A Struggle to Find Employment
A literature review by researchers at Apollo revealed employer concerns specifically related to military personnel, such as the fear that war-related mental or physical disabilities might affect performance, or that National Guard or Reserve duty would increase absenteeism. Demographic changes in the workplace also mean fewer hiring managers have military experience, and are therefore less likely to be aware of the skills and characteristics veterans possess.
Further, military personnel often do not have the skills and information they need to successfully search for civilian jobs. They may be unable to translate their military skills and experience into civilian terms, may be unaware of employers’ concerns about hiring veterans, and may not know which industries and companies are most likely to hire them.
The Apollo study, which polled 831 participants employed at the managerial level or higher who were regularly involved in recruiting across a broad range of industries, determined specific success criteria for military personnel transitioning to civilian careers.
The findings confirm that employers look favorably on military service. Ninety-three percent of employers and managers have positive attitudes toward job candidates’ military service; whereas 85 percent believe the events of Sept. 11 improved employers’ views of military personnel. Three out of four respondents said employers should be lenient toward veteran job candidates.
Biases against employing workers from the military still may exist, however. While employers’ broader attitude is strongly positive — more than nine in 10 respondents said a veteran’s skill qualifications and fit for the job were paramount in hiring decisions — they expressed concern when asked about specific issues. Seventy-four percent were inclined to hire members of the Reserve and National Guard, but these ratings were less favorable compared to other military services, as were their responses to whether employers should be concerned about war-related psychological disorders, indicating their belief that employers may be hesitant to hire those suffering from disabilities or liable to leave work to fulfill service obligations.