In Tight Labor Market, Companies Find Veterans Faster to Hire, Easier to Retain Than Civilian Candidates, Says New Orion Talent Survey

At a time when finding top talent has never been harder, more than a sizeable majority of companies (79%) find that veterans offer businesses the qualified, committed and high-performing employees they need. According to Orion Talents new Veteran Hiring Survey: Exploring the Bottom-line Value of Hiring Veteran Talent, respondents are hiring veterans because of what they bring to the table rather than compliance requirements or because its the right thing to do.

With over 200,000 people leaving military service each year and about half of those looking to enter the private sector, veterans represent a viable opportunity for companies to get ahead of the talent crunch, said Mike Starich, CEO of Orion Talent. Our survey shows that once companies are introduced to veterans they are quick to engage them. Not only do veterans consistently achieve higher performance ratings, many have leadership experience in intensely challenging situations that go far beyond most civilian experiences.

Ninety-nine percent (99%) of businesses surveyed are recruiting military talent. Yet, despite the enthusiasm, a large majority (73%) of businesses do not have formal processes in place to recruit veterans and recognize there is room to improve how they tap into this trained and transitioning talent pool.

62% of Companies Delegate Military Hiring to Employees Inexperienced in Veteran Recruitment

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Although businesses are unanimously recruiting military talent, only one in four businesses (26%) have, or are in the process of adopting, a formal program. The widespread informality is a likely reason that businesses rank the success of their military recruitment efforts at only 3.17 on a scale of 1-5 (one being not effective and 5 being extremely effective). Inexperience, too, comes into play as 62% of respondents are giving essential recruiting work to resources not experienced, trained or dedicated to veteran recruitment.

67% of Companies Find Veterans Easier to Retain

As a talent population, veterans are no more challenging to engage than the general population, with only 22% of survey respondents reporting that recruiting veterans is more challenging than recruiting civilians. When asked what makes veterans such highly desirable job candidates, companies that track recruiting and employment metrics point to key performance indicators comparing veteran and civilian candidates:

  • Interview-to-hire ratio is higher among veterans (59%)
  • Acceptance rates are higher among veterans (65%)
  • Retention rates are higher among veterans (67%)

At a time when people are quitting jobs at the fastest rates since the days of the dotcom boom, the higher retention rate among veterans is particularly noteworthy.

48% of Companies Want Better Access to Veteran Candidates

While survey respondents clearly demonstrate the desire and commitment to employ veteran military talent, most acknowledge there is room for improvement. For example, 48% of respondents said they could benefit from access to more qualified candidates; and 18% mentioned training as a way to more effectively engage veterans.

When it comes to interviewing veterans, survey respondents identified the three biggest challenges as:

1. Ensuring veterans understand how civilian employee expectations are different from the military environment (42%)

2. Effectively exploring the candidates military background and qualifications (35%)

3. Understanding how military skill sets correlate with civilian skill sets (25%)

Companies also noted that their most effective ways to recruit veterans include specialized recruiting firms (44%), strong referral networks (41%), and military job fairs (38%).

Employers do and should want veterans for the skills and experience they bring to an organization. Yet many hiring teams lack an understanding of veteran backgrounds and encounter difficulties throughout the entire hiring process, said Starich. Todays job-seeking veterans have a vast number of employment options to choose from. If a company is serious about recruiting and retaining military talent, it needs a thoughtful, focused plan to secure qualified veterans for roles that enable them to excel.

About the Survey

Orion Talents Veteran Hiring Survey: Exploring the Bottom-line Value of Hiring Veteran Talent utilizes data from an online survey of professionals who recruit and hire talent, from VPs and directors of HR and talent acquisition to business owners, recruitment program directors, procurement professionals and hiring managers from diverse industries. The survey was fielded from June 13 to July 16, 2018, with a total of 114 responses. For more information about the survey and access a full copy of the results, please click here.

About Orion Talent

Headquartered in Cary, North Carolina, Orion Talent provides a total talent solution for businesses nationwide, including skilled talent acquisition, recruitment optimization and military hiring solutions. As a military recruiting leader for 27+ years, Orion Talent has a long history of supporting veterans in their search for meaningful careers and has found employment for more than 40,000 veterans. Orion Novotus, an Orion Talent company, provides a full range of recruitment optimization and consulting solutions. Orion Talent has offices nationwide, a dedicated team of 200-plus recruiting experts, and holds more than 400 hiring events each year. Visit www.oriontalent.com to learn more.

For Orion Talent
Media contact:
Jess Chipkin
[email protected]
630-263-9153

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