Is it time to reevaluate veteran talent? For decades two parties stood on either side of a chasm staring at one another. On one side, the sales leaders and executives in the burgeoning IT space. This included “old tech” (Cisco, IBM), “new tech” (Google, Twitter), “small tech” (startups) or the vast middle of Value Added Resellers who don’t have household names but command a huge market share of the business-to-business IT industry.
On the other side of the chasm stood elite, transitioning military veterans. The veteran talent with or near a college degree, a hunger for rewarding challenges, possessing excellent communication skills and the grit to survive the rigors of high tech sales. Both recruiters and leadership knew that veterans could be a rich talent pool, but always for “other-than-sales roles”
Our country is in its tightest labor market in decades, across all industries, but specifically within the innovation economy. In the battle for high potential talent, should thousands of organizations be making blanket assessments that exclude talent without the data to prove it? What if the data actually disproved their judgment?
Three years ago this month, Tech Qualled embarked on a focused mission to change that logic; to bridge that chasm and simultaneously give high tech companies a new type of talent for their revenue-driving roles while opening these rewarding sales roles to a subset of the population with unique and sought-after intangible skills, but who have just “never sold before.” Over one hundred of Tech Qualled’s veteran graduates are in high tech organizations today meeting or exceeding quota, thereby proving that previous sales experience is not a prerequisite for success in complex sales environments. The right intangible attributes plus the right training will bridge that gap.
And three years into this mission, we are excited to have partnered with Koru, the world’s leader in predictive hiring solutions. and creator of the famed “Koru7” skills test which measures for seven critical attributes in high potential talent. Together with Koru, we looked at hundreds of active sellers across high tech, including the most successful Tech Qualled veteran graduates, plus others with traditional career paths. We wanted to compare the attributes of successful sellers industry-wide.
What were the results? There are absolutely overlapping attributes between all successful sellers, but veterans in particular score substantially higher on Ownership, Grit, and Curiosity. Tech Qualled-trained Account Executives scored 10-22% higher than successful non-veteran AE’s in these three skills. Across three of the other four skills (Polish, Teamwork, and Impact) they scored 17-30% higher than the national average.
The conclusions: First, elite veteran intangibles plus the right blend of dynamic training bridges the gap. Second, not only do elite veterans come to IT with the skills universally accepted as necessary to succeed, but they bring greater quantities of those skills than their non-veteran peers!
The competition for talent is of epic proportions, especially in the innovation economy. The results are in and the data is substantial. There should no longer be a conundrum for hiring managers and recruiters around veteran talent, especially when their skills are measurable by Koru and they are vetted and trained through a program as rigorous as Tech Qualled’s.