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An Excellent Business Decision

Veteran Hiring: A Good Business Decision

Hiring veterans is good business — it’s a common refrain, but it also has basis in the experiences of many companies who have welcomed veterans to their workforces. A study by the Center of New American Security conducted lengthy interviews with 87 people representing 69 companies, and the overriding sentiment was the same: veteran workers bring very real value to an organization.

The companies interviewed in the study pointed out many reasons why veterans are valuable, including the following:

Leadership and teamwork skills: Veterans typically have led colleagues, accepted direction from others and operated as part of a small team.

As one interviewee put it, “We look for people with leadership skills. If someone can lead a team of soldiers around the world, they can lead our large stores.” Another interviewee noted, “Ninety-five percent of the kids coming out of college have never managed before. They may be very smart, but they have no leadership experience. To find someone that is very smart and also has real leadership experience is huge for our business.”

Character: Veterans have the reputation in these companies as being trustworthy, dependable, drug-free and having a strong work ethic.

“[T]here is great value in life in experiencing strife and struggle,” said one respondent. “It makes people stronger and more capable. To me that is the foundation of character. I do not have a problem trusting vets to handle the job. We have military guys that work very hard for us. They pull all-nighters, and they are very dedicated.”

Structure and discipline: Companies, especially those that emphasize safety, appreciate veterans’ experience following established procedures.

For jobs and industries that adhere to strict processes and guidelines, veterans’ experience is seen as an advantage, as one interviewee put it: “[Our industry] is a highly regulated industry with a lot of rules to follow. The military understand this concept very well.”

Expertise: Companies value veterans’ occupational skills, job-specific experiences and understanding of the military community.

As one respondent who works with the U.S. defense community put it, “[V]eterans usually walk in the door with an active security clearance, which means they can hit the ground running and starting working right away – this is a huge advantage. Also, we often find ourselves competing with other contractors for government contracts, and we find we are more likely to get contracts if we have ex-military people.”

Dynamic environment: Veterans are accustomed to performing and making decisions in dynamic and rapidly changing circumstances.

“We search out veterans,” noted one interviewee. “In particular, people coming out of high-pressure jobs, high-stress jobs, where they need to make quick decisions without a lot of information. These people are a good fit for [our] corporate culture.”

Effectiveness: Interviewees report that veterans “get it done.”

As one interviewee put it, “We find that there is a significant correlation between high performance and military experience.” Another interviewee added, “They are also valuable hires because they are mission oriented and they understand the concept of getting the job done.”

Proven success: Some organizations hire veterans largely because other veterans have already been successful in their organization. Veterans demonstrate that they share company values and fit the organizational culture.

Said one interviewee whose company has hired several veterans, “Many of our supervisors also are former military, so they know those skill sets and want to hire veterans. So we have lots of people that constantly remind people of the value that veterans bring.”

Resiliency: Veterans are accustomed to working in difficult environments, and to traveling and relocating.

This value is particularly useful for companies who set a tough pace at work. One respondent noted, “[We work] irregular hours and in all types of weather. Most civilians have a difficult time working under these conditions, but military personnel are used to all of these factors.”

Loyalty: Veterans are committed to the organizations they work for, which can translate into longer tenure.

Some interviewees spoke of veterans’ loyalty to their employers, and a small number of the companies have data indicating that veterans have longer tenures. One interviewee said, “I recently completed a study on the turnover rates at [my company] and based on the analysis, the attrition rate was 7 percent lower for vets than civilian employees.”

Public relations value: Some companies have found marketing benefits to hiring veterans.

To sum up, it makes good business sense to hire veterans. The skills and experiences that they bring to the organization, as well as their character and capabilities, underscore their merit as employees. Companies that purposefully hire veterans proclaim the benefit gained from employing individuals who exhibit the same loyalty and strong performance in the civilian workplace that they did while serving the country. Hiring veterans serves those who serve the nation. It is also plain good business.

Get a Tax Credit for Hiring Veterans

In addition to the skills and talents military veterans can bring to a company, did you know that they can also help your business earn tax credits?

Businesses that hire eligible unemployed veterans can take advantage of a Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). (This credit is also available to certain tax-exempt organizations.) After recent changes, The Returning Heroes Tax Credit now provides incentives of up to $5,600 for hiring unemployed veterans, and the Wounded Warriors Tax Credit doubles the existing Work Opportunity Tax Credit for long-term unemployed veterans with service-connected disabilities, to up to $9,600.

