Committed to serve: Hiring veterans
As Veteran’s Day passes, employers across the country are taking time to honor veterans within their workforce or are wondering whether or not they need to implement new strategies to draw in more former members of the military into their office ranks.
Unemployment has been a serious problem among the veteran community, yet according to the most recent figures provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent last year from 6.6 percent in 2013. Some of this fall may be attributed to efforts from companies like Walmart and Starbucks, that have made individual commitments to hire and extend benefits to thousands of veterans by the end of the decade.
Susan Galer at Forbes reports that certain employers, such as Sam Crawford, the chief operating officer of Armed Forces Construction Group and a veteran from the Vietnam War, seek to aid veterans in easily finding quality employment. His company hires veterans from all walks of military service to residential and commercial construction projects in 59 cities in 12 states across the country that need workers.
“Every time we put another vet on to work I just swell up with pride,” said Crawford to Galer. “They are absolutely thrilled to have these jobs because they served our country, and want to continue working for it. They are very professional people who have been trained in other areas, and want to build their future. … Matching the special skills they learned and their interests with opportunities in our construction business gives them something to look forward to, a decent pay check and the chance to grow.”
For businesses seeking to hire more veterans, Nicole Fallon Taylor at Business Daily News writes that many of these post-service individuals offer companies uniquely beneficial skills and qualities. On one hand, they possess transferable skills, such as the ability to perform under pressure, work well with others and solve problems strategically. They also are easily adaptable and eager to learn new skills or contribute to the team as a whole, which makes them perfect candidates for project-oriented positions.
Before hiring veterans, employers should be aware that the transition to civilian life can be a challenging one, and should be knowledgeable of strategies to make these new hires feel welcome.
“The first post-military job is the hardest transition,” Kate Jackson, a partner at HR executive search firm Hanold Associates, said to Taylor. “The civilian work world has a different culture, vocabulary and expectations which will need to be learned. These transitioning veterans have already shown they can learn a new language and culture military jargon, dress, behavior. There is a steep learning curve, but this is a talented and agile demographic.”
To test veterans or any other viable candidates for your company, implement pre employment testing into your hiring process to streamline the process, making faster and more reliable hires. Contact EmployTest today to learn more!