Why Hiring Veterans is Good for Business
About 10 years ago, Sue Bhatia encountered a man standing on a street corner holding a sign that read: “War veteran. Need a job.”
Bhatia, founder and chairwoman of Rose International, a workforce and technology-solutions company, says her company has long hired veterans, but the chance encounter a decade ago had a “profound impact” on her. “I started thinking about how Rose could connect veterans with great employment opportunities so that they might avoid less fortunate means,” she says.
That idea evolved into Deployment to Employment, which provides veterans with workshops, recruitment opportunities and training to help ease them back into civilian working life. Resume-building and writing workshops have been held in Texas, Georgia and Missouri, and Rose is expanding the effort to California in 2019 and several other states by the following year.
Since Rose launched the initiative three years ago, it has helped 800 veterans find work.
Unemployment among veterans is an ongoing epidemic. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 370,000 unemployed veterans last year, the majority of whom are between 25-54—prime working years. Bhatia notes that un- or underemployment among veterans can cause a spiral into homelessness and substance abuse—issues aggravated by inadequate healthcare, PTSD or a lack of affordable housing.
“Often, military schooling and education qualifications don’t necessarily translate into normal education criteria,” she adds. “In addition to this, if a position in the military included combat or field experience, it is challenging to translate that onto a resume for a managerial position. These put veterans at a disadvantage when submitting their resumes for jobs, even when they are highly qualified.”
Though each vet the firm has worked with has a unique story, many have encountered employers that fail to understand how their military experience has equipped them with a well-rounded skill set. Many of the strengths veterans develop during their service are “intangibles,” Bhatia notes, which may be hard to convey on a resume—but are essential to workplace success: leadership and teamwork abilities, attention to detail and ability to work under pressure, for instance.
The D2E Veteran Employment Specialists team—comprised of military vets, reservists and family members of military members—helps veterans understand and emphasize their unique contributions.