With veteran unemployment at 3.2% in June 2019, which is its lowest level since 2001, former military service personnel are becoming hot property for employers. Given that talent of any sort is these days harder to find, companies have realized veterans have much to offer in the way of transferable skills, leadership ability and experience working in teams. Now there’s yet another reason to make a point of recruiting and hiring veterans for your business, and that’s the fact that historically the attrition rate is lower in this demographic.
But is that true, and if so, why will recruiting veterans potentially reduce your staff turnover rate?
Any veterans who experienced difficulties finding work during the past few years have an extra appreciation for a stable position. Having finally overcome the issues relating to adaptation of military skill sets, they often know the value of having full-time, permanent work with an employer of good record. This helps them to be self-motivating and diligent, which are qualities companies typically expect from a top-level employee.
Having a family with children of their own is the driving force behind many veterans seeking civilian jobs. The 2008 Recession is still fresh in the minds of Americans, and providing a loving home, education and the material possessions that give children confidence among their peers is an important factor. Often, these same children are the reason for taking on military service in the first place, in an effort and belief to preserve the American way of life for future generations.
Many veterans initially have difficulties finding the right civilian job, but once they do, turnover among the group declines according to a report by the Korn Ferry Institute debunking myths in veteran hiring. This is believed to be partly a result of veterans coming into the workforce with a more mature disposition, as well as having formulated a career plan that they intend to follow. Where new graduates are often cutting their teeth, job-hopping and experimenting, veterans’ life experiences have made them more determined to pursue work they feel passionate about.
Benefits such as healthcare insurance are important to veterans for the same reason they want stable employment—to support their families. Medical care in the U.S. is an expensive pastime, and few people can afford all the health, dental and other treatment a family of four or five is likely to need during their lifetime. Private healthcare and options such as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) offer some relief, but these are complex institutions that still require monthly premium payments and simply don’t cover as many conditions as standard employer healthcare does.
Companies looking to become employers of choice for veterans should focus on ensuring they offer these advantages and that the jobs they advertise reflect this. This will mean reducing staff turnover and keeping those you appoint and train long enough to generate a real return on your investment.