Here’s the various veteran-related tax credits your company could qualify for:

Unemployment Tax Credits:

  • Qualified Long-term Unemployment: This is a credit for new hires that begin work on or after January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2019, during which the individual is employed no less than 27 consecutive weeks, and includes a period in which the individual was receiving unemployment compensation under State or Federal law. For WOTC-certified new hires working at least 120 hours, employers can claim 25% of the first year wages paid up to $6,000, for a maximum income tax credit of up to $1,500. For WOTC-certified new hires working 400 hours or more, employers can claim 40% of the first year wages up to $6,000, for a maximum income tax credit of up to $2,400.
  • Short-term Unemployment: A credit of 40% of the first $6,000 of wages (up to $2,400) for employers who hire veterans who have been in receipt of unemployment compensation for at least 4 weeks.
  • Long-term Unemployment: A credit of 40% of the first $14,000 of wages (up to $5,600) for employers who hire veterans who have been in receipt of unemployment compensation for longer than 6 months.

Wounded Warrior Tax Credits:

  • Veterans with Services-Connected Disabilities: Maintains the existing Work Opportunity Tax Credit for veterans with service-connected disabilities hired within one year of being discharged from the military. The credit is 40% of the first $12,000 of wages (up to $4,800).
  • Long-Term Unemployed Veterans with Services-Connected Disabilities: A new credit of 40% of the first $24,000 of wages (up to $9,600) for firms that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities who have been in receipt of unemployment compensation for longer than 6 months. The credit can be as high as $9,600 per veteran for for-profit employers or up to $6,240 for tax-exempt organizations.
  • Certain tax-exempt organizations can take advantage of WOTC by hiring eligible veterans and receiving a credit against the employer’s share of Social Security taxes.

For more details on these credits, see the PATH Act – WOTC Interim Instructions on the Department of Labor website. Further information can be found in IRS Notice 2016-22.

To see how much your business can earn in tax credits, see the WOTC Calculator.

To collect on these credits, your company must do the following:

  • Complete IRS Form 8850 by the day the job offer is made.
  • Complete ETA Form 9061, or complete ETA Form 9062 if the employee has been conditionally certified as belonging to a WOTC target group by a State Workforce Agency, Vocational Rehabilitation agency, or another participating agency.
  • Submit the completed and signed IRS and ETA forms to your State Workforce Agency. Forms must be submitted within 28 calendar days of the employee’s start date.
  • Wait for a final determination from your State Workforce Agency. The determination will indicate whether the employee is certified as meeting the eligibility for one of the WOTC target groups.
  • After the target group employee is certified by the State Workforce Agency, file for the tax credit with the Internal Revenue Service .

Reasons to Hire Vets

Looking for a hard-working, motivated, ethical employee? Try hiring a U.S. veteran. Veterans are disciplined team players that can bolster any employer’s business. What’s more, hiring veterans is not only a good idea, it’s good business.

Here are 10 more reasons to hire veterans:

  1. Accelerated learning curve: Veterans have the proven ability to learn new skills and concepts. In addition, they can enter your workforce with identifiable and transferable skills, proven in real-world situations. This background can enhance your organization’s productivity.
  2. Leadership: The military trains people to lead by example as well as through direction, delegation, motivation, and inspiration. Veterans understand the practical ways to manage behaviors for results, even in the most trying circumstances. They also know the dynamics of leadership as part of both hierarchical and peer structures.
  3. Teamwork. Veterans understand how genuine teamwork grows out of a responsibility to one’s colleagues. Military duties involve a blend of individual and group productivity. They also necessitate a perception of how groups of all sizes relate to each other and an overarching objective.
  4. Diversity and inclusion in action: Veterans have learned to work side by side with individuals regardless of diverse race, gender, geographic origin, ethnic background, religion, and economic status as well as mental, physical, and attitudinal capabilities. They have the sensitivity to cooperate with many different types of individuals.
  5. Efficient performance under pressure: Veterans understand the rigors 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.
  6. Respect for procedures: Veterans have gained a unique perspective on the value of accountability. They can grasp their place within an organizational framework, becoming responsible for subordinates’ actions to higher supervisory levels. They know how policies and procedures enable an organization to exist.
  7. Technology and globalization: Because of their experiences in the service, veterans are usually aware of international and technical trends pertinent to business and industry. They can bring the kind of global outlook and technological savvy that all enterprises of any size need to succeed.
  8. Integrity: Veterans know what it means to do “an honest day’s work.” Prospective employers can take advantage of a track record of integrity, often including security clearances. This integrity translates into qualities of sincerity and trustworthiness.
  9. Conscious of health and safety standards: Thanks to extensive training, veterans are aware of health and safety protocols both for themselves and the welfare of others. Individually, they represent a drug-free workforce that is cognizant of maintaining personal health and fitness. On a company level, their awareness and conscientiousness translate into protection of employees, property, and materials.
  10. Triumph over adversity: In addition to dealing positively with the typical issues of personal maturity, veterans have frequently triumphed over great adversity. They likely have proven their mettle in mission critical situations demanding endurance, stamina, and flexibility. They may have overcome personal disabilities through strength and determination.

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