Employing America’s Veterans

National Hire A Veteran Day is coming up on July 25, and it got us thinking about our own efforts to hire candidates with military backgrounds.

At LRS Consulting Services, veterans account for 11 percent of our employee headcount, which is higher than the 8 percent of the US population that is military veterans.

We also partner with clients who focus their efforts on hiring veterans. Part of that focus is to thank them for the sacrifices they made by serving in the US military, and part of that focus is to benefit from the positive qualities veterans bring to the civilian workplace.

After all, veterans have the ability to persevere through difficult times. They’re disciplined, and they’re not going to give up just because the work gets hard.

Veterans also have a strong sense of mission, coming from a background in which everything they do is oriented to the mission of defending the country. The goal is always excellence toward the mission instead of excellence for personal gain.

And veterans respect the chain of command; they understand the amount of respect that is due to people in areas of responsibility.

One of our employees who’s a veteran joked that veterans are used to being told what to do, especially when they’re called in to work an unscheduled shift.

So when one of our largest clients asked us to help them focus on placing veterans in their IT environment, we were ready. We partnered with Hire Heroes USA, Indeed Military, Veteran’s Support Network, and the DoD Transition Assistance Program. Over a period of several months when we placed over 100 consultants with the client, 17 of those consultants were veterans.

That means 16.5 percent of our consultants were veterans, well above the benchmark of 6.7 percent set by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).

We’re pretty happy with that result. We were also happy to read The Employment Situation of Veterans report for 2019, released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics earlier this year, which said the unemployment rate for female veterans was 3.7 percent and the rate for male veterans was 3.0 percent.

That report was released on March 19, just about the time that COVID-19 turned our lives inside out.

According to the employment situation report for February, the last report before COVID-19 had an impact on jobs, the overall unemployment rate for adults was 3.5 percent; 3.3 percent for adult men and 3.1 percent for adult women.

So, statistically, veterans were having the same level of success finding and holding jobs as non-veterans. Even after the pandemic hit the economy hard and the overall unemployment rate rose to 13.3 percent, the rate for veterans was 9.0. And in June, when the unemployment rate fell to 11.1 percent, the rate for veterans was 8.6 percent.

We’ll be monitoring the numbers as businesses reopen in many areas, and we’re confident that veterans will continue to be successful. After serving for years in the nation’s defense, veterans shouldn’t have a difficult time finding work when they return to civilian life. That’s something we believe all year long.