Beyond exercising your patriotism, there are other reasons to hire veterans. Veterans, who have worked to protect the U.S., can be skilled, responsible employees who bring multiple advantages to your small business.
Reasons to hire veterans
There are plenty of reasons to hire veterans. Here are some of the unique experiences and strengths a veteran can bring to your business.
- Veterans are team players. Military training emphasizes the critical need to work as a team for safety reasons. Vets bring that same sense of urgency to team collaboration in a civilian workplace.
- Veterans are also trained to be leaders. They know how to work with different personalities and use motivation to get results. Skills like delegation and leading by example give veterans strong supervisory skills.
- Veterans have a strong sense of duty and know what it is like to work long hours with limited resources. In civilian terms, this means they persevere under pressure and get the job done.
- Veterans are organized and disciplined, yet they have been taught to question something that seems to need another look.
- Veterans are accustomed to solving problems in stressful situations. They are trained to troubleshoot and coordinate solutions quickly and to think creatively.
- Vets can adapt to changing conditions (and small businesses are often in constant flux).
- Veterans are familiar with obeying rules and following schedules.
- Veterans can learn new skills and concepts quickly. As your employee, you can expect the veteran will have an accelerated learning curve.
- Veterans have skills and training that will transfer to your workplace. So the veteran can be a productive employee without a long period of training.
- Vets have worked with diverse groups of people, and have the sensitivity to respect and work productively alongside them.
- Veterans understand the importance of respecting procedures and the value of accountability. They understand the importance of both the big picture and minute details.
- Veterans bring a global outlook as well as technical savvy to your small business.
More reasons to hire a vet
Obviously, veterans bring needed skills and experiences to the job. But there are a few more reasons you may want to hire veteran, like tax benefits and incentives offered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Companies that hire veterans can claim the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) for qualified veterans hired on or before Dec 31, 2025. The amount of the credit is limited to 40% of the first $6,000 earned during the veteran’s first year of employment.
The IRS specifies what allows the veteran to qualify. You will complete Form 8850 to certify that your employee meets the qualifying criteria. Your state may require additional paperwork. To claim the credit, taxable employers file Form 3800 and receive a general business credit against their income tax. Tax-exempt employers file Form 5884-C and get a credit against the organization’s Social Security tax.
US Department of Veterans Affairs
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a number of incentives to employers that hire veterans. Those incentives include:
- Salary subsidies
- Assistive technology
- Salary reimbursements
- Non-paid work experience training
Check in with the VA for more information.
Resources to help you hire a veteran
Your local community may have organizations that can help you find local, unemployed veterans, Other employers who employ vets also can be a great resource. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when there are online resources that give you the steps to follow.
- Toolkits. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, and other veteran and HR organizations have online toolkits to walk you through the process of hiring a vet.
- Organizations. There are organizations that support the veterans seeking civilian employment. Their online resources can help you find veterans to hire, explain the laws protecting vets’ rights, and list the supports for employers.
- Government incentives. A White House fact sheet provides an overview of tax benefits, the SBA lists links to related regulations (e.g., Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)), and the DOL covers compliance concerns with an extensive list of organizations.
- Disabled veterans. If you are interested in hiring a veteran who has been wounded or suffers from PTSD, the toolkits listed above and other resources (e.g., ADA) can help you accommodate the vet and explain the additional tax benefits available to your small business. You can prepare in advance to smoothly onboard a vet with disabilities.
- New hires. As with any new employee, you will need to process the appropriate government forms. Patriot Software has the particulars and links to payroll information for employers to help you get started.
To receive tax breaks when you hire a veteran, you will need to keep track of the vet’s wages. Patriot Software offers a free trial for our cloud payroll software. Check out the software’s ease of use, accuracy, and cost-saving price!
This article has been updated from its original publication date of June 1, 2016.This is not intended as legal advice; for more information, please click here.