Despite the progress that has been made in veteran recruitment in recent years, ex-military personnel are still often overlooked in recruitment, which is why it is important to growing your workforce with veteran-friendly policies.
In the United States, there are 22 million veterans but only 81 percent eventually find paid employment. This unfortunate statistic is not due to their lack of trying, either. In fact, veterans are 11 percent more likely to apply to a job but 62 percent less likely to land the position. Additionally, many of them are not employed to their full potential, with employers not taking advantage of their specialized training and skills. If you are looking to grow your workforce, the veteran market remains a goldmine of untapped human resource potential — one that you can access with the right recruitment and HR policies that attract and nurture their productivity while they are employed.
There is no shortage of organizations that help veterans gain employment after leaving the military, including Veterans Employment Initiative and Heroes For America. In the private sector, Bank Of America and Comcast have been leading the way recently with their commitment to hiring ex-military personnel. Yet, an important issue that remains is that many of these veterans go on to feel unfulfilled in their job roles. Research by Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families and VetAdvisor showed that between 60-80 percent of veterans leave their civilian jobs before their second job anniversary.
One of their top reasons for leaving? The lack of career progression and development. As a manager and employer, you can tackle this issue starting with personalized introductory workshops and courses covering organizational norms, culture, and the hierarchy of information. According to recommendations from The Veteran Jobs Mission, companies can also benefit from veteran resource groups or in-office resource centers where veterans can access information on career learning opportunities, grants for further studies, or transition courses. Setting up links with local education institutions and colleges offering veteran programs along with on the job mentoring should be key features in these policies.
Data from the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics claims that around 25 percent of veterans have disability ratings from the Department of Veterans Affairs. However, there are thousands more that may have disabilities that are undiagnosed, including PTSD. Supporting these unique needs is paramount to not only retaining your veteran employees, but recruiting them in the first place. Dedicated mental health coverage including onsite counselors is a good start, along with access to qualified experts who can help them estimate veteran impairment ratings and compensation categories. Qualified experts can also be useful in providing information on external resources available to ex-military employees and their families.
One of the recurring issues in veteran employment continues to be the inability to translate military skills and experience into civilian job roles. Correcting this begins with educating recruitment and human resource professionals in your business on how to successfully convert the job functions of military roles to their organizational needs. To help your recruitment team, there are also online job analysis tools like O*NET and Google’s Military Skills Translation Tool. Also, military base community centers can help your organization recommend veteran job seekers with suitable openings you may have.
With company growth and increased business activity comes the natural demand for more employees. For many companies, that demand can be easily answered by tapping into the veteran job market. However, to attract the right talent, you must have the corresponding policies in place to support and empower them, starting from the initial job advertisement.