Military veterans are among the nation’s most beloved citizens, lauded by the general public and leaders alike for their sacrifices and commitment to their country.
As the wars abroad have begun to wind down, there has been an influx of military veterans looking to re-enter the workforce. For a variety of reasons, unemployment tends to be higher among veterans. Unemployment is particularly acute among younger veterans.
Here are some barriers veterans face and some tips for working with veterans to overcome them.
Lost in Translation
Younger veterans find it difficult to compete with their peers because they lack a resume that displays conventional work experience. Without job experience or a college degree, competing with other applicants for jobs in the private sector can be tough.
Many injured veterans who spend a good deal of time in rehab face challenges finding work, as well.
Many employers don’t think that military skills cross over to the private sector. The military has certain words or tasks that may not translate to the same job in the private sector. Companies looking to recruit veterans should get an education on military lingo to market themselves as viable workplace for these workers.
Post-traumatic, Stress Disorder, and Employment
Many veterans find themselves at a disadvantage because of disabilities sustained during combat. While most companies are aware of how to handle people with physical disabilities, many still struggle with how to make sense of mental disabilities, such as PTSD.
While some cases of PTSD can be severe enough to necessitate constant therapy and even medication, others may only require small changes in work patterns and environment.
Bridging the Gap
Employers can show a commitment to hiring veterans by actively seeking them out. Veteran job boards can be a great step. VetJobs.com, HireVeterans.com and offices at local military bases can all be great outreach opportunities for employers looking to expand their workforce to include veterans.
Employers also could work with veterans groups such as Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion to find qualified and talented employees.