Finding a job is a challenge for lots of people these days, but it's even harder for military veterans. In fact, in a recent poll of veterans and companies that have hired vets in the past, just 54 percent of the former military members expressed confidence in their ability to find a job and even fewer, 29 percent, felt confident in their ability to find work that suits them.
Almost half of the veterans (47 percent) also said they expect the transition into civilian life to be difficult, and potential employers agreed. Just 39 percent of the employers polled felt that veterans are prepared for a transition out of the military.
Even so, 74 percent of the companies polled by job-search company Monster.com said they had hired a veteran in the past year, and of those, virtually every one (99 percent) would recommend other companies do the same.
That finding corresponds with the opinion of three-quarters of the vets think the skills they learned in the military would be valuable in their careers.
Monster.com polled more than 900 veterans and 900 companies for its twice-yearly Monster Worldwide Veteran Talent Index.
The disconnect between the success among employers that have hired vets and those willing to give it a try seems to be a communication problem above all else, according to Monster Worldwide, the parent company of Monster.com.
"We hear from companies all the time who understand the business value of hiring veterans and putting their hard-earned military skills to use in a civilian work force," said Steve Cooker, Monster Worldwide's executive vice president for global government solutions. "But there is a definite communication gap when former military men and women attempt to convey those skills to recruiters and hiring managers.
"On the flip side, employers may not be asking the right questions of vets when considering them for jobs within their organizations."
Veterans' career skills and expertise are of value to employers, but it can be difficult shifting their mind-set out of military culture when they are talking to a hiring manager, said retired Rear Adm. T.L. McCreary, a vice president for Monster Worldwide and president of Military.com.
Seventy-four percent of veterans said they will be actively looking for a job in the next year. More than 70 percent also said they are willing to relocate for a job, compared with 40 percent of the general population who say so.
To improve their odds, veterans may want to look for jobs in business, operations, computer/mathematics information technology, health care and administrative positions, based on the polled employers who said those fields held the most opportunity for employment.
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