Hiring Veterans in America

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I saw Brian Stann from Hire Heroes USA on CSPAN, this weekend. If you’ve never heard of the organization, here’s more information.

HHUSA’s mission is to provide career placement assistance to all of our returning service men and women.  The HHUSA program focuses on providing transition assistance to Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom veterans, specializing in the career placement of those injured or with any level of disability.  HHUSA serves veterans from all branches of the military: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, National Guard, Reservists and Coast Guard.

Brian spoke eloquently about the economy, unemployment, and the underemployment of America’s veterans. Then several of those veterans called into the program and expressed frustration with their job searches. These men and women are up against what civilians are facing on a daily basis: a stagnant economy, a lack of meaningful work in America, and a broken hiring process that impacts all job seekers.

We’ve talked about the failed hiring processes in our country. Jobs are difficult to find on career websites and job boards. Resumes are lost in databases.Candidates with less experience are hired over more seasoned workers. College graduates with excellent resumes are forced to take entry-level jobs that are unrelated to their education and training.

What struck me is that we’ve got the whole system wrong. Instead of companies fighting over talented and amazing veterans, we have veterans with battlefield experience and leadership training who are competing against civilians for the basic right to work in our country.

Many young men and women join the military and are told that their experience and training will be the key differentiators when they return back to the civilian world — and I think that’s right — but they come back to a business climate that is dysfunctional, slow, and inefficient.

I wonder veterans who read this blog can talk about whether or not their military experience made a difference in their job searches. I wonder if HR and recruiting professionals have truly tapped into the extensive talent and innovation within the ranks of the military? Finally, I wonder when Corporate America will pull its head out of its butt and address the flaws within the hiring process.

What a mess. I keep saying we can do better. Can we? What are you doing to fix this?

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