Category Archives: Hiring Veterans

Veterans Day 2015: Honor Them With A Job

As we take time this Veterans Day to recognize the service of our brave men and women, I must express my worries about the widening gap between the American people and their armed forces.

After the attack on the Twin Towers, President George W. Bush declared: “America must not ignore the threat gathering against us. Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof, the smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.”

Ending The Draft

After nearly a decade and a half of wars fought on behalf of the Commander In Chief’s clear call to national danger, no American has been obligated to join in the fight and very few have volunteered to do so.

A 1973 Vietnam-era decision to depart from the tradition of the citizen-soldier by ending the draft and establish a large, professional, all-volunteer force has rendered our troops for many who have not served, into patriotic props at sporting events, television commercials and parades instead of employable citizens for the country when their service ends.

According to Department of Defense, less than 0.5 percent of the population serves in the armed forces; compared to more than 12 percent during World War II. Even fewer of the privileged and powerful shoulder arms. In 1975, 70 percent of members of Congress had some military service; today, just 20 percent do.  And only a handful of their children are in uniform.

Employment For The 9/11 Veteran

I believe that veteran employment is a direct result of this growing divide between the military and the citizens that it serves.

Despite downward trends in unemployment across the country, veterans who served during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have difficulty finding work, according to government jobs data.

Of the almost 2.8 million Americans who have served in uniform since 9/11, an estimated 200,000 are unemployed, according to government numbers sited in a USA Today article.

The Veteran Hiring Quiz

Don’t believe it?  Take this test around your place of work:

  • How many 9/11 era veterans are employed in your business?
  • All things equal, who would you rather hire for a critical positon? A candidate who has spent the last four years gaining the exact experience needed for your job opening OR a candidate who spent the same four years serving in Afghanistan?
  • Again how many 9/11 era veterans are employed in your business?

And that is the “Catch 22” veterans find themselves in.  As Tim Isacco, chief operating officer for Orion International, a large veteran recruitment firm, told the New York Times:  “Unfortunately, the ones doing most of the fighting have the highest unemployment rates.”

Help For Hiring A Veteran?

By no means am I suggesting that employers are deliberately NOT hiring veterans.  Also I am not saying that an unqualified veteran should be hired as a token of gratitude.

However, because of the special circumstances presented by veterans, we need to be creative in finding ways for businesses to hire them. The National Veterans Small Business Conference and the US Department of Veterans Affairs have teamed up on three programs that can assist your business with employing a veteran.

  1. On the Job Training Program for Skilled Labor
    An employer hires a qualified veteran at an apprentice wage and the VA will supplement the salary up to the journeyman wage.
  2. Special Employer Incentive Program
    An employer who places a veteran in an on-the-job training program can be reimbursed by the VA for up to 50 percent of the veteran’s salary for six months.
  3. Non-Paid Work Experience Program for Government Agencies
    Veterans can work as an apprentice in a local, state, or Federal government office. The placement does not count against the agency’s headcount and, in lieu of payment from the agency, veterans receive a monthly subsistence allowance from the VA.

For more information on these and other incentive programs go to VA.Gov for more information.

Final Thoughts

The political will along military technology advancements makes a return to    the draft a very remote possibility.

However, the challenge is still there for us to reconnect in a more significant way with our military.  On this day of remembrance for our Veterans, there can be no more noteworthy way to honor the service of our brave men and women than by bridging the gap with a good job.

Marben Bland is a US Army Veteran serving in Operation Desert Storm

Source material for the post came from:

Americans and Their Military, Drifting Apart – Karl w. Eikenberry and David M. Kennedy – New York Times US Department of Veterans Affairs  



Top 10 Reasons for Hiring Veterans

As we take time this Memorial Day Weekend to remember the “last measure of devotion” given by our brave men and women in uniform, I wanted to use this space to urge the many hiring managers and recruiters who read this blog to make a serious effort to hire veterans.

The Business Case for Hiring Veterans

Hiring and transitioning veterans into the workplace strengthens any organization. With only minimal effort and cost, companies can easily become veteran friendly. When hiring a veteran employers will find loyal, dedicated and highly motivated leaders with proven skills and abilities that employers want and need. Many employers may not be aware that 80% of all jobs in the private sector have a correlation in the military.  The military produces surgeons, scientists, engineers, photographers, technicians and many other skilled workers, along with the significant advantage of cross-cultural experience.

Top 10 Reasons for Hiring Veterans

10. Global Perspective: Veterans are tuned in to what’s going on in the world.
9. On time, all the time: Veterans know that every second counts.
8. First-class image: A professional appearance is a must in the military.
7. Calm under pressure: Veterans are trained to handle stress, both off and on the job.
6. Can-do attitude: Veterans always project a positive attitude.
5. Physical conditioning: Veterans are in top physical condition and are drug free.
4. Mission-critical skills:80% of all jobs in the private sector have a military correlation.

3. Responsibility: Veterans know how to make decisions meet deadlines
2. Professionalism: Veterans have an air of self-respect and a sense of honor.
1. Leadership: Veterans are proven leaders and are highly motivated.

The Bottom Line

In today’s challenging economy, employers know they have to get their hiring decisions right. Veterans are a proven source of talent. They can provide an immediate bottom-line benefit because they are already credentialed, and their skills have been shaped and tested under the most challenging circumstances.  The Smart Employer knows that hiring a veteran is good for the country and good for business.  – No finer tribute can be given to does who gave the “last measure of devotion” to hiring a veteran. Enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend.