Not Just Another Great Hire: Even More Reasons You Should Be Recruiting Veterans to Your Business

November 8, 2017

This post is co-authored by TriNet Sales Consultant Eric Taveras (U.S. Army Sergeant, Retired ’09) and TriNet Executive Director of Channels & Alliances Jack Speece (U.S. Army Captain, Retired ’03)

Emphasizing the hiring of veterans has been a trend in business for several years, with such corporate heavy-hitters as Walmart, Starbucks, UPS, Home Depot, Target, McDonald’s and Amazon each making commitments to hire more vets. TriNet stands proudly among these companies. It is especially crucial for the U.S. economy that organizations embrace service men and women in the civilian job market as roughly 250,000 service members a year will leave the military over the next five years.

Aside from the initiatives on the corporate side, there are dozens of programs run by government and nonprofit organizations that help veterans transition into civilian careers. These programs provide everything from skills assessment and resume-building to job search support and career coaching. 

We talked in a previous TriNet blog post about the interpersonal characteristics that make military veterans such great choices for resource-strapped small businesses. These characteristics include leadership skills, dependability, adaptability, resourcefulness and work ethic. We know, from first-hand experience, that those with a U.S. military background typically have these traits ingrained into their core.

However, there are additional incentives to businesses—incentives many don’t know about—for hiring veterans. We’ll turn to these now.

Hiring veterans affects your pocketbook
We’ve already made the case that veterans can be a great addition to any growing business, but hiring vets can save you big through the many government tax credits available to employers:

  • Work Opportunity Tax Credit: Businesses can qualify for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit if they hire veterans who have a service-related disability, have been unemployed for a specified period or are receiving supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits.  
  • Returning Heroes Tax Credit: Business owners can receive up to a $5,600 credit for each veteran hired who has received food stamps for three months in the past 15 months or has been unemployed for at least four weeks in the past year.
  • Wounded Warrior Tax Credit: This tax credit provides employers with up to a $9,600 credit for each unemployed veteran hired who has a disability related to military service.

The combination of tax breaks and employment advocacy has helped drop the veteran unemployment rate to 2.7%, (as of October 2017), its lowest since 2000. For more information on military tax credits, please visit Military.com.     

Additionally, various states and locations often offer incentives—including cash payments—to companies that hire veterans. Contact your HR services provider to help find those that would apply to your business.

Hiring veterans is a long-term strategy
As military vets who have found success transitioning into civilian work after our service, we both understand the struggle veterans face finding meaningful employment that allows them to use their unique training and skills. Many companies seem to pay lip service to their programs to hire veterans but, unfortunately, fail to give them what they really want: a fulfilling career and not just a job.

For this reason, we recommend employers who are interested in hiring veterans do the following:

  • Have a formulated training plan in place. Before actively recruiting veterans, think through how you will onboard them to your company, what training you will provide to help them do their jobs and how you can give them opportunities to further develop the skills they bring to the table.
  • The military is huge on structure, of course, so the more structure you can provide when you are recruiting—from clearly laying out the duties of the positions you are hiring for to making sure they have a clear roadmap of how to be successful in that role—the more attractive your company will be to veterans.
  • Mention, throughout your recruitment efforts, your interest in hiring veterans and what you can offer them. Have reps trained and ready to talk to veterans about any programs you have that are specifically geared to them. Talk to them about these at military recruitment events and mention them in your job ads. Tell veteran recruits how you plan to make use of their skills and how you can help them reach their long-term career goals.
  • Make veterans part of your company culture and make your company culture one that attracts veterans. The military is a goal-oriented organization and veterans will bring that mentality to your company. Think about how they can immerse themselves in your team and contribute to helping your business achieve success.

As always, TriNet’s HR experts are available to answer questions and provide best practices guidance to aid in your veteran recruitment efforts.

This communication is for informational purposes only; it is not legal, tax or accounting advice; and is not an offer to sell, buy or procure insurance.

This post may contain hyperlinks to websites operated by parties other than TriNet. Such hyperlinks are provided for reference only. TriNet does not control such websites and is not responsible for their content. Inclusion of such hyperlinks on TriNet.com does not necessarily imply any endorsement of the material on such websites or association with their operators.

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