As an entrepreneur, I used to wonder when this would happen in India too. That the corporate would realize the value of veterans in a talent starved world. Well, it has happened. Top companies in India, like Amazon, Wells Fargo and JP Morgan, all have started veteran hiring programs. And I believe others can benefit too, by understanding what singular benefits drive their programs.
I do have a somewhat unique perspective on this – as a veteran and an entrepreneur, one of whose businesses is also recruitment. And I can state this authoritatively. That the world is starved of talent. Ask any recruiter. One thing they always find tougher than finding clients is finding suitable candidates. And this is where veterans offer an option which most clients are happy to hire – once they understand what they stand to gain and how.
Here are 7 key reasons which are prompting the veteran hiring programs of top Indian companies today:
- Focus on Mission Achievement: Only a few cultures have been engineered like the one military veteran has been a part of. The need to “do or die” has been so drilled into them, that their focus on mission achievement becomes unique. They become experienced at looking at the big picture, understanding the intent of an organisation, and going after it with determination and commitment. Corporate needs such focus and commitment among employees, so that the top management does not have to macro manage, and can focus on the bigger picture.
- They will never complain about working hard for long hours or missing breaks when there is something that urgently needs to be done because they are trained that way. They are also good at tackling problems and handling them without losing focus from their goal.
- The Ability to Work With Diverse Teams: In the armed forces, you do not choose your bosses, colleagues or subordinates. Instead, you learn to work with them as a team. Veterans know the importance of teamwork as it could’ve made a difference between life and death. The armed forces are also one of the most egalitarian societies where caste, color and creed do not matter a fig. This ability too is greatly in demand in the corporate world, as it makes a veteran a perfect team member.
- Leadership at All Levels: They can handles any sort of responsibilities placed on them. Age or tenure does not matter, but the quality of contribution and leadership skills does. This trait is hugely important in the corporate world, where good leadership can lead to higher productivity and higher ROI at all levels.
- An Honest Day at Work: Veterans know exactly what it means to have “an honest day at work”. Prospective employees can take advantage of a track record of integrity, often including security clearances. This integrity translates into qualities of sincerity and trustworthiness.
- Hardworking and can handle any sort of Pressure like a Professional: Veterans understand the rigours of tight schedules and limited resources. They have developed the capacity to know how to accomplish priorities on time, in spite of tremendous stress. They know the critical importance of staying with a task until it is done right. This is exactly what corporate needs in a competitive world, where schedules are always tight and resources are always limited.
- Responsibility: Military people are more responsible because when they were very young there were serious consequences to the decisions they made. Veterans have passed through trials that most people haven’t, ensuring that they are responsible individuals who can successfully carry out their duties.
- Learn New Skills Quickly: Veterans have the proven ability to learn new skills and concepts. In addition, they can enter the workforce with identifiable and transferable skills, proven in real-world situations. This background can enhance an organisation’s productivity.
- Veteran hiring has been big in countries like the US for long, and veterans have been valued for their training, discipline, experience and motivation. In India, veterans have been valued for some roles – administration and security in particular. Their penetration in other roles has remained limited, due to this limited perception. But this is changing fast as companies realise the potential that veterans offer in a rapidly changing world, where applicants are many but talent is always short in supply.
Colonel Sunil Prem (Retired)
About the Author
Colonel Sunil Prem (Retired) is MD and CEO of Brisk Olive Business Solutions Pvt Ltd, a Business Consultancy and India’s largest Field Force provider, with a network of 23,000+ ex-soldiers positioned across all 741 districts of India. Their teams are composed of trained, handpicked ex-soldiers and they are employed for tasks at which they excel such as Surveys, Audits, Market Research, Promotions, Trainings, Project Execution, Verifications, Rectifications, Last Mile Connectivity tasks, etc. Brisk Olive also provides recruitment of veterans. They train and transition veterans, to ensure a win-win for corporate and veterans.
To read more about recruitment and field force services, visit Brisk Olive Field Force Services.