There are lots of reasons to hire those have served in our nation’s military. Good experience, good training, particularly when it comes to technology, and government incentives.
When I wrote this piece last week about a series of hiring expos aimed at veterans, one commenter suggested a follow-up with specifics about tax credits and other incentives for employers. So here is a brief summary of some of the programs.
Congress last year passed President Obama’s Returning Heroes Tax Credit and Wounded Warrior Tax Credit, both designed to get veterans back to work.
There are also a couple of other programs in the form of an expanded Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) to employers that hire eligible unemployed veterans. The credit can be as high as $9,600 per veteran for for-profit employers or up to $6,240 for tax-exempt organizations. The amount of the credit depends on a number of factors, including the length of the veteran’s unemployment before hire, hours a veteran works and the amount of first-year wages paid. Employers who hire veterans with service-related disabilities may be eligible for the maximum credit.
Certification requirements apply to these new hires and an eligible employer must file Form 8850 with the state workforce agency within 28 days after the eligible worker begins work. Businesses can claim credit on their income tax return using Form 5884 and Form 3800. Details can be found at IRS.gov.
Then there is the Vow to Hire Heroes Act which established a new target group of unemployed veterans. This group is similar to a group defined in the Recovery Act of 2009, which has expired. One major difference is that under the Recovery Act a veteran had to have left the service within five years of the hiring date to qualify. The Vow to Hire Heroes Act imposes no such limit.
“That is outstanding news for employers,” said Larry Slagel, Senior Vice President of Sales at RecruitMilitary and a former captain in the United States Marine Corps. “Employers can now get credit for hiring highly skilled veterans who have many years of civilian work experience.”
“Employers can now get credit for hiring highly skilled veterans who have many years of civilian work experience.”
We all know many of the jobs available today, maybe even most, are in technology. Military service, it seems, translates more readily to civilian jobs that many businesses realize. To illustrate the point PayScale listed several skills veterans hold more than the average worker:
- Cisco networking
- Computer security
- Contractor management
- Electronic troubleshooting
- Microsoft SQL server
- Program management
- Security policies and procedures
- Security risk management
“They know what it’s like to work in a fast-paced and results-driven environment,” says Melissa McMahon, senior director of talent acquisition for tech company CDW.
“They know what it’s like to work in a fast-paced and results-driven environment.”
Payscale also recently did a study of the top employers for veterans. Booz Allen Hamilton, a Virginia-based defense and civil contractor employs the greatest number of former military service members in skilled labor positions. Nearly one third of the company’s 25,000 employees have military backgrounds.
For this study, PayScale looked only at employers that offer positions where military experience or training is highly relevant in day to day work. For example, Wal-Mart, which is one of the largest employers in the country, and as such employs among the largest number of veterans, was excluded from the study because of the lack of skilled labor positions.
Here is the list of the companies hiring the most veterans from 1 – 10:
Booz Allen Hamilton
Science Applications International
Department of Defense
Computer Sciences Corporation
I’m sure some Staffing Talk readers have experience hiring veterans. We would love to hear from you about the experience, benefits, etc.