CHICAGO, Nov. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Following years of high unemployment, the hiring outlook for recent U.S. veterans may have finally turned the corner. One third of employers (33 percent) are actively recruiting veterans over the next year, according to the CareerBuilder Veterans Day Job Forecast. This number is up from 27 percent in last year's survey and 20 percent in 2011. Additionally, 31 percent have hired a veteran who recently returned from duty in the last 12 months, up from 28 percent in 2013.
VIDEO: Watch CareerBuilder's Veterans Day video, "Can One Veteran Change a Team?"
The nationwide survey was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from August 11 to September 5, 2014, and included a representative sample of 2,440 hiring and human resources managers and 286 veterans employed in full-time positions across industries and company sizes.
Fewer veterans are underemployed; more enjoying their jobs
Twenty-three percent of all currently-employed veterans say they are underemployed or in a low-paying job. While still high, this marks a significant drop from 32 percent who said the same in 2013.
2014 marks a dual increase in the number of veterans satisfied with their jobs and the number of veterans planning to test the job market for a new job. Two-thirds (67 percent) of all currently-employed veterans are satisfied with their jobs, an 8-point improvement over last year (59 percent). Additionally, 24 percent say they plan to change jobs next year – an increase from 20 percent in 2013. Both increases can be viewed as positive news, as workers, in general, are more likely to move between jobs in a healthy labor market.
"Several years ago more U.S. companies started making pledges to recruit and train returning U.S. veterans, and we are beginning to see those efforts pay off," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. "In the past, employers said they sometimes overlooked veterans' resumes because they weren't sure how skills learned in the military translate to the civilian world. We've learned, though, that when employers make the effort to train and when returning soldiers receive the job search assistance they need, there is almost always a good match."
The survey results parallel a significant drop in the unemployment rate of post 9/11-era veterans, which sat at 7.2 percent through October and is down from 10.0 percent in 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate for all veterans is currently at 4.5 percent – 1.3 points below the rate for all workers (5.8 percent).
What do employers see in veterans?
Most working veterans (57 percent) think self-identifying as a veteran on their resumes does not help their chances of finding a job. However, 46 percent of employers say they pay more attention to the applications submitted by U.S. veterans, and if given two equally qualified candidates – one a veteran and one not – 68 percent of employers would be more likely to hire the veteran.
Employers selected the most important qualities members of the armed forces bring to organizations after leaving active duty. Teamwork and discipline topped the list:
- Ability to work as a team: 62 percent
- Disciplined approach to work: 62 percent
- Respect and integrity: 58 percent
- Ability to perform under pressure: 52 percent
- Leadership skills: 50 percent
- Problem solving skills: 45 percent
- Ability to adapt quickly: 44 percent
- Attitude of perseverance: 43 percent
- Communication skills: 36 percent
- Strong technical skills: 30 percent
Top jobs for veterans
Veterans are being recruited most commonly for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs. The following are the top positions, according to employers hiring veterans this year:
- IT Manager/Network Administrator: 16 percent
- Customer Service Rep: 14 percent
- Computer Programmer: 14 percent
- Engineer: 13 percent
- Administrative Assistant/Secretary: 13 percent
- Accountant: 13 percent
- Sales Rep: 12 percent
- Other Computer or Internet Specialty: 11 percent
- Mechanic: 10 percent
- Machine Operator/Assembly Worker/Production: 10 percent
Preparing to enter the workforce
A strong majority (81 percent) of working veterans say they felt prepared to enter the civilian workforce – up 13 points from a year prior. Fewer veterans, however, expressed the same confidence when it came to basic job search tasks:
- 37 percent said they didn't know how to write a resume after leaving active duty.
- 33 percent said they didn't know what industry or field in the civilian world was relevant to the type of service they performed on active duty.
Only 38 percent of working veterans say they took advantage of their tuition credit granted to them by the GI Bill.
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,440 U.S. hiring managers and human resource professionals, and 286 U.S. veteran workers (employed full-time, not self-employed, government and non-government) between August 11 and September 5, 2014 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With pure probability samples of 2,440 and 286, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have sampling errors of +/-1.98 and +/-5.79 percentage points, respectively. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.
CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract great talent. Its online career site, CareerBuilder.com®, is the largest in the United States with more than 24 million unique visitors and 1 million jobs. CareerBuilder works with the world's top employers, providing everything from labor market intelligence to talent management software and other recruitment solutions. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company and The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com.