Federal authorities estimate that approximately 250,000 U.S. service members leave active duty annually. According to a new CareerBuilder.com survey, acclimating back into the civilian workforce can be difficult, with nearly one-in-five veterans stating it took them six months or longer to find a job after returning home. One-in-ten reported it took them more than one year. Unemployment amongst veterans in their early 20s is especially high, but employers are offering encouraging news for the job market. Four-in-ten hiring managers plan to recruit U.S. veterans for their open positions in the last six months of 2006.
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows nearly one-in-five veterans age 20 to 24 are unemployed, three times the national average. Veterans surveyed said their primary challenges in finding gainful employment are:
-- lack of available jobs in their place of residence (29 percent) -- employers don't understand how the skills acquired in the military translate to the civilian world (16 percent) -- lack of college degree (12 percent) -- inexperience with effectively communicating skills acquired in the military to employers via resumes and interviews (11 percent)
Some veterans expressed concern over employers potentially showing bias against recruiting former service members. Eleven percent said they don't identify themselves as veterans on their resumes, while 17 percent said they do so selectively when applying to different employers.
Veterans who were able to land work may not necessarily be satisfied with their jobs. Twenty-eight percent of veterans reported they are actively seeking another job, while more than half said they are not actively seeking another job, but would be open to taking a new position if they came across the right opportunity.
Veteran Hiring in Second Half of 2006
Veterans may see more job opportunities in the latter half of the year. Forty-four percent of hiring managers said they will recruit U.S. veterans for their open positions in the last six months of 2006. Thirty-eight percent said they will recruit members of the National Guard.
One-in-five hiring managers will be targeting veterans age 20 to 25 while more than half will be targeting those age 26 to 35. The most popular positions hiring managers will be reaching out to veterans to fill include information technology, engineering, customer service, sales, manufacturing, computer/mathematical and education/library services. In terms of job level, four-in-ten hiring managers will be hiring for professional and technical level positions while one-in-ten will be focused on filling director, manager and team leader positions.
Twenty-five percent of hiring managers reported difficulty in finding veterans that meet their job requirements. Hiring managers recommended that, in addition to functional skills and accomplishments, veterans should highlight their intangible skills when marketing themselves to employers and indicated the following were most critical to their employment needs:
-- ability to work as part of a team (27 percent) -- disciplined approach to work (26 percent) -- problem-solving skills and ability to perform under pressure (13 percent) -- respect and integrity (11 percent) -- leadership (10 percent) Online Support to Help Veterans Find Jobs
To assist veterans in their job searches, CareerBuilder.com recently launched a nationwide initiative in conjunction with federal and state government organizations. Together, they created http://operationheroforhire.com/ , a special job site that enables employers who want to recruit veterans to post their jobs for free. The site enables veterans to quickly identify employers who are sensitive to their employment needs and apply for positions in a variety of fields and locations in real time.
In addition to applying online and posting up to five different versions of their resumes, veterans can also tap into a tailor-made online information center on the site with inside tips on how to successfully communicate their military experience and talents to employers in resumes, interviews and more.
"As we celebrate the July 4th holiday, we are reminded of the sacrifices service men and women have made for our country," said Brent Rasmussen, Chief Operating Officer of CareerBuilder.com. "OperationHeroforHire.com provides a resource for employers to quickly reach and provide opportunities to people who fought for us to have them."
The CareerBuilder.com survey, "Veteran Hiring," was conducted from June 9 to June 16, 2006. Methodology used to collect survey responses totaling more than 1,000 hiring managers and more than 150 U.S. veterans involved selecting a random sample of comScore Networks panel members. These Web Panel members were approached via an e-mail invitation, which asked them to participate in a short online survey. The results of this survey are statistically accurate to within +/- 3.09 percentage points for the hiring managers and +/- 8.00 percentage points for the veterans (19 times out of 20).
CareerBuilder.com is the nation's largest online job site with more than 20 million unique visitors and over 1 million jobs. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc.
Media Contact: Jennifer Sullivan (773) 527-1164
CONTACT: Jennifer Sullivan of CareerBuilder.com, +1-773-527-1164,