Drawing from my own experience transitioning out of the Army, and from being a military spouse, I am aware of the complex challenges that members of the military-connected community face seeking employment.
Overcoming the challenge of translating military skills into civilian terms and adapting to a new work culture are formidable hurdles. Through novel programs like DOD SkillBridge, which connects transitioning service members with industry partners, and working with organizations like Hiring our Heroes, or Hire Heroes USA, America has made significant strides when it comes to veteran unemployment. This should be celebrated.
But this solution has revealed another challenge: finding meaningful employment that truly reflects veterans’ skills and abilities and paves the way for long-lasting careers.
American businesses have a tremendous opportunity to not only address the issue of underemployment among our nation’s heroes, but also benefit from their invaluable skills and experiences. By being military ready, businesses can tap into this exceptional talent pool and foster long-lasting careers.
The cost of attrition and underemployment
Research shows that underemployment disproportionately affects veterans. They are 70% more likely to step back in seniority in their first civilian jobs when compared to the roles they held in the military and are nearly 16% more likely to be underemployed than their civilian counterparts; 42% of veteran talent leave their first civilian job in one year; and 80% leave in two years, which is 10% higher than their civilian counterparts.
Finally, a recent survey of more than 5,000 veterans and service members by Indeed and Hiring Our Heroes found that “even organizations that consider themselves ‘military-ready’ may still have work to do,”