Veteran hiring grows, skills jargon still barrier

Sixty-four percent of employers have hired veterans over the last 36 months, a jump over the 53 percent that reported more hiring in 2010, according to a new poll of human resource professionals by the Society for Human Resource Management.

While more than six in 10 organizations have hired military veterans in the past three years, that figure could reach 10 in 10 if the civilian and military sectors could understood the other’s job skills jargon, the poll finds. In fact, 44 percent of respondents say a skills map that translates military job skills into civilian job skills “would help a lot” when reviewing resumes and job applications, and 34 percent say a skills map “would help somewhat.”

“Awareness of resources is the missing piece,” says Mark Schmit, vice president of research at SHRM. “Human resource managers are keen to hire military veterans, but they don’t know how to find them, and once they find them, they may not understand the military skills jargon on the resume.”

Of the respondents that hired veterans over the last 36 months, 45 percent say they made a concentrated effort to do so. To help their organizations’ efforts to recruit and hire veterans, 46 percent of respondents say they need assistance identifying and reaching out to qualified veterans, and 44 percent say they need information about how military skills map to civilian-related skills. Another 40 percent of respondents say programs to assist veterans transitioning their military skills to the civilian workplace would be helpful while 37 percent say programs to support veterans transitioning from military culture to civilian workplace culture is needed.

The poll also finds that 33 percent of respondents report programs to train veterans with additional skills for the civilian workplace being helpful, and 31 percent say information for dealing with potential issues veterans could face, such as PTSD and other mental health issues, would help. Thirty percent of respondents say they would like information on working with potential challenges veterans with physical disabilities could experience.

According to the poll, only 13 percent of respondents report their organizations being very aware of effective resources for finding military veteran job candidates. Fifty-two percent of respondents even say their organizations are “somewhat aware” of such resources while 35 percent say their organizations are “not at all aware.”

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