SHRM Tells Committee Coordination Is Key to Helping Veterans Find Jobs

Jun 1, 2011
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Jackson pledges Society’s continued commitment to assisting employers in identifying and hiring veterans

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Greater coordination is needed among federal agencies and employers to help veterans find and keep jobs in the civilian workforce, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) told the U.S. House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs today.

“HR professionals are people who understand that it makes sense to hire veterans,” said Henry G. (Hank) Jackson, SHRM’s interim president and CEO. “Our members, and other HR professionals like them, just need assistance in finding the applicants and in building a long-term relationship with them.”

SHRM represents 260,000 HR professionals in large and small organizations from every industry in every congressional district in the United States.

Jackson praised the work being done on the issue by key federal agencies. But he told the committee, “Employers would greatly benefit from having a more streamlined set of resources that they can consult to find veteran talent, post their open positions, and find information about hiring veterans and other transitioning service members.”

He also encouraged more uniformity in assistance for service members.

Testifying at a hearing titled “Putting America’s Veterans Back to Work,” Jackson described the employment challenges facing veterans. Some employers are unaware of federal and state programs that can connect them to veterans; some employers misunderstand combat-related disabilities and what is required to accommodate them, he said.

A significant challenge for veterans — translating their specialized skills to civilian job experience ­ — was identified in a 2010 SHRM research poll of its members.“SHRM members have expressed a desire for improving the transition assistance provided to service members, including translation of military skills, interviewing techniques, and job-search advice,” Jackson said.

“There are challenges in bringing together employers and veterans successfully, but those challenges are not insurmountable,” he added. SHRM research has shown that a majority of employers consider veterans in their hiring and that organizations find veterans make positive contributions to the workplace.

During his testimony, Jackson outlined SHRM’s commitment to recruiting and retaining veterans in the civilian workplace, including:

  • A partnership with the Department of Defense’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve that led to a military hiring event at SHRM’s 2010 annual conference.
  • Collaboration with the Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service to educate employers about resources that can connect them with veterans.
  • Participation in the White House’s “Joining Forces” initiative to support military families and educate employers on effective practices for recruiting and retaining military spouses.

As part of its commitment, SHRM is hosting a six-hour educational session for HR professionals on the employment of veterans at its annual conference June 26 in Las Vegas.

“Our members strongly believe that helping military servicemen and women transition back to the workforce benefits every party involved: our heroes receive the welcome they deserve through employment; employers gain employees who are committed to the mission; and our nation’s productivity and status in the global marketplace is enhanced,” Jackson told the committee.

For more information, visit SHRM’s Military Employment Resource Page at

Media: For details, to set up an interview, or to attend the June 26 military employment event, contact Kate Kennedy of SHRM Media Affairs at 703-535-6260 and or Julie Malveaux at 703-535-6273 and

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. 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 or follow SHRM @SHRMPress.

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