Hiring Disabled Veterans is a Smart Choice

Hiring Disabled Veterans is a Smart Choice

by Edward Diaz, ACP

November 2022

Approximately 200,000 servicemembers transition from military service to civilian life each year, and many experience difficulty finding civilian jobs after leaving the military[1]. However, servicemembers typically receive extensive, high-quality training and experience during their military careers and acquire skills that can prepare them for a wide range of civilian jobs.

For example, hiring a veteran into the legal profession where they have similar oaths, with both committing to defending the Constitution, will resonate more with a veteran than a non-veteran. Additionally, paralegals are problem solvers, and problem-solving is a hallmark of military training and a typical mindset of veterans that employers may overlook or be unaware of. Today, about 27% of veterans are members of a racial or ethnic minority group, and in 2045 this number is predicted to rise to 39%. Also, women are the most diverse veterans; 72.8% of all paralegals are women, while 22.9% are men. The most common ethnicity of a paralegal is White (65.1%), followed by Hispanic or Latino (18.3%) and Black or African American (8.9%)[2].

In the military, new processes or changes to existing ones are commonplace and even expected, and veterans have various skills and abilities compatible with nearly any working environment. These include attention to detail and working in a team environment; additional skills may include writing, presentations, and problem-solving. Most also have learned to be safety-conscious, detail-oriented, and team players—all attributes that make them a good fit for any number of jobs. Unfortunately, business leaders often overlook these qualities; however, a veteran diversity and inclusion strategy can help overcome this.

Uncertainty about hiring veterans is often based on a lack of knowledge about the military or misconceptions gleaned from Hollywood stereotypes. Research also shows that employers often do not understand how military skills translate to civilian jobs. That is an obstacle knowledgeable companies can overcome.[3]

When interviewing veterans, cultural differences between the military and civilian worlds can cause Human Resource professionals or hiring managers to miss out on good candidates. For example, veterans often speak about their team’s accomplishments, using “we” and not “I” when hiring managers want to know their contributions.

Further benefits to hiring veterans are tax credits and resiliency. One of the most attractive benefits for companies is the tax credit incentive. The Returning Heroes Tax Credit offers up to $5,600 for hiring an unemployed veteran. The Wounded Warrior Tax Credit almost doubles this offer, providing companies with up to $9,600 for hiring veterans with service-connected disabilities. The tax credit amount is per veteran; filling a few empty slots with disabled vets can easily offset some of the training and hiring costs associated with new hires.[4]

Research shows that the nearly four million veterans with a service-related disability are among the most resilient a hiring manager will find. Once a veteran finds a place of employment where they feel they belong, they are more likely to remain there. They put their leadership skills and determination to work, offering employers an unmatched level of loyalty that, in turn, can help lessen the cost of turnover. In addition, veterans with a service-connected disability are proven to be some of the most resilient and beneficial employees. Employers quickly realize that once a disabled veteran is hired and is in a place where they feel connected, their discipline, positivity, and dependability shine through.

[1] Navigating transition to civilian life | Performance.gov

[2] Diversity, equity, inclusion – VA goals – VA News

[3] Hiring Our Heroes | U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (uschamberfoundation.org)

[4] How to Get Tax Credits for Hiring Veterans | Military.com