12 Ways Veterans Excel on the Job

The case for why hiring veterans and their spouses makes financial sense for your company:

Veterans have skills that lead to greater accomplishment. A comprehensive report by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University said research has shown that high-performing companies understand the value of training and education in their workforce, and that common traits of these companies include individuals with problem-solving, collaborative and entrepreneurial skills—traits that veterans are trained to possess.


Executive Summary for Senior Leadership

Veterans know how to maximize time and resources. In a February 2014 editorial in The Huffington Post, Taylor Justice, a U.S. Army veteran and chief business officer of technology platform Unite Us, said that veterans can be especially valuable to small businesses because those companies, which are often under-resourced and strapped for cash, need employees who can do more with less and who have demonstrated more versatile skills. Veterans thrive in that environment, because they’ve always had to find ways to “make do with the resources given.”

Business officials attest to the difference veterans bring. In a report by the Center for a New American Security, in-depth interviews with individuals representing 69 companies across the country said hiring veterans was good business. In a subsequent report, the Center reported that in a survey of more than 800 private sector employers, most managers said veterans were “better” or “much better” than civilians in areas including teamwork and work ethic.

Veterans’ ambition and drive lead to tangible results. Studies also indicate that those who are drawn to military service show high levels of self-efficiency, dynamic decision-making ability and a need to achieve. The IVMF report stated that multiple studies by the U.S. Small Business Administration and other groups showed that veterans are twice as likely as nonveterans to pursue business ownership after leaving service, and that the five-year success rate of ventures owned by veterans is significantly higher than the national average.

Veterans rise to the top—and excel there. A study by Korn Ferry International found that veterans represented a disproportionately high percentage of Standard & Poor's 500 corporate CEOs, relative to their percentage in the general population. Also, in 2005, S&P 500 companies led by CEOs with military experience had higher-than-average returns.

Veterans come with advanced technical training that leads to more efficient solutions. Because of their service, veterans receive technical training at a much more accelerated rate than their nonmilitary peers. And, the IVMF report points out, research indicates that this exposure to technology contributes to a greater ability to link technology-based solutions to organizational challenges and a greater tendency to transfer technological skills to various work tasks. Read more of the business case in the IVMF's whitepaper.

Military 101

Hiring veterans can result in less employee turnover. Veterans may be more likely than others to stay in a job that provides opportunities to grow and advance, the IVMF report says. According to data collected by General Electric over a 10-year period, the attrition rate for veteran employees was 7 percent lower than for nonveteran employees.




Innovative Veteran Hiring Programs

Veterans are more productive than nonveterans. A 2013 report by the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) Company stated that, on average, veterans perform 4 percent higher than nonveteran employees and have 3 percent less turnover than nonveterans. For a company with 1,000 employees averaging $150,000 in revenue per employee, the reduced turnover combined with greater production translates to a difference of $7.3 million annually.

Veterans are the ultimate team players. There is no better training or experience in teamwork that exists outside of the military. In a 2012 report by G.I. Jobs on the top military-friendly employers, Randall Stephenson, chairman and CEO of AT&T, said: “Veterans who contributed to disciplined, motivated and successful teams in the military fit right in, and feel right at home, at AT&T.”

Veterans are cost-effective to recruit. Given the wealth of resources that can assist you in finding veterans, and the advanced training veterans would already possess, hiring veterans provides great value for a business.

Veterans are highly skilled, trained and experienced. About 85 percent of military careers have a direct civilian counterpart.

Hiring veterans increases your overall brand equity. According to a 2010 survey by Cone Communications, 85 percent of Americans believe it’s important for companies to support military nonprofits.

For more information, download the Guide to Hiring Veterans by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for your recruiting team.


When you hire a military spouse, you don’t get just a great employee for a great price—you connect your business with a vast military community.

The military gives great benefits, and that extends not just to its service members but also to their spouses and families, from free health insurance to covering moving expenses for those transitioning out of active duty. Here’s how hiring those spouses positively affects your business:

  • Spouses and family members of current veterans will not need health benefits.
  • Hiring a military spouse transitioning out of active duty means that you don’t have to cover relocation expenses.
  • Relocating military spouses to different locations within your company when they have to move can save money on new hires.
  • Military spouses often come with a broad range of skill sets that can offset the need to hire additional help.
  • When you make an effort to support the military community by hiring military families, it will support you back. Just as veterans relay positive experiences with other veterans, their spouses also spread the word about businesses that support them, and that will enhance your company’s image.
  • Military spouses have access to networks that can give you marketing opportunities.