corporate world, many employers hesitate and at best slot ex-servicemen in an administrative/ security profile perhaps due to misconceptions about their personality and skill sets. Let us bust those myths and take a realistic view of the situation.
- Ex-Servicemen are rigid An ex-serviceman would have had over 20 years of service (around 10 years for short service commission officers) and would have imbibed many military traits. Yet flexibility is the hallmark of a military man. His military service would have exposed him to different situations and personalities and he learns to adapt to each. When he moves to Civvy Street, he adapts easily and more often than not fits in beautifully with the organization.
- Veterans Just Follow Orders- In the military services, men follow orders of their superiors because in battle there cannot be any question of doubt. At the same time, they are taught to take initiative, act independently and make rapid decisions. So when they work in the corporate, they are not only good at understanding and listening to their employers but also equipped to take the initiative and make decisions.
- Ex-servicemen cannot fit in the informal Civvy culture. There is a notion that for military men discipline overrules everything else. Yes, the average ‘fauji’ will be more disciplined than most, he will reach in time, put in the hours expected of him, may be more formal in speech and conduct. That informality is usually reserved for after office hours when he can put his hair down and shake a leg with his teammates.
- They are not Technologically Savvy. Not true. Today, military service members are leveraging cutting-edge technology like advanced targeting systems, intelligence analysis tools, and databases, high-tech tools for communication, observation, and reconnaissance. Those from technical arms are armed with B Techs and M Techs often from IITs and some of the best institutions of the country. Besides being technologically and professionally sound, the military hones their social skills to make them officers and gentlemen alike. So, when we looked at the corporate skills veterans possess better skills than most of the civilians and should be the first choice for employers.
- Ex-Servicemen are ‘Old’. Most soldiers retire at around 40-45 years of age.Officers retire between 45 -55(except for Short Service officers who retire in their early 30s). So age wise they still have many years of productive service, especially since they are invariably physically very fit and have years of diverse experience.
So when you hire next, go in for an ex-serviceman. There is much he has to offer you and your organization.