More than 570,000 unemployed U.S. veterans and 50,000 homeless veterans were reported in the United States in 2014 (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
With millions of dollars spent on their training and development, veterans leave the military with leadership skills and professional traits that can benefit any organization. However, without effective career coaching to highlight those attributes to civilian hiring managers, veteran potential often goes unrecognized. Long term unemployment not only negatively impacts veterans and their families, but also the communities in which they live, and even the national economy. In recent years, the Department of Defense has annually spent up to $1 billion on unemployment benefits for veterans (Department of Labor, 2013).
A less publicized but very real challenge veterans face is the issue of underemployment, or filling positions for which they are over-qualified. On average, veterans report being underemployed at a 14 percent higher rate than their civilian counterparts (Gallup, 2015.) Underemployment can be caused by several factors, such as veterans’ desire to enter a civilian career field different from the one in which they served, or the fact that many military certifications do not transfer to the civilian sector.
Of the clients who registered for our services after they left the military, Hire Heroes USA confirmed 1,248 hired in the first nine months of 2015, with a 47% conversion rate from “helped” to “hired.” Transition Specialists at Hire Heroes USA, many of whom are also veterans, provide personalized career coaching to help translate military skills into civilian terms that hiring managers understand. Our team serves veterans via two different approaches:
- Veteran Employment Program: Each veteran we serve is assigned to a Transition Specialist who will provide one-on-one career coaching focused on revising their resume, improving networking via LinkedIn, and practicing interview skills to effectively translate experience gained in the military into relevant application for the civilian sector. We serve veterans in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and overseas.
- Veteran Employment Workshop: the Veteran Employment Workshop is a one day, high-impact event focused on resume improvement, techniques for enhancing and refining job search skills, and providing an opportunity to engage with industry experts via panel discussion and networking. The events are often hosted by a corporate partner of Hire Heroes USA, and are designed to be hands on. All participants are offered one-on-one career coaching throughout the remainder of their job search.