Even as veteran hiring in the U.S. continues to rise, veteran workers continue to feel underemployed or they are stuck in low-paying jobs.
Nearly half of U.S. employers (47 percent) have hired a veteran in the last year, compared to 44 percent in 2014, and 31 percent have hired a veteran who recently returned from duty. However, nearly 1 in 3 employed veterans (31 percent) say they are underemployed or in a low-paying job — a number that’s up from 23 percent last year, according to CareerBuilder Veterans Day Job Forecast.
What does this mean for you?
According to Rosemary Haefner, chief human resource officer at CareerBuilder:
Employers may still not understand the skills veterans had in the military, which may land them in positions that don’t use all their skills and not get them the higher salary levels that they deserve.
Case in point: We recently interviewed Ben Keen, a real-life veteran and successful IT professional who was named American Staffing Association’s 2016 National Staffing Employee of the Year. Keen recalled a staffing professional calling to ask if Keen would be interested in a job as a call center representative for $12 an hour.
“I was thinking if [she] actually read my resume, [she’d] know I’m not a call center representative,” Keen said. “I wrote back to her: Ma’am with all due respect, I highly recommend you go back and re-read my resume and email me again to [let me know] if you still think I’m qualified.”
This is an opportunity for employers NOT to pigeonhole veterans, but instead to take a good look at their skill sets. Every veteran has a story, so take the time and effort to find out why they were successful in the military and then connect that back to their skill sets.