The New Business Owner’s Guide to Hiring Veterans

Right now, many people are seeing the appeal of starting their own business. After all, the ability to work from any location, set your own hours, and define your own path are pretty attractive job perks. If you’ve been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, now is the time to get your dreams up and running.

Unless you plan to run your company solo, you’ll eventually need to start thinking about bringing on employees. Once that time comes, consider recruiting in the veteran community. Vets bring many valuable skills to the table, but they often have a harder time finding work than others. Presented to you by the Abilene Chamber of Commerce, here’s a look at how to tell you’re ready to hire, why vets make great employees, and how to find a veteran that’s right for your job opening.

When Are You Ready to Hire?

Although you might want to start thinking about hiring employees right away, there are several business to-dos you should knock out before you do. You need to give your company a strong, stable foundation before you bring anyone else on board. Not only is this fairer to your employees, but it also sets you and your business up for long-term, sustainable success.

For example, you shouldn’t start hiring before you’ve established your company’s business structure. If you plan to bring on other employees, it may make sense to register your business as an LLC. This designation offers some legal protections and can make tax time easier on you and your workers. Be sure to take care of the ancillary tasks that come with setting up your business structure, including applying for an EIN, filing an LLC banking resolution, and opening a business bank account.

Ideally, you’ll also have an established form of profit generation before you start hiring — this ensures you’ll be able to pay your employees long-term. That said, this isn’t always possible. If you must hire while you’re still in the funding stage, be sure to be upfront with your employees about how long the business can continue at its current funding level and what kind of milestones you’ll need to achieve to reach self-sustainability. Not all employees are willing to work for a startup that’s not yet profitable, so be prepared to have some candidates walk away.

What Do Veterans Bring to the Table?

Veterans are an underappreciated population in the workforce. They bring a wide variety of skills and experience based on the work they did in the military. At a minimum, you can expect an employee who is disciplined, persevering, and self-directed.

You’re also likely to find candidates with great leadership skills. This is especially important in your first set of hires as the people you bring into your company at the beginning are the ones most likely to ultimately manage teams and guide other employees down the line. Hiring leaders from the start puts you in a strong position to expand and create an effective hierarchy.

How to Hire and Value Veterans

If you want to hire veterans for your budding business, there are several ways to do so. For example, there are several veteran-focused job boards you can use to post openings. You can also contact veteran organizations and outreach groups to ask if they have any career connection programs. These are programs designed to help vets find roles that are right for their skill sets.

You should also take steps to ensure your workplace is friendly to veterans. For example, you should have a solid plan in place to help employees have access to good mental health care. Flexible scheduling and remote options are a few more features that can make a workspace more accessible and veteran-friendly.

Veterans can be an invaluable asset for a budding company, but they’re often overlooked in the hiring process. We hope this inspires you to make room in your company for vets and see how much value they can bring to your business.

Join the Abilene Chamber of Commerce for networking and marketing opportunities so your business can thrive. Become a member today!

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Article by: Kelli Brewer,