Want Top Talent? Recruit Veterans

    It’s tough to find good help these days. Articles abound telling us good people are hard to find and harder to keep. Hiring, training, and retaining staff consistently lands in the top spot of operational challenges year over year.

    Recent amendments to America’s Visa program, the Trump administration’s tightening of immigration policies, and crackdowns on undocumented workers have significantly impacted the hospitality industry across all sectors.

    Restaurants and hotels operators are having to get creative and think out of the box to find and retain employees, including where they look.

    One solution to that talent crunch could be for business owners to start thinking about veterans. It can often be difficult for veterans to find work as they transition back into civilian life. But veterans bring immensely valuable skills to a company, even though their experiences may not translate specifically to a job description.

    Veterans do have traits and skills that translate well to the hospitality industry, including:

    1. Natural leadership The military trains people to lead by example as well as through direction, delegation, motivation, and inspiration. In a variety of high-pressure situations, they were required to make decisions fast and for the benefit of their mission.

    2. Strong work ethic Laziness doesn’t cut it in the military. Veterans are also accustomed to working long and unconventional hours—perfect for the odd hours of hospitality.

    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, as well as working side-by-side with individuals regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, religion, economic status, and mental capabilities.

    4. Efficient performance under pressure Veterans have developed the capacity to know how to accomplish priorities on time and in spite of tremendous stress.
    To get started, simply include a sentence in your next job listing that encourages veterans to apply. Post your open positions on veteran-oriented job sites as well. Vets.gov, HireVeteransFirst.com, or VeteranJobListings.com are all free for employers to post open jobs.

    Veterans.gov has created a free toolkit for hiring veterans that will guide you through the process of recruiting and hiring veterans for your open positions. Also, you should connect with the Pennsylvania CareerLink office, www.pacareerlink.pa.gov/jponline/Common/LandingPage/Employer, to learn about the numerous resources and assistance available to you, including the military translator, WOTC program, recruitment services, federal bonding, and more. •

    Sources: Military.com, Veterans.gov, Toast Restaurant Blog (pos.toasttab.com/blog), HireVets.gov, ZipRecruiter.com/blog, MilitaryHire.com