The reality is that most Kiwi civilian employers do not understand the value that ex Service personnel can add to their organisation. This is the exact reason exServices Recruitment has been established, to educate employers on the value that ex Military, Police and Fire personnel bring to their organisations, as well as providing the link between service personnel and civilian employers. Thanks again to David Penman, from NJN in Australia for this excellent article.
It’s been said that Navy, Army and Air Force members ‘write a blank cheque for their country, up to and including their life’. Think about what sort of person it takes to do that, the extraordinary character of a person who is willing to make that sort of commitment and sacrifice. Imagine having that unique resource at your company's disposal...what a competitive edge.
But employer's don't always see the opportunity that's right there in front of them. There’s a distinct lack of understanding from civilian employers about the value Defence Force members can add besides firing rifles, sailing ships or launching missiles from aircraft. Defence Force veterans have some of the best training and leadership experience available and yet veterans are still returning from service and struggling to find a civilian job. Screen grabs of combat zones and 10-second footage of troops under a tree conducting a weapons lesson just doesn’t illustrate the amount of work, training and dedication military professionals are subject to.
Ex Military members can be like a lump of coal… smooth a few edges and the diamond underneath is immeasurably valuable, but we need to educate civilians so they know that. Underneath, we’re likeable, hardworking and incredibly talented. After all, Defence invests more time, effort and money in making us productive than almost any other company in the world. Let's explore what that means for employers...
Here are 9 reasons ex Military members offer unique value.
1. No-one does teamwork better.
We don’t just say teamwork, we mean it. The military breeds camaraderie, reliability and a team mentality that few other industries can teach. In the Defence Force, the team is everything. For civilian employers this means hiring someone who’s always thinking about how they can contribute, someone who wants to get into the harness and help the team achieve success.
2. Overtime? A foreign concept.
Military members get one salary and work long hours for it. We’re not used to getting – and don’t want to get – something for nothing. We work hard, put our nose to the grindstone, and don’t expect extra reward for going above and beyond.
3. Sacrifice is second nature.
Doesn’t everyone make sacrifices? Military members give everything to everything they do. Hiring an ex Military veteran means hiring someone who will always give everything to get the job done well. Coming in early, leaving late, volunteering for extra work, helping the team, overtime, covering shifts… the list goes on.
4. We’re the Why Not generation.
Some people fall back on ‘why this’, ‘why that’, ‘why me’. Not Defence Force folks… we have a ‘Why not?’ mentality, zeroing straight in on the problem and working out how to solve it.
5. Leadership at every level.
In the military, leadership is trained and encouraged. Whatever your rank, Defence breeds a willingness to take on responsibility, the habit of leading by example and an ability to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders without buckling.
6. Composed decision makers.
Again, rank aside, all military members are trained to make significant decisions quickly, responsibly and without panic. The military can be regimented at times – rules, regulations and standard operating procedures abound – but it can equally be fluid, chaotic and uncertain. ADF members know how to keep their composure, whatever the situation throws at them.
7. Bigger picture thinking and an eye for detail.
The Defence Force has always been big on sharing enough of the bigger picture that each member knows what the higher strategy is, what their boss, their boss’s boss and the overall military are trying to achieve. Coupled with a meticulous eye for detail, vets strike a incredibly rare balance between strategic bigger picture thinking and total immersion in the detail.
8. Results focused
Everything military members do is tied to a tangible, measurable result. We come off a mission knowing whether we succeeded or failed, what we could have done differently and how we should tailor our strategy next time. In the civilian world, this focus on results is integral to commercial growth and development – and is a skill that few civilians possess to the same extent.
Integrity is one of the most notable traits that veterans bring to the civilian table. The Defence Force is hugely focused on integrity – acting in the right way, no matter what; always putting your team and your mission first; being loyal to a fault. In the civilian world integrity can make or break a company, so hiring someone who will always do the right thing is a huge asset.
Defence members possess a unique and valuable set of skills that make us incredibly attractive hires.
Hiring veterans is a no-brainer, not out of a sense of charity or patriotism but because it makes good business sense. Hiring a military veteran means hiring someone who not only served and sacrificed for their country, but someone who offers an unparalleled combination of skills because of that.
Defence Force veterans write a blank cheque for employers… how employers spend it will set them apart.