New research finds employers not only value military experience in job applicants, but the skills veterans develop during service may give them an edge.
The research is particularly timely, as the U.S. is committed to downgrading its military operations and an increasing number of war veterans are finding they need considerable career guidance and training when they return home.
To expand the limited research on success criteria for military personnel entering civilian careers, the University of Phoenix Research Institute surveyed hiring managers in diverse industries. The findings are published in the report “Hiring Heroes: Employer Perceptions, Preferences, and Hiring Practices Related to U.S. Military Personnel.”
Veterans have, of course, always faced barriers when competing for and transitioning into civilian jobs. In 2010, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that reservists and National Guard members had much higher unemployment rates than civilians.
Today, however, many hiring managers are citing military experience as a plus, saying veterans possess skills and attributes that play well on the job. This is good news for veterans who face unique barriers including disabilities, poor transition assistance, concerns about calls to active duty, and misperceptions about their skills.
It is, in fact, military skills such as leadership and team building that employers say are highly valued and transferable to civilian jobs. The research finds 92 percent of respondents said employers have few reservations about hiring military personnel as long as they are qualified. Three- quarters of respondents said that employers have few concerns about hiring reservists or National Guard members, even though these employees might be called away from work.
The research was highlighted in a recent webinar, “From Enlisted to Employed: Educating Military Veterans for Civilian Careers,” presented by the University of Phoenix Research Institute and hosted by The Chronicle of Higher Education. The webinar panel featured academic, industry and military experts who examined the challenges service members face when entering the current workforce. Panelists also discussed how educators can better meet service members’ needs and how service-people can best position themselves for civilian jobs.
Moderator Dr. Tracey Wilen-Daugenti, vice president and managing director of the University of Phoenix Research Institute, says, “Given our current economic climate, it is imperative that we not only help job seekers understand what employers need today, but also encourage partnerships between educators and industries to develop a strong employment pipeline for the future.”
For the full report and access to the webinar, visit http://www.phoenix.edu/institute.