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USA Today Explores the Improved Veteran Labor Market

Thursday, November 15, 2018
USA Today recently took notice of the excellent veterans unemployment news released for last month. In his article, “Veterans returning to civilian life find a more welcoming labor market,” writer Russ Wiles follows one veteran job seeker's career search and shares advice from Orion CEO, Mike Starich.
“Now, mirroring dramatic improvements in the overall jobless rate, former military people stand as good a chance as anyone in finding a job. Even better, perhaps. The jobless rate for former military personnel this Veterans' Day stands at 2.9 percent, below the national unemployment rate of 3.7 percent,” explains Wiles.
He includes five key points that reinforce the positive job market and provide ideas on how to approach a job search. These same tips can be applied to employers looking to hire veterans.
First, he points out that there is progress being made. He cites Starich who says there are a few programs, including Joining Forces, combined with economic improvement, that have helped.
Second, translating military skills has never been easier as companies hire more veterans. “Companies value veterans for their qualifications, composure, productivity and skills, according to a survey this year of more than 100 human-resources and recruiting professionals by Orion Talent,” writes Wiles.
This survey, Veteran Hiring  Survey: Exploring the Bottom-line Value of Hiring Veteran Talent, revealed that respondents are hiring veterans because of what they bring to the table rather than compliance requirements or because “it’s the right thing to do.” Both ERE and IndustryWeek cite the survey as even more reason to hire veterans.
Third, it is important for job seekers to be willing to branch out, as well as for employers to understand that different military occupations can translate into meaningful impact in seemingly unrelated careers. “Nothing I learned in the military directly taught me how to build houses," Rudy Del Rio, a former convoy-arranging logistics officer for the Marines turned a Residential Construction Supervisor for David Weekley Homes, tells Wiles.
Fourth, veterans should prepare themselves for a civilian workplace culture - often more relaxed, with less clearly defined career paths. Workplace benefits can also be different. Employers are also wise to incorporate a mentorship program into onboarding to help with this transition, as well as to clearly address the differences.
Last, Wiles stresses the importance of preparation. This includes beginning a job search long before the actual transition and making sure to save up ahead of time. For employers, this means recruiting from service members before they transition. Fifty-three percent of JMOs who began working with Orion while on active duty accepted a position prior to their availability date.
Wiles concludes “...things have improved dramatically for people leaving the military, with the job market this Veteran's Day among the strongest it has been in decades.”
All of this is great news for veterans. For employers, it means they will need to work harder to recruit from this talented labor pool. Employers can GET STARTED TODAY to recruit veterans for their company.

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