Jobs for Veterans: Easing Re-employment’s Challenges

PLUS!  Top 5 Reasons Veterans Turn to Staffing Companies

At the Veterans Jobs Summit and Career Forum last week, the Obama administration unveiled a new online platform focused on veteran employment. It’s called the Online Veterans Employment Center, a tool for supporting transitioning service members, veterans, and their spouses looking for new career opportunities.

According to a blog post on whitehouse.gov, it will provide career help and simplify job search by giving veterans access to public résumé posting forums, among other things. Employers will also benefit by having access to a targeted feed of applicants and reverse skills translation to help them understand the value of military skills in civilian positions, something often cited as a hurdle on the road to employment for veterans. Read the announcement, Helping Employers Connect to Job Seeking Service Members, Veterans and Their Families, on the whitehouse.gov blog.

Issues addressed at the Veterans Job Summit were in keeping with a broader ongoing commitment to support transitioning service members and their families. New efforts also include preparing service members before they leave, and establishing a blueprint for next steps once they do – whether they are entering the job market, preparing for a new career, or heading to college.

Local Challenges for Veterans Seeking Jobs 

The importance of re-employment support for veterans can’t be underestimated as returning military vets continue to cite “preparing to enter the workforce” as one of the biggest challenges to adjusting to civilian life.
For some, creating a résumé or applying for work is a new experience, and translating skills from the military to civilian terms can be difficult. In addition, those doing the hiring can be unaware of the skills military veterans bring to the table – things like hard work, adaptability, or advanced schooling that may not translate into that formal degree often cited in job descriptions.

For many veterans, especially those who join the service right after school, the task of finding a job can be especially challenging. According to Bob Traill, who is Director of Diversified Recruitment at BONNEY Staffing Center and works for BONNEY on Seasoned Worker and Veterans recruitment, they generally have little experience looking for work and don’t know how their military skills can be useful in civilian employment. Traill said that even older veterans are unsure about what they want to do and need training for jobs they would like to pursue.

As part of easing the transition from military service to civilian careers in Maine and New Hampshire, efforts are underway in Maine to help vets obtain occupational licenses for jobs such as electricians, plumbers and fuel technicians. In New Hampshire, resources for veterans seeking jobs include the availability of local veterans’ representatives and access to state job and training resources. And, in Maine, New Hampshire and across the country, Hiring Our Heroes provides resources such as résumé and interview training for veterans and military spouses, and holds job fairs and hiring events throughout the year (view their upcoming events).

Some local veterans are finding employment support by partnering with staffing companies. Staffing companies have become instrumental in providing jobs and job support because of their expertise in the area of re-employment and, in certain cases, their specific focus on veteran recruitment. Staffing companies that specialize in these areas can be an ideal choice for veterans with military experience seeking civilian jobs.

Bridging the Jobs Gap for Military Veterans in Maine & NH

Local staffing companies like BONNEY Staffing Center integrate veterans directly into their outreach and recruitment strategy. In 2013, BONNEY was recognized with an ‘Above and Beyond’ Award from the ESGR, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, for their support of Maine’s Guard and Reserve members. BONNEY’s staffing specialists value the unique skills of veterans, understand the challenges veterans face in the job search, and work to provide resources that cater to their specific needs. It’s these characteristics that make them perfectly positioned to partner with veterans.

Staffing companies also offer the benefit of assigning employers to work for which they are best suited, which benefits both the job seeker and the employer. In addition, Traill said he finds employers increasingly prefer the “try before you buy” approach to personnel selection, which staffing companies allow for by offering temp-to-hire positions. The approach is attractive to veterans who might have little knowledge of the jobs available and how their skills can be transferred, and it’s also attractive to veterans who have a career path in mind but want to evaluate an employer before accepting a position.

5 Reasons Staffing Companies Work for Veterans

For those reentering the civilian job market, here are a few of the top motivating factors of enlisting with a local staffing company that has veteran recruitment initiatives:

  1. They help communicate the depth of veterans’ skills and experience to hiring managers. By emphasizing the benefits of hiring veterans, staffing companies play a crucial role in bridging the gap between military and civilian life.
  2. They can assist in translating military experience to relevant civilian sector skills desired by employers. Knowledgeable recruiters can also help job seekers highlight skills learned in the military that they may not have been aware they had – and those that employers love.   
  3. Staffing companies serve every kind of employer.  Serving for-profit, not-for-profit and municipal employers of all sizes can be particularly helpful to veterans by giving them exposure to a variety of employers, something that would be difficult to replicate on their own. 
  4. Staffing companies offer support before and after hire. They work with job seekers to prepare them to be strong job candidates, excel in interviews, and prepare powerful résumés. They can also provide support after a lay-off or between assignments.
  5. Finally, staffing companies are an excellent option for anyone re-entering the workforce. Signing on with a staffing company opens the door to temporary or part-time work, allowing veterans to pursue educational training or build new skills. They also offer temp-to-hire positions which allow job seekers to explore different career fields and satisfy employers who prefer to “try before they buy”. 

Find out more about the BONNEY Staffing Jobs for Veterans in Maine initiative. 

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