SHRM Poll Shows Military Veteran Hiring Increasing But Skills Jargon Still a Barrier

Feb 24, 2012
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SHRM Poll Shows Military Veteran Hiring Increasing But Skills Jargon Still a Barrier

Alexandria, Va. – Feb. 24, 2012 – A new poll from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) released this week shows that the majority of organizations—64 percent—have hired military veterans during the past 36 months, an increase over the 53 percent that reported the same in 2010.

Though more than six in 10 organizations have hired military veterans during the past three years, the number could hit 10 in 10 if only the civilian and military sectors widely understood the other’s job skills jargon.

More than four in 10, or 44 percent, of human resource professionals polled said a skills map that translates military job skills into civilian job skills “would help a lot” as they review resumes and job applications. Another 34 percent said a skills map “would help somewhat.”

The 2012 poll revisits the critical workforce issue of military veteran hiring, first examined by SHRM in 2010. The poll focuses of three key questions: Are organizations hiring military veterans?; Do organizations make a specific effort to hire veterans?; and Are organizations aware of effective resources for recruiting military veterans?

“Awareness of resources is the missing piece,” said Mark Schmit, vice president of research at SHRM. “Human resource managers are keen to hire military veterans but they don’t know how to find them and once they find them, they may not understand the military skills jargon on the resume.”

Among the organizations that hired military veterans during the past 36 months, 45 percent made a specific effort to do so.

When ask what would help their organization’s efforts to recruit and hire military veterans, human resources professionals highlighted seven solutions:

Assistance identifying and reaching out to qualified veterans

46 percent said

Would help a lot

Information about how military skills map to civilian-related skills

44 percent said

Would help a lot

Programs to help veterans transition their military skills to the civilian workplace

40 percent said

Would help a lot

Programs to help veterans transition from militaryculture to civilian workplace culture

37 percent said

Would help a lot

Programs to train veterans with additional skills for the civilian workplace

33 percent said

Would help a lot

Information about and support for dealing with potential challenges veterans may face such as PTSD, other mental health issues

31 percent said

Would help a lot

Information about and support for dealing with potential challenges veterans with physical disabilities may face

30 percent said

Would help a lot


Only 13 percent of human resource professionals polled said their organization is very aware of effective resources for finding military veteran job candidates. Most, 52 percent, report their organizations is “somewhat aware” of such resources while 35 percent said their organization is “not at all aware.”

Between 2010 and 2012, awareness of Department of Labor (DOL) resources remained roughly the same. In the 2012 poll, roughly 64 percent of human resource professionals said they were “not at all familiar” with the Local Veterans’ Employment Representative (LVER) program compared with 68 percent who said the same in 2010.

Also in the 2012 poll, 67 percent reported they were not at all familiar with the DOL’s Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program (DVOP) compared with 70 percent in 2010.

To help increase awareness, SHRM created the “SHRM Military Employment Resource Page.”

The SHRM military veteran employment poll surveyed 359 randomly selected human resource professionals across industries and the country. It was fielded January 4–22, 2012.

To read the poll, please visit: http://www.shrm.org/surveys.

Follow SHRM Research on Twitter @SHRM_Research.

For more news, follow @SHRMPress.

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About the Society for Human Resource Management

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 250,000 members in over 140 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China and India. Visit SHRM Online at www.shrm.org.

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