Veteran's Day Meets the Ideal Candidate Profile
By Gary Pearcy, Vice President of Operations, DailyPay
You don’t have to read too far into the news or social sphere to know that employers across the country are having a tough time attracting, hiring and retaining their employees these days. Call it The Great Resignation or whatever you want. As an executive that has been responsible for building a regional office for a complex and rapidly growing fintech, I’ve seen the employment picture in this post-COVID, hybrid working economy up close. And in the process I’d like to suggest an ideal employee profile for these times.
I’m looking for people who bring diverse perspectives and new types of experience to the company. I want people who are agile yet can think out of the box. When they get thrown into risky or suddenly difficult situations, they know how to react creatively and adapt. I want people who learn quickly and look at obstacles as temporary and opportunities as something they create and execute on. And when everyone else seems to be holding their commitment to a company quite loosely, I want someone who has a sense of loyalty. Someone who comes to work (or signs in from home) with purpose and a sense of loyalty.
In short, I see great value in someone who has served in the armed forces. In my experience, people who have served in the military, even in today’s tech-heavy job market, have a skill set and attitude that are personally admirable and business savvy. Full disclosure: I’m a West Point graduate, military veteran and an advocate for veteran’s hiring programs. But throw all that away and I still see a very unique moment for hiring military veterans this Veterans Day.
First, the skill-set profile of the average U.S. veteran is changing, and shifting more toward tech-heavy experience honed in recent combat situations. According to Pew Research, Gulf War-era veterans now account for the largest share of all U.S. veterans. The Veterans Administration estimates there are 5.9 million American veterans who served during the Vietnam era, and 7.8 million who served in the Gulf War era, which spans from August 1990 through the present. Post-Gulf War veterans have served in places ranging from Afghanistan and other operations. Most have had exposure to and training on many data analytics systems, software development, coding and cybersecurity. And these skills are transferable, almost immediately. Sometimes it takes some new terms and skill tweaks, but I would argue that veteran skill sets are sometimes more relevant than many MBA programs. Kudos to organizations like Project Nexus, for example, that help close the gap between the military and business worlds for Air Force personnel with schools like The Tech Academy.
Second, let’s deal with this Great Resignation trend. I’ve already mentioned the common traits that make veterans a great hire, and I’d like to drill into two of them. Two of them are loyalty and discipline. Let’s go back to Pew Research. Are veterans more disciplined than other Americans? Eighty-four percent of Pew respondents said yes. And loyal? That comes in at 68 percent. Now figure in the speed and scale at which companies need to hire to feed their need to grow, and hire as a need to fill vacancies. A disciplined, experienced and loyal candidate sounds pretty good to me in this environment.
In some ways this Veterans Day I think we might be asking the wrong questions about hiring. When I’m asked “why should I hire a veteran?” my immediate thought is “why wouldn’t you?” Seems to me that a lot of veterans in today’s job market have the ideal profile for The Great Resignation’s hiring and retention problems. It rewards the men and women who have served and bottom line, it’s good for your business.
About Gary Pearcy
Gary Pearcy is the VP of Payment Operations for DailyPay, based in Minneapolis. Previously he served as Executive Vice President and the Chief Operating Officer for Wells Fargo Merchant Services and held various positions in technology and business development at General Electric. Gary is also a military veteran, having spent twelve years as an officer in the U.S. Army’s Aviation branch. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science.
DailyPay, Inc., powered by its industry-leading technology platform, is on a mission to build a new financial system. Partnering with America's best-in-class employers, including Dollar Tree, Berkshire Hathaway and Adecco, DailyPay is the recognized gold standard in on-demand pay. Through its massive data network, proprietary funding model, and connections into over 6,000 endpoints in the banking system, DailyPay works to ensure that money is always in the right place at the right time for employers, merchants, and financial institutions. DailyPay is building technology and the mindset to reimagine the way money moves, from the moment work starts. DailyPay is headquartered in New York City, with operations based in Minneapolis. For more information, visit www.dailypay.com/press.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.