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Survey: Hiring Veterans Remains Strong , but Veteran Job Satisfaction Dips

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Having one of the largest forces in the world, caring for U.S. veterans when they leave the military includes helping them find gainful employment. According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, 37 percent of employers say they will actively recruit for veterans over the next 12 months – remaining flat over last year (37 percent), but still up from 33 percent in 2014.

Also remaining unchanged over 2015 is the percentage of employers that have hired a veteran in the last year (47 percent). Thirty-one percent of employers have hired veterans that returned from active duty within the last three years.

However, veterans are significantly less content with their jobs than last year. While 57 percent of veteran employees say they are satisfied and enjoy their work, this number is down eight percentage points from 65 percent in 2015. Twenty percent report working in a low-paying job (up from 19 percent in 2015), and 22 percent say they are underemployed – working a job that is below their skill level (up 2 percentage points from 2015).

The national study was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from Aug. 11 to Sept. 7, 2016 and included a sample of 231 full-time veteran workers and 2,587 hiring managers and human resources professionals across industries and company sizes.

"Veteran hiring initiatives seem to be top of mind for the majority of employers, and it is almost always a hot-button topic in an election year," says Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer for CareerBuilder. "Our veterans bring a unique blend of discipline, leadership and problem-solving skills that employers would be foolish to pass up. But, it's also up to the employer to keep these workers involved and challenged to do their best work."

Top Jobs for Veterans

According to employers who are actively recruiting veterans, these are the top positions for which they will be recruiting veterans:

  • Customer Service: 37 percent
  • Information Technology: 33 percent
  • Sales: 28 percent
  • Production: 26 percent
  • Distribution & Logistics: 22 percent
  • Accounting/Finance: 20 percent
  • Human Resources: 17 percent
  • Business Development 16 percent
  • Marketing: 14 percent
  • Research & Development: 14 percent
  • Public Relations: 12 percent
  • Clinical: 11 percent
  • Legal: 8 percent

Highlighting the Right Skills

The same percentage of employers (47 percent) as last year say that they tend to pay more attention to resumes and applications that belong to veterans. Sixty-eight percent of hiring managers also say that if they had two equally qualified candidates for an open position – one veteran and one not – they would be more likely to hire the veteran.

In a resume and interview, it is important for veterans to demonstrate skills that an employer would find desirable. According to employers, here are the top qualities that they feel members of the Armed Services bring to their organizations after leaving active duty:

  • Disciplined approach to work: 63 percent
  • Ability to work as a team: 62 percent
  • Respect and integrity: 59 percent
  • Ability to perform under pressure: 54 percent
  • Leadership skills: 52 percent
  • Problem-solving skills: 48 percent
  • Ability to adapt quickly: 46 percent
  • Attitude of perseverance: 44 percent
  • Communication skills: 41 percent
  • Strong technical skills: 33 percent