Military veterans served our country, and now many of them are making the transition from active duty service-member to active job seeker. This group represents a great opportunity for employers to cast a wide net when looking for top talent in the workplace.
First and foremost, veterans are almost always a smart hire. Their military service has provided them with a range of skills, expertise and leadership capabilities that translates well into the civilian sector. A veteran’s can-do work ethic and ability to perform and execute strategies well under pressure are not only mission-essential qualities for the military; these attributes make them stand out as candidates as well. Another incentive to hiring veterans are the federal tax benefits corporate America receives to encourage the hiring of veterans.
The unemployment rate for veterans currently runs about two points higher than the national average. To help reverse this trend, several initiatives are under way to bolster placement for veterans. One program that has delivered promising results is Hiring our Heroes. Launched in March 2011, the program connects employers with veterans, primarily through more than 600 hiring fairs throughout the country.
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In March 2012, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Chamber Foundation, and Capital One, accelerated the program with “Hiring 500,000 Heroes,” a national campaign to engage the business community in committing to hiring half a million veterans and military spouses by the end of 2014. To date, more than 1,000 businesses of all sizes have pledged to make 235,000 hires, with nearly 120,000 of those hires already confirmed.
There are financial benefits to hiring veterans as well. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) created by the Department of Veteran Affairs, incentivizes businesses by granting employers up to $9,400 in tax credits. There is also a Special Employer Incentive (SEI) program, in which Veteran Affairs reimburses up to 50% of a veteran’s salary for up to six months.
Adecco has a long-standing commitment to helping skilled veterans and their families find jobs by connecting them to our clients.
Specifically, Adecco runs Career Connections for Military Spouses and Veterans, which provides a wide range of resources to help veterans and employers. More than 50,000 veterans and military spouses benefited from the program last year, getting resume assistance, career counseling services or access to additional referral sources. In addition, more than 2,000 veterans were hired directly through Adecco last year.
While military veterans have a wide range of skills and experiences, there are certain job verticals that are particularly well suited to those who have served in the Armed Forces. Among them are:
- Security: Veterans are well suited for law enforcement and intelligence analyst roles. Not only do they have specific intelligence experience, many already have active security clearances.
- Federal government or federal contract positions: Veterans often thrive in government roles that have similar job responsibilities to those performed during military service.
- Engineering: Many veterans bring a wealth of experience maintaining military hardware and are well equipped to be electronic and mechanical technicians.
- Supply chain logistics: The ability to supply troops with the right amount of supplies and resources at the right time translates perfectly to logistics-heavy roles such as warehouse manager.
- Healthcare: Veterans that served on the battlefield as Medics or in hospitals as doctors, nurses, physical therapists, pharmacists, and x-ray technicians are in high demand in the healthcare field, especially those that are willing to travel.
- IT: Defense has gone high-tech and many of those technical skills acquired during military service translate well to roles such as cyber-security analyst and software engineers. Security breaches at some top corporations have highlighted the pressing need for people who know how to protect data and networks.
An old television and radio jingle aimed at encouraging hiring veterans, urged employers to: “Bet on a vet!” And, if you know any veterans looking to enter the civilian workforce, be sure to share our blog post that covers 7 job search tips geared toward former members of the military.
Hire a veteran and you can bet confidently on your organization’s future. Contact us now to learn more.