Is your business struggling to recruit expert technical talent? If so, you’re not alone. By 2025, US manufacturing will face a two million-worker shortfall due to the skills gap. Baby Boomer retirement coupled with a lack of younger Americans choosing technical education means companies are struggling to source skilled workers, leaving technical positions unfilled for 12 months or longer.

Eighty-four percent of manufacturing executives agree there is a talent shortage in US manufacturing, according to a 2015 study from Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute. Eighty-two percent of executives worry that workforce talent shortages will have a significant impact on their companies’ ability to meet customer demand.

As the skills shortage continues to worsen, its impact is felt across all stages of manufacturing from engineering to skilled production. Yet companies are continuing to overlook one of the best resources for hiring skilled technical talent: military veterans.

Hire Military Veterans to Overcome Technical Skills Gap

As a military veteran who specializes in the Military Transition practice at Lucas Group, I know first hand just how valuable this prime talent pool can be for companies.

Recently, I worked with a company that needed to hire electrical technicians. The hiring manager was struggling to find skilled workers who were experienced using the company’s equipment. I recommended a military veteran who was a nuclear-trained electrician’s mate (EM). While the veteran had not worked on the same equipment that the company used, he had mastered transferrable technical skills.

Still, the hiring manager was reluctant to consider my candidate. Ultimately I was able to convince the manager to take a chance and schedule a phone interview. The company was so impressed with the veteran that the hiring manager arranged to bring him on site as soon as possible for a full in-person interview, offering him the job shortly thereafter.

Is your company still overlooking this prime talent pool? Here’s why your company shouldn’t:

  1. Transferrable skill sets. Even if the veteran did not work on the exact same equipment, the acquired skill set is still likely to be transferrable. In a tight marketplace where finding any skill sets can be a challenge, that’s like striking gold!
  1. Advanced training. The military invests billions in technology training each year. These training programs are highly efficient and ensure veterans are ready to hit the ground running.
  1. Aptitude for fast learning. In the military, mistakes are a matter of life and death. Veterans become confident decision makers and learn how to quickly acquire and apply new skills in high-stress situations.

A veteran job applicant may not fit a company’s cookie cutter job description, but advanced technical training means this vet may be the best-qualified candidate for the job. In a tight marketplace, don’t be afraid to take a chance on a veteran. Contact me to learn more about how veterans can help bridge your company’s technical skills gap.