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Hiring A Veteran Can Be Good For Business

Civilian Employers Gain With Disciplined Military Personnel

Hiring A Veteran Can Be Good For Business
By Mark Swartz
Monster Contributing Writer

5,000 exceptional individuals will enter the civilian workforce this year. They have abundant experience. They’ve been trained by the best. And they are proven to perform under the toughest conditions.
These people are Canadian military veterans, who are transitioning into civilian roles. They are eager to apply their unique skills in your company.
Maybe you’re not sure they’d be a good fit. Your workplace, after all, is different than the military. But could it benefit from a disciplined employee who values teamwork and prizes results? If so, consider the merits of hiring a former member of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).
Some Misconceptions About Veterans
You probably have some perceptions about military personnel. Let’s start by dispelling some common myths about them.
They are not inflexible order takers. Military success depends on decision making with incomplete information. Having your wits about you, and acting quickly during rapid change, takes a cool head and steady hand.
They are not burned out soldiers from far off battlefields. Many do have warzone experience, though not always on the front lines. There are all sorts of technical, logistics, communications and other vital infrastructure jobs that support our troops.
They are not all men. Women have been playing a more prominent role in our Armed Forces. In everything from engineering to actual combat, females are making their mark.
But…What About Their Culture?
It’s true that the military differs in some important ways from civilian workplace culture. In the armed services, life is more regimented. Respect for authority and senior rank takes precedence.
Given these variances, there may well be an adjustment period – and additional training needed – when hiring veterans. Accordingly there are free resources available to employers.
Bridging The Gap
Here’s an excellent first point of contact for employers interested in hiring veterans: Canada Company, a not-for-profit that connects military personnel with civilian companies.
In partnership with the Canadian Armed Forces, Veterans Affairs Canada, and the Department of National Defense, they’ve created a “one-stop-shop" for such matters.
In addition to a comprehensive website for both employers and job seekers, there’s a coalition of military-friendly companies to draw on.
The 10,000 Jobs Coalition
In September 2013, Canada Company issued a challenge to the business community. Private sector employers were engaged to show their commitment to veterans.
In an effort to facilitate this process, the Military Employment Transition (MET) program, now known as the Canada Company MET Employer Coalition, was formed.
The Coalition comprises more than 100 companies that are committed to hiring 10,000 Veterans by 2023. These employers share their best practices about recruiting, and training, transitioning services personnel. They also have the option of participating in job fairs exclusively for veterans.
You’re In Good Company
The other companies taking part in the MET Coalition range in size from small to very large. At the top end are familiar names like Accenture, AGF, Bell, CN, Home Depot, Honeywell, Loblaw, Shell, Toromont CAT, several police departments, Walmart, and numerous more.
Smaller and mid-size firms include Beacon Roofing Supply, Eagle Well Servicing, Jeff Bryan Transport, Pop-A-Lock, Ten Digit Communications, Parkland Fuel, and dozens of others.
CIBC recently donated $500,000 to the MET Program. Their support will enable the initiative to offer supplementary services.
Mutual Support, Mutual Benefit
The Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of National Defence, states: “Our Government is ensuring that the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces receive the support, care and recognition they deserve during and after their transition.”
Determination and grace under pressure are hallmarks of veterans. Hiring them into the private sector can be a mission accomplished for all.