Hiring managers across the United States understand the value that veterans bring to the workplace – from their leadership and problem solving skills to their mission focus and team mentality. However, the reality is that most HR professionals don’t completely understand how military experience tangibly translates into civilian job requirements. According to a report by the University of Southern California School of Social Work, more than 60 percent of Orange County veterans believe employers don’t understand or value their skills. LA county, which borders Orange County, is the region of the US with the highest veteran population.

While corporate America is increasingly advocating for veteran hiring to help the major vet employment problem we’re currently facing, there is still uncharted territory in terms of making the right veteran hires.

If you’re looking to thank a vet for their service, place them in a role that is not only applicable to their skillset, but fulfilling for them. If you can better understand military skills and resumes, you’ll help vets make a stronger impact in the workplace and also increase retention.

So, what types of post-military duties would veterans feel fill their need to continue serving their country in the workforce?

Transitioning vets are looking for their next career, not just a job.

  • They care about working for an organization that is as devoted to teamwork as they are, or else they won’t feel comfortable.

Advancement is also important.

  • In the military, vets are accustomed to opportunities to move forward in their career. Offering training and other skill-honing opportunities, such as conferences, can deepen vets’ appreciation for the job at hand.

According to recent research from Stacie Furst-Holloway, psychology associate professor at the University of Cincinnati, veterans are far more likely to be hired into lower-level positions in compared to their non-veteran peers, despite the fact that they tend to have as much work experience as non-veterans.

Veterans who possess the knowledge and skills for a job may end up being hired for lower level positions because they lack the civilian credentials or education that employers typically expect, and because employers may have difficulty translating military skills into more traditional work experience. If they feel underemployed, they may end up perceiving such lower level jobs as a bad match, leading to higher rates of turnover and job dissatisfaction.

Vets tend to have lower perceptions of their jobs (less job satisfaction, employee development opportunities, workplace innovation, promotion opportunity, and work/family balance) despite stronger feelings of commitment to the mission and values of the workplace than their non-veteran colleagues.

Successful hires and retention simply go hand in hand. You want to hire veterans into jobs where they will be successful and happy with the work they’re doing.

HR managers and corporate organizations can “thank” veterans for their service by providing meaningful careers after their service, allowing their learned skills and valuable experiences from the military to benefit the company, the culture, and our country.

In order to accomplish this, it’s crucial that hiring managers employ “veteran-friendly” recruiting practices, such as matching military skills sets with civilian job descriptions, to help smooth the work transition and improve job fit for veterans. Interested in learning more? Request a call with a member of our team to start easily translating veteran skills and providing these candidates with promising new career paths.