There’s a lot of stereotypes and misunderstandings when it comes to the skills and experience of a Military veteran. This may cause underlying fears from a hiring manager, even if they recognize the skills that a Military Veterans candidate can offer. Here are some common misconceptions that recruiters and hiring managers should reconsider:
Misconception 1: They’re too rigid and structured.
Studies have shown that some employers have the misconception that, because veterans come from a very structured and disciplined background, they don’t know how to be creative and take initiative to get things done. But the employers that hire veterans have found the opposite to be true. Their training usually involves putting them in a variety of situations that is meant to prepare them for the unexpected. Military veterans know how to overcome adversity and think quick on their feet.
Misconception 2: Combat skills don’t apply in the corporate world.
Yes, military veterans may have some artillery and survival skills that might not apply directly to their duties in a civilian position. However, the character traits it takes to master these military skills are highly sought-after in most organizations. Their training commonly instills good work-ethic, problem-solving, leadership, and respect for safety. Task-oriented skills are more easily taught on the job than these attributes are.
Misconception 3: They’ll be redeployed.
Veterans that leave the military are rarely planning to go back. Once they leave, they’ve usually made a definitive decision to join the civilian workforce. They’re not going to be unexpectedly yanked back into service unless they’re actually still in active reserves, which they’re required to tell any potential employer.
Misconception 4: They’re unstable and suffering from PTSD.
Reports actually show that only about 7% of post-9/11 veterans even have PTSD. And if they do have it, it’s more likely that only very small adjustments need to be made in the work environment in order to help them become comfortable and dependably productive. On the flipside, if they have experienced unfortunate trauma, it’s likely given them a sense of empathy for others, which can be extremely valuable in job situations that require regular teamwork and/or compassion.
Just like any job candidate, military veterans bring their own unique skills and strengths to a company. At Madden, we encourage hiring managers to rethink these misconceptions and take into account the huge contributions that veterans can offer to your organization.