Sixty-five percent of employers report they’d hire veterans instead of equally qualified candidates, according to a new CareerBuilder study.
The study also finds that 29 percent of respondents say they are targeting veterans for employment, marking an increase of nine percentage points from 2011, and 22 percent of respondents say they expect to hire National Guard members, up 8 percentage points.
“The unemployment rate for veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq, though declining, is still considerably higher than the general population,” says Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America. “While military veterans possess a great deal of the business-friendly skills that employers look for in candidates, one of the challenges vets face is knowing where to begin when job hunting after they return from active duty.”
Among the most prevalent sectors for veteran hiring are information technology at 30 percent, customer service at 23 percent, engineering at 22 percent, sales at 20 percent, manufacturing at 20 percent and business development at 15 percent.
“Today’s military is a well-educated, professional, all-volunteer force,” says Elaine Howard, president of Gannett Government Media Corp., publisher of the Military Times brands. “So when troops join the civilian work force, they bring with them skills, discipline and unmatched drive. But navigating the job search and translating military skills into civilian terms has always been a challenge.”
During recruitment of U.S. veterans, one of the top challenges for employers is that veterans don’t always market themselves as such. In fact, while 45 percent of respondents say they pay more attention to veterans’ applications, 30 percent of respondents say veteran candidates don’t always make it clear on their résumés that they have military experience.