Just last week, President Obama authorized the deployment of another 1,500 American troops to Iraq in the coming months, doubling the number of Americans meant to train and advise Iraqi and Kurdish forces. But headlines aside, the fact remains, as we celebrate Veterans Day 2014 tomorrow, there are more veterans returning than soldiers being deployed. Indeed, the churn’s a steady one, of veterans leaving the military and seeking employment—and employers looking to add them to their rosters.
Indeed, on the latter front, a CareerBuilder Veterans Day Job Forecast released earlier today found 33 percent of employers are actively recruiting veterans over the next year, up from 27 percent in last year’s survey and 20 percent in 2011. Further, 31 percent have hired a veteran who recently returned from duty in the last 12 months, up from 28 percent in 2013.
HRE has published its share of stories in recent years about companies that have made huge commitments to employing vets, and some of the policies and practices they’ve put in place to help achieve that objective. So I’d like to think businesses are beginning to gain some serious ground on this issue.
If we’re to believe the findings of a RAND Corp. survey released earlier today (also just in time for Veterans Day), however, there’s still a lot more work to be done by all parties concerned.
On the employer side, RAND’s analysis found companies still need to do a better job educating managers on the value of veteran employees, making themselves known to veteran job candidates and taking advantage of federal resources, such as the Veterans Employment Center and SkillBridge.
According to the researchers, many employers also fail to understand how military experience translates to the skills needed for civilian jobs and they lack the ability to track and measure relevant recruitment, performance and retention metrics.
The report, titled “Veteran Employment: Lessons from the 100,000 Jobs Mission,” explains …
“Many companies respect that their veteran employees want to be treated the same as non-veteran employees, but these organizations are investing resources in veteran hiring and could benefit from information about the return from that investment. Although companies perceive their veteran employees to perform well, they do not tend to collect metrics about veteran performance and veteran retention.”
Despite all of the attention workforce metrics has been getting lately, many companies, according the RAND report, are apparently falling short when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of their efforts in these areas.
Veterans, meanwhile, according to the researchers, too often believe their talents apply only in the security or defense arenas and employers (as mentioned above) struggle to make that military experience-civilian job connection.
Kimberly Hall, lead author of the study and a senior project associate at RAND, points out that “military members need to know that defense contractors and similar businesses are not the only places they should look for work, [and they can] contribute valuable skills and experience across the spectrum of American industry.”
One silver lining in the report (which is based on interviews with representatives from 26 member companies in the 100,000 Jobs Mission): Those interviewed volunteered that post-traumatic stress disorder was not an issue. This finding contrasts with an early study on veteran employers, in which more than one-half of the companies interviewed reported concerns about PTSD, suggesting that “employers’ initial concerns have been allayed by their experiences.”
In any case, you might want to carve out a little time this Veterans Day and check the report out, especially since it does include some good recommendations for employers, as well as veterans and federal agencies.Twitter It!