Employers: Iraq, Afghanistan Veterans in Demand

Nov 5, 2008
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Employers: Iraq, Afghanistan Veterans in Demand

In tough economy, veterans’ skills may be of particular value to employers

Alexandria, Va. – Veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan may have an advantage over non-military candidates when it comes to landing a job in today’s difficult economy, according to a new survey of human resource professionals by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) that shows employers highly value their skills.

Almost 30 percent of those surveyed have hired Iraq or Afghanistan veterans in the past three years.The survey results suggest veterans are even more in demand in government entities and publically-owned for-profit organizations, with 67 percent and 50 percent respectively reporting hiring combat veterans.

The survey of 638 human resource professionals nationwide conducted in October showed that organizations recognize the benefits of having employees with military experience.In particular, 95 percent of those who have hired veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cite as a benefit their strong sense of responsibility.Large majorities also cite the ability to work as part of a team (94 percent), and to work under pressure (92 percent).

“Veterans are an exceptional source of talent for organizations that value teamwork, discipline, leadership and positive attitudes,” said SHRM President and CEO Laurence O’Neil.“With employers being more selective in their recruitment during these tough economic times, leveraging this talent pool is a strategic HR move because veterans instantly bring with them a strong work ethic and practical hands-on leadership and management experience.”

In fact, there are a number of actions and efforts which HR professionals say would help them recruit and hire more Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Eighty-one percent of HR professionals say they would find assistance identifying and reaching out to veterans helpful, and 77 percent support programs to help veterans transition from military to civilian workplaces.

“Veterans are in demand because of the tremendous skills they bring with them from their military training and experience.Our task as human resource professionals is to seek out these highly-skilled workers and help them transition to civilian employment,” said O’Neil.“SHRM is committed to helping all veterans find employment, including those with combat related injuries.That is why we partnered with the Department of Labor and other government agencies to launch ‘America’s Heroes at Work,’ a program to help veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury and/or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder succeeds in the workplace.”

To speak with an employer who has employed veterans or for additional information on this survey or the America’s Heroes at Work program, please contact SHRM Media Affairs at (703) 535-6072 or (703) 535-6356.

For more information on SHRM Surveys and SHRM Polls, please visit: http://www.shrm.org/surveys.

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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 individual members, the Society’s mission is both to serve human resource management professionals and to advance the profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM currently has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and members in more than 130 countries, including offices in China and India. Visit SHRM Online at www.shrm.org​.

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