The transition to the civilian workforce is a pivotal moment for veterans, and ensuring that this journey is as smooth as possible will take effort from all parties involved. Bridging the gap between the very unique experiences that come with being in the military and the different set of challenges facing the civilian workforce is critical to ensuring communication between vets and employers. The state of that bond is important, and in cases where it's less than ironclad, improvement is needed.
Hiring managers voice opinions
Military Times reported that, according to a recent poll circulated by Hiring Our Heroes, hiring managers expressed the opinion that veterans are likely to bring important skills to the workforce. Managers asked about recruiting priorities listed military service at No. 3, with 77 percent stating that abilities learned in the military are important in civilian offices. This is good news, as esteem among hiring managers will help veterans get a foot in the door at great companies on returning from active duty. However, the survey results also noted that some businesses are unsure how to help vets transition to their new roles.
"Two-way communication between business and military communities is needed."
One of the major problems facing hiring managers today is a lack of knowledge. Without knowing more about the military, they may be ill-equipped to give veterans an ideal environment to transition into. According to Military Times, the Hiring Our Heroes data found over half of surveyed professionals don't have a deep understanding of military structure. This means they're sometimes unaware of what level or role a military member should enter at. Veterans themselves may not know what they are going into. Two-way communication between business and military communities is needed.
Some negativity experienced by vets in civilian workplaces may be persisting because company leaders aren't aware it's there. The source reported that less than one-fourth of surveyed hiring managers say they work at organizations that contain bias against veterans. Among veterans asked, however, almost half said they had experienced such an issue. This lack of agreement on a fundamental fact shows the need for better exchange of ideas from both public and private sector entities.
States stepping up programs
Getting more veterans hired for good jobs in the private sector is a priority at national and state levels, and some formalized programs have emerged to help make this a reality. According to Virginia Business, the Virginia Values Veterans (V3) initiative in Virginia recently reached its goal – 20,000 veterans have joined certified businesses since 2012. The list of employers working with the program totals over 700, and they had until January 2018 to reach the hiring mark according to the original plan.
As state and federal agencies across the country step up their efforts to work with the business community on a close level, there is room for communication between all involved parties to improve. If hiring managers and veterans can get on the same page, there is ample potential for service members to find fulfilling new careers soon after returning from active duty. Creating a military-to-business pipeline that works is a goal everyone can agree on.