“AMERICAN HEARTS” is a series of in-depth, candid conversations with United States military veterans, and those who support them.
This latest installment features Chip Kahn on the benefits of hiring vets.
An entrepreneur based in Silicon Valley, Kahn has founded and run four companies over the course of his career, including BroadHop, which was acquired by Cisco and IP Commerce in 2013. Currently, he heads Boomtown, a startup that helps small businesses get proper tech support.
The VA also has a page, a forum, for employers to make public commitments to hiring. Walmart, Home Depot, and over 1,500 other organizations already have. It’s accounted for more than 600,000 vet hires.
For veterans — employment and career resources can be found here.
AMERICAN HEARTS: Why does the current business you lead, Boomtown, hire so many vets?
CHIP KAHN: We have a national field services group, and it’s over 600 technicians now, nationwide. These are system engineers — technical people that can go onsite and help a small business when they have troubles. What we found as we were outlining who was the ideal technician and thought about traits that we wanted it became clear to us that they were a lot of the traits that veterans have. And those are things like being reliable. Showing up on time. Having good communications skills. Being honest. Being good at what they do and being well-trained.
We had a thesis that veterans would stand out against people who have always been civilians, and that turned out to be true.
AMERICAN HEARTS: Was there any one veteran or instance that pushed your team to focus on recruiting former military?
CK: No, not really. There was just broad, consistent, great results. There wasn’t a particular hero. Which I think is great. That population just outperforms for us.
I don’t have a particular story offhand.
But I think that is our story. Our story is that [veterans] are better at this.