Every year, just under 250,000 people leave military service in search of a new life and career in the United States. The construction industry, meanwhile, continues to struggle with a declining workforce and a lack of available talent and candidate shortages. To solve this talent crisis, companies should refocus their recruitment efforts on the countless veterans searching for a new career.
Beyond the basic underlying skills for success, veterans bring intense dedication, leadership, work ethic, and unparalleled teamwork to their jobs, making them ideal candidates for construction. They have a wide range of skill sets and inherent talents that allow them to seamlessly transfer their skills onto the job site.
“They have a high focus on teamwork and safety, which is critical for success and longevity… They also have a heightened sense of duty, understanding that the whole is only as strong as its individual parts, and are organized, self-disciplined and are great problem solvers” – TonyDeStafano, VP of HR at Skanska USA
The main challenge veterans face is the initial transition from active duty to civilian life. Future and current employers can assist them by providing internal training programs to help acclimate their skillset and reinforce team bonding. Moreover, a critical challenge for veterans coming into the workforce is learning how to translate their military skills and terms into those used every day at work. This can be seen initially on the candidate’s resume. Terms are different and skill sets can be hard to understand, but there are resources available.
Veterans.byf.org provides downloadable documents to help translate skills from specific military branches into civilian terms. This can help companies and veterans understand where their skills fit into the workforce and what additional training might be needed. Work of Honor also provides support by giving companies and veterans a job site portal for hiring and connecting talent with companies in need.
When looking for talent, focusing your efforts on recruiting veterans can be rewarding. With a declining candidate pool, it is time to think outside the general labor market and reach out to our men and women returning home.