The Importance of Hiring Our Veterans
By Roxanne Ebbers
May is here! And for many of us that means summer is near and we’re itching to fire up the grills. We usually equate Memorial Day with the official kicking off of Summer. Many pools open that weekend, people head out on the lakes and rivers and dust of the barbeque for the first time. We’re also thankful for the day off and the three day weekend. Sadly, that comes at the expense of the true reason for the holiday. Memorial Day is a day set aside to remember those individuals who fought so bravely and died for our country we love. That gives us pause to honor and remember past and current Servicemembers for all that they have sacrificed and accomplished. Likewise, this remembrance, honor and celebration should carry over into the civilian workforce.
A look at the current status of Veteran employment in the United States shows some interesting numbers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Veteran unemployment rate in March was 7.1%, that’s lower than March of 2012 (7.5%) and a percentage point lower than the nonveteran unemployment rate (8.2%). Still, the overall labor force participation rate (% of vets working) is much lower (51.2%) than nonveterans (66.1%). Essentially, this means that while the more veterans who are actively looking for work are being hired, a much larger percentage (nearly half) aren’t actively looking (or have simply given up looking) for employment altogether.
Our veterans are able to secure our protection, but are not able to secure employment in the civilian world at an acceptable rate. Large corporations like Wal-Mart, General Electric, Citi and many more have taken it upon themselves to hire more veterans. Should your company be falling in line as well? Of course! There are many reasons why Veterans are outstanding employees. Veterans Today listed the top 10 motivators to hire veterans. Some of these reasons include great leadership abilities, excellent teamwork, integrity, efficient performance under pressure, and consciousness of health and safety standards. Veterans bring more to the table that you might not have originally realized. Giveveterans the opportunity to prove what they can do.
During this month, enjoy the beginning of Summer, host barbecues, take a swim, and remember the true reason of Memorial Day. Remember those individuals who have given their lives to protect our lives and our family’s lives and remember those veterans that are still with us today. Next time you are presented with a Veteran as a possible prospect, seize the opportunity to make the difference that will not only enhance this individual’s life, but would also enhance your company as well.