Hesitancy to Hire Veterans is a Bias Perpetuated by These Outdated Myths

Hesitancy to Hire Veterans is a Bias Perpetuated by These Outdated Myths

The United States has one of the highest standards of living in the world. The country’s dominant position as a leader in the global economy has taken considerable time and resolve. In parallel with increasing the country’s industrial capacity, there have been many instances in the preceding decades in which the country’s military forces have had to intercede globally in order to preserve national interests.

The military and its corresponding branches are among the finest in the world and remain committed to protecting the country. Why then, do Veteran Unemployment Stats in 2020 indicate it is difficult for veterans to find employment upon completion of their service? The reason is deeply rooted in several unfortunate stereotypes and myths that have been perpetuated for far too long. Learn more below.

The Myths and Misconceptions About Hiring Vets

Almost without exception, American citizens appreciate the risks and hardships involved in active duty, regardless of their stance on armament and military strategy. Given the sacrifices made by members of the armed forces every single day, it is troubling to see the hiring bias that exists among civilian employers, to the detriment of many capable veterans. Even companies with a structured veteran recruiting process can often fall prey to this unconscious bias.

Unfortunately, pop culture and entertainment continue to perpetuate the same old tropes and dramatic exaggerations about active duty and life after service. These perpetuations frequently inhibit a military veteran’s chances of finding meaningful employment. Many have become so core to our perception of military service that many employers already suffer from some degree of unconscious bias when it comes to recruiting veterans or even hiring military spouses.

The myths and misconceptions discussed below are commonly associated with veterans. Most are unfair both to the vet’s career prospects as well as an employer’s ability to recruit a talented worker objectively. See if any exist within your hiring paradigm:

All Vets Have Been in Combat

Military service does involve combat situations, especially in hostile territories. Combat roles are only a single part of the larger military machine, however. The United States Military has a vast pool of talent assigned to diverse roles ranging from technical support, operating classified equipment, communication, and even healthcare.

These roles may not get as much screen-time in war movies and television shows, but they are still an equally crucial component of American military success. As such, while some of the veteran applicants you encounter may have seen combat, many may have never been deployed on an active battlefield at all. Consequently, this myth does not hold true by any measure.

Vets Have Skills That Don’t Translate Into Civilian Roles

Thanks to the stereotypes perpetuated by movies, TV, and other entertainment sources, employers have a skewed perception of vets, just like everyone else. Expounding on the myth above, people still think of military personnel as steely and distant; and that’s the extent of what they think they know.

They don’t see how their learned skills can carry over into civilian roles. By contrast, the military offers significant learning and development opportunities to its members. It’s highly probable that many veteran applicants may already hold a graduate degree, as well as extensive experience with equipment and technology far more complex than your current tech talent pipeline.

Veterans are Conditioned to Obey Without Question

Following orders in combat can often mean the difference between mission success and failure. It can also mean the difference between returning unharmed or as a casualty. However, this is a simplification of the overall process. Military personnel will indeed work towards any objective assigned, but they are also trained to use any and all variables to their advantage.

By any measure, this is exactly the kind of worker you want your veteran hiring program to acquire. Another understated fact is that they also acquire an eye for detail, doing anything possible to mitigate risks to their squads and missions. Moreover, given the unpredictable nature of combat situations, vets are naturally suited to picking up leadership and initiative when the moment demands.

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