An Army of Leaders

Some industries had more favorable views of the military than others. Manufacturing industry respondents had the most positive views and expressed the most comfort about hiring military personnel, perhaps because many members of the military have the technical and trade skills this sector needs. Respondents from the construction/home improvement sector also were comfortable hiring military personnel, while those from the accommodations and food services industries held less positive views.

Hiring managers from the arts/entertainment/recreation and public administrative sectors reported the most concerns.

Military Skills Transfer to Civilian Work
Researchers also measured how leadership skills prepare military personnel for career success. Ninety-two percent of respondents agreed that leadership abilities make veterans strong candidates for positions requiring authority. Most respondents — 86 percent — rated these skills as being directly transferable to the civilian workplace. They listed teamwork, striving for results and planning/organizing as the chief leadership skills military service develops.

The study also spotlights several areas where employees with military backgrounds are seen as superior to civilian colleagues, illustrating employers’ positive views and preconceptions of the military. Compared with civilians, most respondents rated military employees as stronger in team orientation, work ethic, reliability and assertiveness.

The more experience a respondent had with the military, the more positive he or she tended to believe employers are about hiring veterans, Reserve members and National Guard personnel. Respondents who had a close relative in the military, grew up in a military environment or had worked for the military in a civilian capacity were more likely than those without such ties to say employers’ perceptions of the military had improved since 9/11. Eighty percent of those with military affiliations responded that military personnel deserved leniency in the hiring process, versus 68 percent of those with no military affiliations. These individuals also more frequently reported that employers had few reservations about hiring reservists or National Guard members; they also were more likely to value military leadership experience highly and to find it transferable to civilian jobs.

Article Keywords:   leadership development   hiring  

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