When you think of remote and flexible work, you might think of working parents as the primary audience. But veterans from all of the U.S. Armed Forces need flexible work, too.
Many companies have already recognized the value of veteran employees. GE, for example, plans to hire 5,000 veterans over the next five years via its “Hiring Our Heroes” partnership. Global marketplace Amazon also embraces hiring vets; in fact, it conducts its own military recruiting and has its own dedicated military recruiting website. To date, nearly 25 percent of all its new hires are veterans, many of whom are in management and operations roles. And AT&T has helped launch the 100,000 Jobs Mission initiative to hire 100,000 veterans and transitioning service members by 2020.
Veterans possess certain skills and traits that make them excellent job candidates. For starters, veterans tend to be highly disciplined, motivated, and work well in team missions. They are dedicated workers, and are often people of character. They bring extraordinary leadership experience to their jobs and are very detail-oriented, with a focus on safety and working for the greater good.
Companies who are looking to fill various positions would do well to consider hiring veterans. But they should also go a step further and implement a program which encourages veterans to apply for jobs: flexible work. Since many vets might still be registered for the Reserves, they would need the ability to work remotely in order to travel as part of their duty to the armed services. Veterans may also be contending with the mental or physical health impacts of duty, making flexibility key to their success at work.
In addition to veterans who have already served their tour of duty, active military and their families can also greatly benefit from flexible work. Military wives and husbands who have to move frequently due to a spouse’s deployment might find it difficult to have a job that requires them to go into an office every day. And caregivers of veterans with injuries from duty may also be the sole breadwinners for their families—an impossible juggle without work flexibility.
So as we mark Veterans Day today, there is no better time for companies to contemplate—and implement—a flexible work program: an important way to honor active duty military personnel, their spouses, and veterans alike.
photo credit: istockphoto.com