Does your company’s experience reflect the headlines on finding the right employees?

  • Associated General Contractors of America - 73 percent of businesses are having a difficult time finding qualified workers.
  • S. Bank - 61 percent of small businesses say they are experiencing extreme to moderate difficulty in finding quality workers.
  • Federal Reserve Bank– Labor shortages in combination with the need to pay higher wages are “restraining growth” in manufacturing, transportation, and construction.
  • Peter Guarraia, manufacturing practice leader, Bain & Co. – “There just aren’t enough people to do the job anymore.”

So where do you find the people you need to help your business prosper? Employees who have the skills and experience you want AND are effective at self-marketing have long since found jobs. You can try to hire them away from other firms. But do you really want to get into a bidding war?

How about tapping into a group of highly educated workers who have superior technical skills and experience, working in the most challenging environments, workers who take duty, responsibility, and commitment very seriously.

Their one fault: they don’t appreciate how much value they can offer employers. Many don’t interview well. Most cannot explain their accomplishments without using jargon you may not understand. But with a little insight, you can tap into the personnel system that will tell you what you need to know about their experience.

Who are these exceptional people, people who can take your business to the next level of performance and efficiency? Military veterans…

As a group they have more education, experience, and leadership ability than their civilian counterparts:

1. Over 97% of enlisted people have at least a high school diploma or GED.

2. Over 97% of reservists and National Guardsmen have completed high school or passed the GED exam.

This compares with 88% of Americans who have their diploma or GED.

3. Eighty-five percent of active duty officers have at least bachelor’s degree.

4. Over 87% of reservist officers have a bachelor’s or advanced degree.

Only 33% of Americans have attained this level of education.

5. Over 40% have an advanced degree: 42% of active duty and 36% of reservist officers have an advanced degree.

That is 3-1/2 and 3 times, respectively, the rate of Americans overall.

6. Service members pursue higher education in numerous venues including:

  • Service Academies
  • On-base private university campuses
  • Online programs even while deployed
  • College instructors on ships
  • They can learn anywhere, at any time…

7. Over 76% of active duty service members have led a team of at least nine to 13 people.

8. A plane captain, typically 18-20 years old, decides whether a $50 million aircraft and its pilot leave an aircraft carrier’s deck.

The Bottom Line

Most military veterans have attended at least one leadership course. They also received on-the-job leadership training. And, they have led training as well as planning and performance of assigned tasks. There is no equivalent level of responsibility I’ve found for people this age in the private sector.