Discipline, Teamwork, Tax Credits and the American Dream.
This year a close friend of mine is retiring from the military after 23 years of active duty. As an employer I look at him and think, “What an amazing hire – he is skilled, clearly understands process, respects authority, has lead teams, is disciplined and driven.” Irrespective of company focus, all of these are qualities that as employer, I would love to see in a new hire.
In actuality the idea of hiring military service men and women seemed incredibly logical. To be a member of the military one needs to posses so many of the skills employers highly value, but often find lacking in the current applicant job pool. Accountability, respect and process are cornerstones of the military experience and similarly are fundamental to success in the corporate arena.
Apparently the exceptional employees most military members become is not a well kept secret. In fact many successful corporates like Home Depot, General Electric, and Proctor and Gamble actively recruit former military officers for these exceptional reasons. Proctor and Gamble even has a networking group called “Blue and Grey” where ex-military employees help one another. (Click here to learn more about military transition programs.) Considering all of these companies are Fortune100s I would say they know a thing or two about how to build successful, highly profitable organizations.
With that in mind, it makes sense that these companies have realized that beyond all of the fundamental personality attributes and skill sets of many ex-military personnel, also lies an additional reason to hire veterans that is a bit more quantifiable.
The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a federal tax credit available to employers for hiring individuals from certain target groups who have consistently faced significant barriers to employment, including veterans. Click here to learn more about specific incentives. Every year, employers claim over $1 billion in tax credits demonstrating the incredible power of the program and viability.
For every veteran hired, WOTC can reduce an employer’s federal income tax liability by as much as $9,600. This program is offering employers a significant opportunity to reduce the cost of hiring someone that is likely to be a valuable asset to an employer. WOTC reduces an employers’ cost of doing business while helping connect employers with outstanding candidates in need of finding and retaining a good job.
In January the IRS has released IRS Notice 2015-13, which provides transition relief given the late retroactive renewal of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit program in December 2014. This means employers that have hired military professionals anytime in 2014 have through April 15, 2015 to apply for tax credits. This notice offers an extension of an excellent opportunity to increase profitability in the hiring process, and one I hope companies hiring veterans take advantage of.
Hiring a member of the military is not a patriotic duty, but it certainly can be a patriotic opportunity. And a profitable one at that.