Hire that Hero! Honing Your Service Company Team with a Veteran

  • September 8, 2016
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Highly disciplined. Mission-focused. Hardwired to adapt and overcome all obstacles. Trained for leadership. These are all traits any mobile field service company would love to see in their employees. Even better if they can hire such folks who have these kinds of essential skills right out of the gate. Hiring military veterans isn’t just the right thing to do – it’s the smart thing.

For many years, some companies seemed hesitant about hiring veterans, but that’s no longer the case. Many service companies hiring for technical skilled roles are already making use of this huge talent pool. Veteran unemployment is the lowest it’s been in many years according to the WSJ, at 4.6 percent last year. There are also many non-profits like Hire Heroes USA, Still Serving Veterans, Corporate America Supports You (CASY) and others that your company can use to post jobs while reaching out to veterans who may not be aware of the career opportunities out there.

If your company isn’t already doing this, then you need an attack plan to engage these worthy hires in a competitive marketplace. Here’s how your company can employ veterans to win the battle with your competition:

Employ Veterans as Your Front-Line Face of the Company

Plumber installing plastic pipes

“Yes sir. Thank you, sir.” Those simple words say a lot, coming from one of your employees. It sounds almost old fashioned, but it shouldn’t be. These words come out naturally in veterans because of their training.

One company that knows this well: Horizon Services, Inc., a leading plumbing, heating, and air conditioning services company operating in four US states. The company is the biggest employer of veterans in its region, with over 40 on its staff.

“Veterans don’t have to be told how to respect our customers,” says one company representative. “They’re punctual, presentable and passionate. They inspire us to be better and try harder.”

The company recently signed on to the Hire a Veteran initiative to help bring even more veterans into their workforce.

Horizon co-owner Mark Aitken, who has long admired veterans for their hard work and discipline, says it’s an honor and a privilege to work with them. “They’re the heroes. We’re just a company that’s trying to help out.”

Assign Veterans the Most Challenging Service Jobs (and Know they Will Get Done)

Veterans have a knack for problem-solving under diverse and unfavorable conditions. They might even find themselves looking forward to difficult service calls, if only for the challenge they represent. When it comes to adversity, their training makes it more likely they’ll find a way forward.

US military Staff Sergeant Charles Figgins, an HVAC technician, describes how this attitude is cultivated in the military: “One day you can be working on a freezer and have no idea what refrigerant it takes because it’s not labeled, and the next day you can be working on a multi-million dollar aircraft unit. Every day is different and you never know what you’re going to be doing. You just kind of roll with the punches and get the job done.” That’s the tenacious attitude you want in all of your employees.

Put Them In Charge When Your Company is Ready to Grow

In most branches of the military, leadership skills are rewarded with leadership roles, and your company should be no different.

Perhaps no one knows the business benefit of a military background better than Kurtis Sanheim, the owner of Veteran Painting Inc., who served with the Calgary Highlanders and was deployed as a peacekeeper in Croatia. After his military service was done, he went into sales with the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses, worked as a painter and ultimately transferred his skills into running his own painting business.

That military background seems to have been the foundation for that entrepreneurial success: “We apply the same learned military standards of high moral, ethical, and honorable principles, as we paint your home or place of business,” he explains on his company website.

If your field service business is looking for its next hero to put your company over the top, maybe it’s time to put a veteran on your team.