Employers failing to realise “hiring veterans makes business sense”

Published: 21 Nov 2016

British companies have been accused of not doing enough to provide jobs for people leaving the Armed Forces.

Research carried out by Forces in Mind Trust, Officers Association and Deloitte has underlined a ‘stark disconnect between the rhetoric and the reality’ of veteran employment’.

From the 300 companies questioned, almost nine in ten were aware of schemes to help ex-military personnel but fewer than one in four actually used them.

Veterans are also less likely to call in sick, with four in five organisations that employed ex-military personnel saying they have lower rates of sickness absence than the rest of the workforce.

Companies employing veterans agree they are particularly strong in communication, planning and time management (95 per cent) and team working (100 per cent).

As a result, more than half (53 per cent) of businesses that do employ veterans promote them quicker than the rest of the workforce.

Around 16,000 men and women leave the Armed Forces each year, and many schemes are operated in the UK to help people make the transition from the Armed Forces to a civilian career.

The Career Transition Partnership is considered to be the main one but critics have said that the Ministry of Defence, which runs the scheme, has the right idea but needs to be doing more.

Veterans trying to find work say that employers struggle to recognise how military experience could benefit their firm, while the jobseekers themselves have trouble putting down on paper why they should be hired.

Chris Recchia, partner and head of Deloitte’s military transition and talent programme, wants to open the eyes of UK companies to what veterans can bring to their business.

“Employers have told us there is a skills gap and our research shows that the vast majority of veterans have the skills to fill that gap,” he commented.

“Business leaders need to understand in no uncertain terms that hiring veterans is not just the right thing to do, it also makes business sense.”

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