Amid the labor shortage and widening skills gaps, the race for talent in 2022 is a competitive one. As a result, employers struggling to recruit job-ready employees with the required technical skills are rethinking and streamlining their hiring initiatives. For some, the solution to bridging the rapidly expanding skills gap and building a diverse talent pipeline begins with tapping into additional talent streams – such as that of veterans. With approximately 200,000 service men and women leaving the U.S. military every year, proactive organizations are strategically maneuvering the candidate shortage by hiring veterans.
According to the Department of Labor, veterans’ unemployment rate is nearly one percent lower than the national average. However, even though employed, almost one-third of veterans actively looking for a job are underemployed, 15.6% higher than nonveterans. Veterans can bring a plethora of skills to any industry, yet are often overlooked.
Companies looking to tap into the hidden talents of veterans, redefine the “perfect candidate” and focus on attracting veteran talent, should consider the following:
Business owners are encouraged to meet veterans where they are. Leaders should consider posting available positions on military-friendly job boards and visiting local military bases and assistance groups to meet potential hires and garner company interest from military personnel before they depart the military. By connecting with these candidates prior to their exit, HR professionals can collect contact information and learn useful military-friendly language to add to job postings so potential employees understand specific job functions. Additionally, employers should consider educating hiring managers and HR professionals on how to read military resumes, job titles and language. By understanding the value of veterans and taking steps to strengthen their understanding of military culture, a company can earn a reputation as a veteran-friendly workplace.
Benefits of Hiring Veterans
The military is comprised of small teams all working together toward a common goal, which enables individuals to organize and define team milestones, define team member roles and responsibilities, and develop a team’s plan of action. As advanced team builders, service men and women demonstrate staunch organizational commitment – a key to business success. Due to situational experience encountered in the military, many veterans have the composure, decision-making skills and fortitude to confront unique business challenges. In times of personal or professional crisis, veterans have innate abilities to handle the circumstances calmly, carefully and strategically.
As business continues to transcend international and multicultural boundaries, employers need veterans. Military veterans typically have more international experience, speak more languages fluently and have a higher understanding of cultural sensitivity than non-veterans in their peer group. This experience means veterans entering the civilian workforce are more expecting of employee differences in the workplace and can strategically exhibit a high degree of cultural sensitivity in interpersonal relationships. As a result, veterans in the workplace can help strengthen diversity and inclusion efforts and workplace culture.
This Veterans Day, let us be reminded that veterans can transfer valuable military knowledge, skills and experience to the workplace. Now more than ever, employers can leverage the skills acquired in the U.S. Armed Forces and stay ahead of the race for top talent.
Karen Leal is a performance specialist with Insperity, a leading provider of human resources and business performance solutions. For more information about Insperity, visit www.insperity.com.