Why hiring veterans pays off for tech companies

It's more than just returning a debt of gratitude. Tech titans and startups alike are realizing the advantages former military members can bring to an organization.

By Benzinga Nov 11, 2013 2:38PM

Military soldier's american flag arm patch © Ivan Bajic/Getty ImagesBy Jim Probasco

Hiring military veterans isn't just a "feel-good" move -- it's also a smart one. Especially in the tech sector, according to speakers in a presentation at Google (GOOG) headquarters in New York Friday.

Many "hire a veteran" efforts emphasize the debt owed to returning servicemen and women by a nation grateful for their sacrifices and the fact that they kept our country safe in times of war and peace.

The Google event, put on by "Got Your Six," a nonprofit created to promote veterans and military families as community assets, touted the notion that hiring veterans -- especially in tech -- was just good business.

One small company, APX Labs, promoted the innovative products its veteran hires have created.

According to APX chief strategy officer Rob Gordon, innovations include a smartphone app called "RideScout" that collects and evaluates a number of commuting options such as buses, trains and cars all in one place. Another app, called "lettrs," lets users write and send physical letters without a trip to the post office.

Google itself has also seen the light. The company's head of user operations, a former F-14 pilot, is responsible for green energy operations within Google. A former U.S. Marine leads "Project Loon," a highly publicized Google program designed to carry the Internet into remote areas of the world via balloons.

Other tech companies committed to hiring veterans include Microsoft (MSFT), which recently initiated a 16-week training program for veterans called the "Microsoft Software & Systems Academy," and AT&T (T), which said Monday it has doubled its goal for hiring veterans and their families to 10,000 over the next five years. (Microsoft owns and publishes MSN Money.)

LinkedIn (LNKD) has shown its commitment to hiring vets by setting up an application framework designed to support veteran employment. The company also developed a microsite that helps veterans find jobs.

Some major non-tech corporations have also ramped up their recruitment of former military personnel . They include JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Wal-Mart (WMT), and Boeing (BA). And Starbucks (SBUX) said last week it planned to hire at least 10,000 highly qualified veterans and military spouses over the next few years.

As former Secretary of Defense and current member of Starbucks' board of directors Robert Gates said, "This is not a corporate philanthropy initiative or something we've decided to do merely out of a sense of patriotic obligation. It is a strategic business decision that is in the long-term interests of our company and our shareholders."

Meanwhile, a long list of federal contractors and other veteran-friendly employers can be found on the website, VetCentral.

At the time of this writing, Jim Probasco had no position in any mentioned securities

Read more from Benzinga:

Nov 12, 2013 5:22PM
just like anything else, as long as he/she is a good worker..  some are NOT..
Nov 12, 2013 1:50PM

VETS, are well trained, is used to taking orders, can think for themselves and are not afraid of work.


Now the government should allow them to use their Identification card to go to any Doctor, Hospital, or Pharmacy of their choice, instead of building multi-million dollar clinics and hiring un-qualified foreign people to be the Doctors to take care of them.  They hire people that this country is in war with.  Doesn't make a vet feel good.  This would save the government billions of dollars.  Of course this is too simple.

Nov 11, 2013 7:50PM

It didn’t happen all at once, but the dream that was the United States of America, the Great Republic, has died. Other countries hostile to the idea of true freedom didn’t cause it; it wasn’t caused by a radical religious organization. The downfall of the United States was all from within its own borders, by its own people. The people, for whom others have died, have allowed the country to die a slow death. The me too, me first attitude that started many years ago, along with the idea that all are entitled to the fruits of others hard work, has allowed this country to bleed to death. When the British raised the tax on tea, our forefathers should have just shut up and paid the tax. Almost 240 years later, what has changed? Thousands have died for absolutely nothing.

Nov 12, 2013 1:59PM

From a registered Democrat.  What do you think this bunch of idiots that is control of the Senate, Obama, Pee-losia,& Reed, are trying to do?  There is no doubt that they are trying to make this a Commie country.  They are trying to buy up all the old peoples property, control your health, and taking away from the working class of people and giving to people that will not work.  The have allowed jobs to leave this country,  There is nothing right about this government taking your hard earned money and giving it to who ever they wish, biggest part to friends, such as the bail outs.


It is time America wised up and let the people in Washington know we have had enough.  It is a shame that they did not shut the government down completely,  the house could have cut out all funds and made these idiots stop this mess, but they caved in.



Nov 13, 2013 10:35AM
I would imagine that hiring vets has a money-saving effect.  Employers won't have to subsidize their health care because those vets are getting tax-payer funded TriCare and VA health care.
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