As we approach Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, our country's collective consciousness turns to our brave military. As a U.S. Navy veteran and talent acquisition professional, I'm proud to say that I am committed to pursuing gainful employment for members of our country's military. I believe it is vitally important for all employers to think about the plight of military unemployment every day of the year, not just during patriotic holidays.
Veterans and reservists bring highly desirable traits to the corporate environment. Leadership, dedication, responsiveness and work ethic are the rule, not the exception, with military personnel. These individuals can also quickly adapt to changing situations, and are therefore able to learn a new culture and new tasks quickly. And what they don't know, they are eager to learn -- making them receptive and ready hires in work environments that value ongoing learning and training.
Veterans represent diversity and collaborative teamwork in action, having served with people from diverse economic, ethnic and geographic backgrounds as well as race, religion and gender. Even under dire stress, veterans complete assignments in a timely manner as they have labored under restrictive schedules and resources on the battlefields and at military installations where they've served.
Despite all of these marketable traits, the unemployment rate for Gulf War-era II veterans is 11.5 percent, according to the latest findings from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What can employers do to ensure they have access to high caliber talent with military experience? And how can veterans identify viable opportunities for employment?
Many employers and veterans are not aware of the wide variety of non-profit organizations that match veterans with companies seeking to fill positions. In my human resources position at America's leading physical security services company, I have forged symbiotic relationships with many of these organizations.
I invite employers nationwide to become true partners with these organizations to ensure that their company is maximizing its ability to recruit from this extremely qualified talent pool, and supporting those who have sacrificed so much to protect our freedom. Veterans also can take advantage of the services these organizations offer. These groups are dedicated to putting our nation's military personnel to work, and can help employers and veterans alike.
Employer Partnership of the Armed Forces
The Employer Partnership of the Armed Forces, www.employerpartnership.org, is a joint public-private venture designed to give business leaders tangible benefits for employing and sharing Soldier-Employees. This program connects reserve and National Guard members, along with veterans, to civilian employers. The initiative, which is now military wide, has helped more than 1,000 employers hire eligible veterans, reserve and guard members.
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, www.esgr.org, is a Department of Defense agency that seeks to promote a culture in which all American employers support and value the military service of their employees. This organization strives to recognize outstanding support, increase awareness of the law and resolve conflicts through mediation. ESGR's role is to ensure the transition from civilian employee to active military duty and then back to civilian life is as smooth as possible.
Wounded Warrior Project
The Wounded Warrior Project, www.woundedwarriorproject.org, is a non-profit organization whose mission is to "honor and empower wounded warriors" of the United States Armed Forces. The WWP works to raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of severely injured service men and women, to help severely injured service members aid and assist each other and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs.
HireVeterans.com services thousands of job seekers from the military community -- active service members, veterans, DOD civilians, spouses, family members and others. Recognized by industry experts as a leader, they offer employers access to resumes and job postings so that they can reach the military community. HireVeterans.com is a leader in online veteran and military recruiting and is also expanding in virtually every category of the veteran and military e-recruiting space.
Military.com offers free membership to connect service members, military families and veterans to all the benefits of the service – government benefits, scholarships, discounts, lifelong friends, mentors, great stories of military life or mission and much more. Military.com believes that the benefits earned in the service should be easier to access. They are passionate about helping members make the most of military throughout life.
Finding career opportunities and filling openings with qualified applicants can be difficult. Employers and veterans alike have often found it challenging to translate military experience into corporate experience, but organizations such as these can help bridge that gap.
These military organizations exist to help put our heroes to work, and they are mutually beneficial to employers and veterans. When heroes put these resources to work for them, the end result is career opportunities and ongoing support. When employers engage in building a relationship with these resources, the result is a highly talented candidate pool. The men and women who have dedicated themselves to serving our country make an incredible contribution in the workplace. More Americans at work is good for our country. More military personnel at work is good for our veterans, and for businesses in all industries.