In 2011, the unemployment rate for veterans who had served in active duty was just over 12 percent. Post-9/11 initiatives led to more companies creating veteran hiring programs, and five years later the veteran unemployment rate was cut in half.
While this is an improvement, there are still issues in the civilian workforce preventing veterans from being hired. With more than 300,000 men and women entering the private sector from the military each year, the stigma around veterans needs to be eliminated, and their transferable skills need to be considered.
Cultural Roadblocks for Veterans
Unfortunately, one of the biggest roadblocks for veterans is how they have been portrayed in TV and movies. One survey found 40 percent of Americans believed half of all veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from their service. In reality, the percentage of those affected lies between 10 percent and 20 percent.
It is not just perceptions of mental illness that can negatively impact a veteran’s job search. Military veterans are highly skilled, but the language and terminology of the Armed Forces are different than the language and terminology of the public sector. It can be challenging for employers to look at a veteran’s resume and skill set and understand how they correlate to public-sector job requirements.
More Than Just Military-Minded
Most members of the military walk away with a set of skills that are transferable and make them ideal for all places of work. They are respectful, agile, and goal-oriented. They are trained to learn a job quickly and excel. More than just their own success, they care about the performance of their team as a whole and maintain that mindset in all their work.
How You Can Hire More Veterans
The first step to bringing on veterans is understanding the terminology. If you don’t know the different ranks, it is impossible to understand an individual’s level of achievement in the military. Learn about the different branches and their functions, so you have a working knowledge of what the candidate accomplished on duty.
If you’re impressed by the resume, even if it doesn’t list exactly the qualifications you were looking for, bring the applicant in for an interview. Here, you can meet the person and determine what they can bring to your team beyond basic qualifications and words on a page.
Smoothstack Believes in the Power of Our Veterans
Smoothstack is a technology talent incubator that kick starts IT careers for private citizens and military veterans. Our immersive, 12-week training program cultivates individuals with the capacity and motivation to excel in fast-paced, agile environments. We provide all the training, tools, and mentorship needed to step up to a role with employers working at the forefront of technology innovation – at no cost to our talent.
Smoothstack values the service of our military veterans and believes they are uniquely poised to transform the IT landscape. If you are a veteran interested in a career in IT, contact Smoothstack today to learn more.