While veteran unemployment rates have been on a slow decline over the past three years, the figures are still considerably high. As of July 2013, unemployment rates amongst all veterans was at 6.7 percent. And for post-9/11 vets, unemployment was slightly higher at 7.3 percent. The good news is that these figures are slightly less than total U.S. unemployment, which was at 7.5 percent for October. However, these figures could be significantly reduced if companies made more of an effort to hire those who have served our country.
The process of recruiting and interviewing veterans is just the same as any other job seeker, but it's getting to the point of the interview that many employers struggle with. Hiring managers are used to looking at a candidate's resume and seeing industry experience listed out underscoring skills and accomplishments. They don't have to do any inferring because it's all right there. However, with veterans' resumes it can be a little different. Regardless of how detailed it may be, some hiring managers just can't grasp the parallels between service experience and the responsibilities of the job for which they are hiring.
The Case for Hiring Veterans
Of course hiring managers aren't expected to know every duty of every military professional, but making an effort to understand the responsibilities listed on a veteran's resume is most definitely worthwhile. Why? Because veterans make for some of the most qualified and dedicated employees a company can have. They're trained to be both leaders and team players, their education curriculum is challenging and forward-focused, and they're extremely dependable (plus they have passed extensive background checks).
What manager wouldn't look for these traits in a new hire? And if that wasn't enough to show how beneficial hiring veterans can be, here's something else...Companies that hire veterans are eligible for a variety of federal and state tax credits. Clearly the state credits vary based upon location, but federal credits grant between $5,000 and $10,000 per veteran employee.
So what do you say? While you're enjoying your day off this Veterans Day, do some research and see how your company could benefit from hiring veterans. After all, Starbucks has pledged to hire 10,000 veterans and military spouses over the next five years. So if they can hire 10,000, we're sure you can hire a few.