Although veteran unemployment rates are at a record low 5.1% for post 9/11 veterans (Bureau of Labor Statistics), experts say the data paints a misleading picture of veterans in the job market.
More than 495,000 veterans are unemployed and 1 million veterans are expected to transition into civilian life over the next four years. The first step to helping veteran hourly workers looking for work and employers looking to tap into this candidate pool is awareness. At Jobalign, we have seen the veteran engagement rate increase by 36% with our employers as we have focused on educating and engaging both hourly workers and employers.
Transitioning from military service to the U.S Workforce | The Disconnect Common reasons vets turned down or did not pursue a position
1. Disappointed by salary and benefits offered
Veterans are used to having benefits like medical and housing expenses covered during their service. As they transition into the private hourly sector, their benefits are often not covered.
2. Believe they lack training or education for the position
Through their service, veterans have attained a unique set of skills and a strengthened character, making them highly marketable job candidates. Yet, many highly qualified and experienced veterans struggle to market themselves effectively for civilian jobs.
Employers receive resumes every day from veterans, but hiring managers have trouble understanding the military lingo and identifying transferable skills.
The good and bad news…
The Good: With the creation of hiring initiatives such as Veteran Jobs Mission, Veterans Employment Initiative, and Hiring Our Heroes, hundreds of companies have committed to hiring veterans. Veteran Job Mission alone plans to hire one million veterans over the next several years.
The Bad: nearly half of all veterans leave their first post-military position within a year, and between 60% and 80% of veterans leave their first civilian jobs before their second work anniversary, according to a 2014 report from VetAdvisor and Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families.
How to improve these statistics?
- Education: Veterans cannot be expected to do all the heavy lifting… Educate recruiters and managers in the private sector about military language and culture
- Integration Program for Veterans and Non-Military Workers: Encourage military and nonmilitary co-workers to be patient and ask questions if there is a disconnect in language
- Establish Connections Within the Company: Creating a mentorship program or sponsorship to help ease veterans into the civilian workforce
The hourly veteran candidate pool will continue to grow and employers will need to continue to understand this demographic and how to innovate their application processes to meet their needs. This is our wheelhouse at Jobalign, and the problem that we address and solve. We will continue to cover industry trends and do everything we can to support both the worker in what they want and the employer in what they need. Stay tuned!