The Washington Post published an article last month highlighting how many war veterans are becoming franchise owners when their tour of duty is over. The article argues that the rule-based system in the franchise world is attractive to veterans and mimics the rule-based systems they were accustomed to in the military.

The article points out that more than one million Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans will enter the workforce in the next five years, which presents an opportunity not only for franchisors to find their next great franchisees, but also for employers to hire their next employees of the month.

Many veterans possess qualities that would make them outstanding employees:

  • – Leadership
  • – Appreciation for teamwork
  • – Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
  • – Flexibility and adaptability
  • – Accountability
  • – Ability to give and follow direction

In addition to these enticing qualities, which can lead to more productivity and better customer service, legislation enacted in November 2011 expanded the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) categories for military veterans and extended the benefits through the end of 2012. So hiring veterans can earn your business thousands in tax credits.

The earlier legislation still remains in effect. Hiring a disabled veteran who has been discharged or released from active duty in the year prior can earn an employer $4,800. But now, an employer can earn $2,400 by hiring a veteran who has been unemployed for between four weeks and six months, $5,600 for hiring a veteran who has been unemployed for at least six months, and $9,600 for hiring a veteran with service-connected disabilities and who has been unemployed for at least six months.

So make sure you consider the benefits that a hiring veteran brings to the table the next time you have an open position to fill. You may find that you’ll have happier customers and a better bottom line.