retention + hiring military vets

Discussion in 'Employment' started by americanlawn, Feb 2, 2014.

  1. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,955

    I don't get it. During the past 5 years, we hired 4 vets.

    Air Force (1)

    101st Airborne (1)

    82nd airborne (1)

    Army National Guard (1)

    Two of the above were "released early" while the other two "did the basic minimum".

    Lord knows if anybody respects this Country & its military, it's us. Even have a son-in-law in the 82nd (Major). Now we have an applicant who served in the 101st -- thinking about hiring him.

    The Air Force guy lasted about 1 1/2 years. The rest lasted less than 4 months.

    Can anybody figure this out? I sure can't, and we are not hard on the guys compared to other LCO's. Totally weird to me. Any reasons why vets get lazy & don't show up for work?
  2. newguy123

    newguy123 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,096

    Maybe they're not being challenged enough??? A lot of Veterans are capable and used to handling a lot of responsibility.

    Just my thoughts...
  3. DLL66

    DLL66 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    Pretty much on the money. We vets are always looking to taking bigger challenges.
  4. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    Don't have answer for the original question but I'm a vet and would not consider this kind of work...working for someone else. Owner operator different story.

    This kind of begs the question. What is the profile of a good worker in this biz...? My area has a bias that is not pro hispanic. There are a few but not many.

    Growing season is 6-8 months here. Snow relocation here is iffy due to nominal snow some years and waiting for a phone to ring. Again another owner operator domain with zero employees.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. grassmonkey0311

    grassmonkey0311 LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD/NC
    Messages: 3,043

    This could be a few problems.

    Like mentioned above, a lot of us are extreme type A people. We always want to be challenged and love getting into crazy situations the majority of people don't like. I love being stressed out.

    But then there are the other side of vets. The usual NJPers. The troubled ones. Ask them about any courses they took in the military. Ask them if they were NJP'd, and what rank they were. I know in the Marine Corps a 4 year PFC was NJP'd and usually wasn't a typical hard charging Marine. If you know rank structure, you can tell if they excelled or just hung around out of sight out of mind.
  6. Joel D

    Joel D LawnSite Member
    Messages: 125

    When I got out the Marine Corps five years ago, I had some major transition issues. I hated the idea of having a boss which is why I started my own LCB. Several of my friends have had the similar issues. I think it is from just being treat like crap. The Air Force guy probably didn't have those issues though because they live the good life. :laugh:
  7. MRCo.

    MRCo. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 227

    I'm looking for a mechanic and would be interested in an ex military employee. With what is said here being in mind, they would not be in charge of their own business, but they would be largely self governing day to day and doing something with responsibility for results, etc. on them. Do you think that would be an attractive job? Also, anyone know where to find unemployed vets?
  8. grassmonkey0311

    grassmonkey0311 LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD/NC
    Messages: 3,043

    I had a lot of issues too!!! I had many friends who were always getting fired. It takes years to be a "salty" Marine, but only weeks to get out. And once your out, your on your own!!! I learned quickly some of my choices of words were not so welcomed in civilian life :laugh:

    What was your MOS? Maybe we crossed paths, I got out 7 years ago.
  9. grassmonkey0311

    grassmonkey0311 LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD/NC
    Messages: 3,043

    It's really hard to tell until you can interview them. Like I said before, not all vets are the same. There are a lot of bad apples, but you have to decifer the "lingo" to figure out which ones they are. For example, I interviewed a guy who told me he was a vet. He said he served in the Army. I asked about his DD214 (discharge papers) and if it would say honorably discharged. His response was no, not yet. Thats a BIG red flag he did something. I asked if he was NJP'd, he said yes, and then the truth came out. He was kicked out after 3 years for drug use. A veteran is someone who served and was Honorably Discharged. He lied to me and the interview ended.

    You may find some vets who would love the job. Maybe a guy who was a mechanic while he was in, but not some guy who was in charge of a few other military personal. The guy who was in charge will have a hard time working alone because he was used to supervising before (type A kinda guy). As for finding them, they are all over. Craigslist under the resume section, and a lot of websites like

    I don't usually share this much info, so please feel free to paypal me some money :)
  10. jc1

    jc1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,154

    What do you provide them above any other job?
    Do you pay higher, provide medical, retirement or vacation time?
    Do they have year round employment?
    You failed to list any benefit of working for your pro American business.

    Food for thought.

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