Running a successful small business takes a team effort. Building and maintaining a well-rounded troop in the competitive brewing industry requires the right mix of smart and high-spirited employees who can work together — fair and diligent foremen, highly skilled equipment operators, by-the-books managers and hard-working boots on the ground that can do it all. To find these types of marquee employees, brewers need look no further than veterans from America’s armed forces.
“Veterans are proven problem solvers who thrive in challenging situations and who love competition, which is not unlike the competitive craft beer marketplace today,” said Bryan “Gunny” McGown, president and CEO of GunnyRet Consulting, a military veteran job search coaching and recruiting company. “Among many other things, veterans are experts in supply, logistics and material handling. They are admins and accountants, human resources and marketing experts, shift leaders and health care professionals who have often seen more global travel by the age of 20 than most. Veterans adapt quickly to rapidly changing missions, and they can help brewers succeed as some of their most loyal employees.”
The U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard tend to benchmark terms like teamwork, responsibility, respect for authority, discipline, drive and success. Hiring managers are looking for candidates with the desire to become masters of their craft, and men and women with military backgrounds understand that having a best-of-the-best attitude and a true commitment to professionalism are hallmark characteristics of a quality service member. The same holds true in the beer trades. Let’s quickly run through the benefits of hiring a guardsmen or reservist according to the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve’s “Top 10 Reasons to Hire Members of the Guard or Reserve.” Bear in mind though, these reasons apply to all active duty, veterans and transitioning service members.
- Global perspective: Military employees have experiences that directly relate to current world events.
- On time, all the time: Military employees know that every second counts.
- First class image: Military employees understand a professional appearance is a must.
- Calm under pressure: Military employees are resilient and know how to handle stress, both on and off the job.
- Can-do attitude: Military employees possess critical skills and understand that nothing is impossible.
- Physical conditioning: Military employees are in top physical condition, resilient, and drug-free.
- Understand diversity: Military employees have succeeded in a very diverse workplace.
- Responsibility: Military employees know how to make decisions and take responsibility for
- Professionalism: Military employees are excellent leaders and outstanding followers: loyal,
dedicated and highly motivated.
- Leadership: Military employees are excellent leaders.
“Give you an example? Need someone with experience with piping or instrumentation? Consider hiring veterans who were plumbers, welders or any of a myriad of occupations using sophisticated software and instruments to monitor programs and diagnostics like those found in military aviation or weapons systems,” explained McGown. “You can start your own brewing revolution by hiring veterans, and then they will become your best recruiters over time.”
How to find vets
McGown has helped place U.S. military veterans into industries as diverse as security and IT tech support, business analysts and supply chain supervisors. If your brewery is interested in hiring a veteran, guardsmen or reservist, drop Gunny a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Breweries can also participate in the Department of Labor’s efforts to support Veteran hiring at www.Veterans.gov. Through their online tools and their network of 2,400 American job centers, the DOL can provide employers labor market counseling, interview and job seeker selection tips, a vast job seeker network and subsidies for hiring Veterans.
Supporting our troops doesn’t just mean honoring their heroism on the field of battle. It goes beyond that, to helping the men and women in our armed forces bring their bravery, work ethic and knowledge back home, establishing careers with their years of service. Veteran placement services like GunnyRet Consulting, and employer educational programs like NEOVETS.org and www.Veterans.gov continue to give vets a genuine opportunity to earn family-supporting wages and well-deserved benefits when they come home, so they too can realize the American dream.
Isn’t it time we offered those Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen and Coast Guardsmen, a beer and an opportunity to enlist in the craft revolution?
“One interesting example of a successful veteran in the brewing industry goes all the way back to the American Revolution — Captain Samuel Nicholas was the purveyor of Tun Tavern in Philadelphia. However, he is revered by Marines as the first commandant of the Marine Corps. In fact, Tun Tavern is known to all marines as the birthplace of our Corps. Military personnel tend to have an entrepreneurial spirit. We are motivated and results oriented. We enjoy seeing the good that can come from our hard work. Veterans work hard and play hard, and sometimes that means enjoying a perfectly crafted beer with our brothers and sisters to relax and remember our fallen patriots.”
If your company is interested in becoming a Certified Military Talent Employer (CMTE), check out www.neovets.org. This non-profit has trained, and certified 10 employers such as the Cleveland Clinic, Hyland, creator of OnBase, Nations Lending Corporation, Park Place Technologies, Nagle Companies, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, Selman Co., Lorain County Community College and EMC Precision.
McGown is the NEOVETS Chairman of the Board of Directors and noted: “We are continuing to build a vast network of CMTEs with a national and global presence that are also tied into our college collaborative.”