When coming home is the one thing you’re not trained to do
The U.S. Armed Forces train civilians to be warriors and do so with great success: The United States proudly boasts the most powerful military on the planet. However, the transition of many of our most valiant warriors back into civilian life is often unnecessarily difficult.
While it is true that each branch of the military currently has its own transition program, most of these types of programs are lacking critical information and services leaving questions from veterans to go unanswered, important resources our veterans have a hard time finding or accessing. Perhaps the most pressing unmet need for many veterans re-integrating into civilian life is simply finding gainful employment.
Here are some sobering statistics:
- According to a Prudential survey, 64 percent of veterans feel their transition from military to civilian was “difficult”.
- 60 percent of veterans find translating their military skills to a civilian resume their greatest barrier to finding a job.
- 65 percent of veterans said they experience mental health or physical challenges that limit their ability to find a job.
- 9 in 10 veteran job seekers feel they definitely have the skills to land their ideal job… if they knew where to look.
The Hiring Outlook for Veterans is Good… and Getting Better
U.S. job seekers are in a fantastic position right now. National unemployment has reached a 16-year low. There are currently more jobs open than qualified talent to fill those jobs, so much so that recent headlines reveal “too big to fail” companies like Microsoft and Google are now willing to relax their college degree requirements and place more importance on skill set and behavioral competencies for job candidates.
Seasoned workers are maturing and moving out of the workforce. This presents an enormous opportunity for recently separated veterans to seek and find stable work and embark on new careers.
What’s more, employers are actually increasing their commitment to hire military veterans, according to CareerBuilder. Forty percent of nearly 2,500 hiring managers and human resource professionals plan to actively recruit U.S. veterans into their organizations over the next 12 months, up from 37 percent last year. The top roles for which employers are recruiting veterans are customer service (35 percent), information technology (32 percent), production (28 percent), sales (24 percent), and HR roles (18 percent).
Forty-eight percent of employers said they pay more attention to applications submitted by veterans, and 68 percent said that they would hire a qualified veteran over another equally qualified candidate. That’s because veterans leave the military with technical and behavioral competencies that businesses value.
So, here’s the bottom line: In order to ensure former military personnel have as much success serving their own communities as productive members of society as they had serving our country, they need access to high-quality jobs – companies that understand and value their abilities and experiential wisdom.