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Five great reasons to hire veterans

Sharon Haddock

For KSL Jobs BrandView

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 25 2013 3:25 p.m. MDT

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The men and women who've spent time in foxholes, marched hard miles in the desert sun and sacrificed personal comforts to protect the freedoms of strangers, make solid and reliable employees.

That's according to employers who make it a priority to hire veterans.

There are at least five good reasons to hire veterans, says Army veteran and program recruitment director Rob Polston at Intel Corporation, though those reasons may not be apparent on the first try.

If a veteran puts "I'm a tank commander" on his resume and it conjures up images of cannon fire and destruction, it probably won't help his chances of getting the job he wants.

But if he or she can list the experience of managing 15 soldiers, caring for $30 million in equipment and the track record of making good, quick decisions, the veteran is much more likely to be hired.

The difference lies in the translation.

Polston, a Bosnian and Afghanastan veteran and current Army reservist, understands the hiring situation from the employee and employer standpoint.

"We talk our own language — we have our own acronyms. Because of that, the transition of experiences (from vet to civilian employee) can be challenging," he said.

So as part of his work with Intel, he’s made it his job to help veterans make successful transitions — something that feels good, helps reward those who serve and makes his company a more satisfying place to work.

He oversees a Web and field program that matches a veteran's military skills and training with available jobs. He can tick off the pluses that come with hiring a vet.

Experience unmatched

Experience on the battlefield counts along with taking on leadership opportunities, experience with working under pressure, working with diverse cultures and team building.

"It's a lifestyle, not a job," Polston said.

Lisa Malloy, a media relations spokeswoman for Intel, said Intel has been lauded for its efforts and shares its program and philosophy for veterans with a growing list of other major companies that includes State Farm, Toyota and Brinks.

It's a point of pride.

"Intel has a very strong record of working with and hiring veterans," Polston said. "Absolutely. In 2012, and into 2013, we hired over a veteran a day."

Added value, a company asset

Polston said the focus on veteran hiring has added value to the company and to Intel's business success. He said tax breaks and being told, "It's the right thing to do," has little to do with Intel's dedication to hiring the military's best and brightest.

"The military shares some of the same values that we hold dear at Intel such as discipline, risk-taking, results orientation and quality," Polston said.

Leadership skills, focus under pressure

"In addition to these shared values, veterans tend to be natural leaders."

Serving in the military, men and women are commonly placed in leadership positions above their pay grade and level of experience. This forces a young soldier, sailor, marine or airman to develop and refine their leadership and management skills at the early stages of their careers.

Team building, seamless integration

Polston said veterans are also very comfortable working on teams because most of their combat missions are accomplished successfully as part of a team.

"At Intel, most of our projects are also team based and require a very high level to team work to accomplish the mission," Polston said.

Thus, veterans tend to seamlessly integrate into the company teams and exhibit a high degree of collaboration and coordination.

Diversity/Tolerance

"Also important is the fact that veterans are extremely comfortable working in diverse population environments. Since the military is one of the most diverse organizations in the US, veterans are not only comfortable in a diverse workforce but tend to thrive in these environments," he said.

In 2012 DiversityComm, Inc. Veterans Magazine named Intel one of the 100 "Best of the Best" when it came to hiring military servicemen and women.

This article was paid for and produced by KSL Jobs.

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