Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Veteran Talent Index Explores State of Veteran Employment

The recently released sixth edition of the Veteran Talent Index from Monster Worldwide, Inc. and once again delves into the state of veteran employment and finds that although there is progress, there is also a gap between what veterans are seeking in civilian employers, and how many companies are branding themselves to these veterans. 

Established in fall 2011, the semi-annual report states that it provides “quantifiable metric of employment conditions for the transitioning service member.” According to the authors, the latest report from May shows progress in unemployment rates and steady levels of veteran career confidence and employer support.

Employers surveyed for the report stated that veterans perform as well or better than non-veterans in terms of career advancement, job retention, and job turnover. They also give their top three motivators for hiring veterans as being that the veteran was best qualified of the candidate pool (68%), the veteran’s prior work experience (59%), and the company wanted to show its support of veterans (41%).

Unfortunately, however, the Index reveals that more than half of surveyed employers (55%) do not participate in a veteran-specific recruiting initiative that would allow them to take advantage of the reasons to hire veterans listed above. That said, 69%, the highest response to date, say their company has a stated commitment to hiring veterans.

The importance of a veteran-specific recruiting initiative is evident in the fact that 85% of surveyed veterans seek companies that are supportive of veterans, 80% prefer companies that already have veterans who work there, 79% like to see a veteran-friendly website, and 75% consider it to be important that a company belongs to a national veteran recruiting initiative.

For those employers that do have some sort of veteran retention program in place, they report that the best programs are ones that emphasize mentoring, career paths and communication. Additionally, employers noted the need to be aware, respectful, and supportive of veterans’ military backgrounds.

One possible reason that so many employers aren’t creating veteran-specific recruiting programs is that accessing, recruiting, hiring, onboarding, and retaining this talent is not simple. In order for such programs to be successful, they must be full-cycle. Measurable goals and objectives must be set and an understanding of military talent cultivated. And, once a program is created, a focused marketing and brand management campaign should be implemented to attract qualified veterans. Finally, there should be a thorough on-boarding process to develop and retain the newly-hired veterans. To learn more about how your company can create a Military Talent Program in partnership with Orion, click here.

The Index was released shortly after the National Veteran Employment Summit, presented by Monster and on April 29 and 30, 2014. The Summit consisted of human resources professionals, hiring managers, and veteran service organizations who came together to discuss best practices when hiring veterans. Orion was represented at the Summit by David Coe, Vice President of Strategic Programs, who spoke on the panel discussion focused on “I Want to Hire Veterans…How Do I Find Them? How Do I Keep Them?”. 

Ultimately, the Summit concluded that there are five things both veteran job seekers and employers can do to continue the progress that is evident in these Indices. They include 1) working as a community, 2) learning from the most effective veteran initiatives and organizations, 3) taking advantage of the growing number of veteran tools and programs available, 4) communicating that your organization is a veteran-friendly employer and 5) building a veterans affinity group and mentorship programs.

Keynote speaker Army Staff Sergeant and Medal of Honor recipient Sal Giunta, best summed up the importance of recognizing and employment veteran talent when he stated, “Failure is not an option.”

Click here to read the full Veteran Talent Index.

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