Indiana is home to nearly 550,000 veterans, 52,000 of which collect disability compensation or pension payments. Sadly, veterans with disabilities are disproportionately more vulnerable to the impact of COVID-19. The pandemic creates a set of unique challenges for these Hoosiers, including the fact that a majority of veterans now face a dire financial situation due to lost income.

Now more than ever, it’s crucial that local businesses who are looking for hard-working, motivated and ethical employees consider hiring our Hoosier veterans. Unfortunately, with less than 0.5% of the American population currently in active duty, it can be hard for employers to recognize the invaluable experience and transferable skills veterans acquire during their time of military service – thus creating a knowledge gap between veterans entering the workforce and employers searching for top talent.

If your company is looking for new employees, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, consider these four benefits to hiring local veterans.

Servant leadership.
When military personnel enter into the service, the majority of whom have just reached adulthood, they quickly learn the skills to be a good follower and obtain the experience to become a great leader. Through training, education and experiences, veterans take on a variety of roles and responsibilities. In the face of ever-changing and unpredictable situations, veterans are required to make quick and smart decisions as leaders, a parallel that translates to the fast-paced work environment. Additionally, veterans have an innate, conscientious obligation to serve others. It’s this servant leadership philosophy that allows veterans to be selfless, putting the needs of teams first and acting towards improving the organization, rather than only themselves.

Health and safety conscious.
The global pandemic has turned the world upside down, with companies across the world heightening their health and safety procedures to maintain a safe environment for all. While in the military, personnel were taught to learn and follow strict safety and health protocols for both the welfare of team members and themselves. The rules and regulations set in place in the military becomes second nature, with veterans easily adapting to new guidelines as they arise, since they are highly aware of any dangers that can happen in an environment. In short, veterans are trained to protect and care for the safety of their employees, property and materials.

Teamwork and experience working in a diverse group.
From the moment they enter service, military veterans are taught that genuine teamwork derives from a responsibility to one’s peers. Being an ultimate team player is not taken lightly, as members must learn to think in terms of the greater good of the team and what they can do to improve, grow and strengthen it. A blend of individual and group responsibilities allows veterans to work side-by-side successfully with teammates of all backgrounds – regardless of gender, race, religion, economic status or geographic origin. As much of the job force is done with a team in a diverse workspace, veterans are already ahead of the curve.

Trainable, adaptable, determined.
Veterans continuously learn, develop and grow from day one. As situations can change rapidly and without notice, members master adaptability and learn to improvise as their specific roles can be affected day to day. Adaptable and capable, veterans are flexible on picking up new tasks with short notice. Not to mention that veterans are persistent and determined, sticking with a problem or solution until results are achieved. An ongoing focus on development not only proves successful for the individual, but for their team and their organization as well.

Final thoughts.
Veterans can bring a wide array of unique traits that transfer directly from the military world to the working world. In a time where so much is uncertain, your organization can be confident in knowing that hiring our Hoosier veterans is not only a good idea, but good business.

A local veteran, Josh White has served as the President of Hoosier Contractors since 2013. 

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