Alex Sanchez: Hire a veteran


Published: Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at 4:08 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at 4:08 p.m.

Our troops are coming home! We are all so proud of them for their duty and sense of honor in serving our country. From the battlefields now they will go to the workplace. And, who better to hire than a veteran? If you want a leader, someone who knows how to get the job done and will earn and give respect, then hire one of our heroes: a veteran.

From this group of veteran’s coming home we will see business leaders, members of Congress, doctors, perhaps even a future President of the United States.

Recently, I had firsthand knowledge of just how good our veterans are. I called Comcast to install an independent and separate phone line in my guest home from the line I use in my home. Enter T.J. Perwitz, who worked on C-130’s in the United States Air Force (I am also an Air Force veteran).

TJ came to my house with the intention of doing nothing less than a great job. When I explained what needed to be done, he said he would take care of it and fix it. Then he said: “Mr. Sanchez, I will not leave here until it is done right.” Wow, those words were comforting to me, I knew he would do it right. I asked TJ about his background. He told me he had served our country in the Air Force and had been stationed in Kadena Air Force base in Japan, and Sheppard and Lackland Air Bases in Texas.

TJ was thorough, checked all the wires, made calls back to the office, the service and support centers and he fixed it. I now have two separate phone numbers and lines; one for my home and one in the guest home. Before he left, I shook his hand, thanked him for serving our country and for fixing the problem at my home. His reply: “Thank you, sir.” TJ is a prime example why employers need to look closely at their staffing needs and hire veterans.

Why should we hire veterans? They have the traits we are all looking to have in our teams. Recently, in the December 13 USA Today, the editors featured a snapshot from a survey from Career Builder of 2,874 human resource professionals/hiring managers surveyed with the following question: What qualities does your organization expect when hiring a former member of the armed services? Here are the top five responses:

1. Disciplined approach to work: 66 percent

2. Ability to work as a part of a team: 65 percent

3. Respect and integrity: 58 percent

4. Leadership skills: 56 percent

5. Problem solving skills: 54 percent

TJ certainly showed all of these qualities and more. We owe our veterans so much for their service to our country. Their heroics and commitment to excellence is an example to all of us and these qualities will be a big plus to any organization. Just imagine hiring a Navy Seal, a combat decorated veteran or a leader of battalion. Your community will not only welcome these veterans as part of your company’s team, but they will be sought by many to do business with them. Hire a veteran, it is the right choice!

President and CEO of the Florida Bankers Association Alex Sanchez is a proud veteran.

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