Insight Talent Solutions had the opportunity to connect with Chris Cashell, Senior Vice President of Business Unit Services at WPS, as well as Timothy Thornton, a former Army National Guard Veteran, to learn their perspective on why they believe it is smart business to hire veterans. WPS employs over 100 veterans and has proudly supported more than 10 local veteran non-profits. They have a Vet Group that is made up of over 120 employees and is committed to supporting causes and events related to active-duty military personnel or veterans. Chris Cashell shared the inside story of what his experience has been hiring veterans and offers sound advice for companies who want to start hiring vets. Timothy Thornton served overseas as a Combat Arms Soldier for two deployments and served in active duty military and reserves combined for 8 years. He shares his story on how the military helped to form him into the dedicated and committed employee that he is today.    


Dependable. Self-motivated. Team-oriented. Flexible. Confident. Strong work ethic. Ability to work well under pressure.  According to a 2014 study done by Career Builder, these are some of the top qualities that hiring managers and human resources professionals look for when hiring candidates. The vast majority of employers, 77%, know that soft skills (non-tangible skills associated with one’s personality that are usually self-developed) are just as important as hard skills (specific teachable skills that can be defined and measured) when trying to find the most well-suited candidate to hire.

According to the PWC 18th Annual Global CEO Survey, 73% of CEOs are increasingly worried about finding talent with the right skill set. Perhaps this is a struggle that you are currently facing? Or perhaps you are facing issues with employee retention? Harvard Business Review conducted a study that revealed that as many as 80% of employee turnover is due to bad hiring decisions. As a busy executive, you undoubtedly place tremendous value on your time and understand the importance of being strategic about hiring motivated and dependable candidates. But where can you find qualified candidates that will be there for the long haul?

Chris Cashell, Senior Vice President of Business Unit Services at WPS, shared some valuable advice to companies who are looking to find passionate candidates that are top producers. “I would recommend that other executives and hiring managers should take the opportunity to reach out to the veteran community because I think that it’s an untapped resource in a tight marketplace. My experience with hiring veterans has been extremely positive. The veterans that we have brought on have all been high performers who have exceeded our expectations.”

Timothy Thornton, an Army National Guard Veteran, shared his insights on how the military experience played a role in making him the committed employee that he is today. He said that, “When a company chooses to hire a veteran, they are hiring someone who is dedicated and dependable- if someone is willing to sign a contract to serve their country for X amount of years, you know that you can count on them to stick around.  They are hiring someone who will contribute, work hard, be on time, carry through a task to completion, and be mentally tough in stressful situations. Working in a diverse environment and serving alongside people from all different walks of life, as well as serving overseas and being exposed to different cultures gives veterans a unique perspective, a well-developed worldview, and a keen ability to get along well with other people.”

Cashell eloquently addressed the main concern that companies have with hiring veterans and that is the issue of translating military skills into civilian skills. “When a company starts the process of hiring veterans the first thing that they may realize is that a veteran’s resume may not conform to your typical resume. So, what I would recommend is to bring outside resources in and have them help you with that. I was lucky enough to connect with a veteran and chat with him face to face and quickly realized that he had some really great transferable skills. After bringing him on staff and realizing what an excellent job he did, I asked him if he would start reviewing other resumes for me. Once you get over that first hurdle of bringing a veteran on and realizing that they have very transferable skills, the veterans you hire can help you review resumes and it becomes very easy from there on out.”

According to a study done by CNAS, hiring veterans is good business. Detailed and lengthy interviews were conducted with 87 individuals who represented 69 different companies. The companies reported 11 focal reasons on why they hire veterans and specifically emphasized veterans’ character, discipline, leadership, and teamwork skills.

Veterans deliver results. They are decisive and committed and can help solve the problem that many companies face in trying to find qualified candidates. If you want to start tapping into this resource, Thornton recommends that one easy step to take is to display it on your website that you are veteran friendly. Being veteran friendly means establishing a work environment where veterans are respected, treated as equals, and appreciated for the skill sets that they bring to the job.

As an executive that has veterans as part of your organization, you get the satisfaction of knowing that you have dependable employees with excellent skill sets and you also may be qualified to receive incentives and tax credits. If you want to start bringing veterans on as part of your team, but don’t know where to begin or simply don’t have the time to invest in searching for new employees, reach out to a recruiter such as Sandra Smith, Founder and President of Insight Talent Solutions, who is experienced in and passionate about helping to place veterans in positions where they will succeed.

Veterans can have a powerful impact on your business, and organizations that employ them are thriving. If you are currently one of the 73% of executives worried about finding qualified candidates, give a veteran an opportunity to be a part of your team, not out of charity or sense of duty, but because they have valuable skill sets and strong characteristics that will make your company more competitive.

Resources for Companies Looking to Hire Veterans

*If you are a veteran seeking assistance, check out this comprehensive list of resources available to you Thank you for your service! *


About Insight Talent Solutions

Insight Talent Solutions is a full-service recruitment firm that has successfully been serving the greater Milwaukee, Madison, and Chicago areas for the past ten years.

We offer a comprehensive portfolio of services to fill roles ranging from the board of director to executive and professional level searches. We use a creative, respectful, and engaging approach to enable us to find the best candidates for our clients. We have a genuine passion for people and take time to understand your unique story so that we can help lead you to even greater success.

About the Author

Amy Roesch is the Copywriter at Insight Talent Solutions. She uses her creativity and passion for writing to help develop Insight’s blogs, job descriptions, eBooks, white papers, and more. She enjoys researching current job-related trends to give professionals the tools they need to manage and improve their careers. Connect with Amy on LinkedIn!

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