On the BACK of the BRAVE

Pam’s Blog:  Insights
Pam’s Blog: Insights



Who is the largest employer on the planet? Some would say Walmart, and from a private-employer perspective that would be correct. But, overall, the largest employer is the government — federal, state and local.





That leads me to bring up a specific group of selfless individuals who sacrifice their very lives everyday for the greater good. You got it: veterans; those who choose to serve. The federal government is also the largest employer of both active- and nonactive-duty individuals. But, let’s be clear, they should not be the only employer committed to ensuring that this highly skilled group of individuals has a place in our workforce.

The 10 largest employers in the United States employ approximately 5.6 million people, according to USA Today, and less than 5 percent of
their workforce is veterans. More disappointing than that, these employers do not know the absolute number of veterans in their workforce.

According to 2014 Inclusive Leadership Survey (DMBA Benchmarking) below are some insights on what companies are doing to be inclusive of veterans:

• 94 percent of companies target veterans for recruiting;
• 62 percent of companies use on average six sources for veteran recruiting;
• 60 percent of companies have veteran employee resource groups;
• 90 percent of the companies do not know the total number of veterans in their workforce;
• 25 percent companies have major strategic initiatives to recruit, develop and retain veterans;
• The Top 10 companies for employing veterans on the DMBA list have an average of 5 percent veterans in
their workforce.

One of the realities is that certain industries are more prone than others to hire veterans. For example, the technology, energy and transportation industries used to be the largest employers but, of late, the big retailers have stepped up their game. Walmart, Target and Kroger have strategic initiatives to advance the recruitment, development and retention of veterans.

While this is good news, the marketplace still has the major gap of the majority of veterans being employed by the military and many of them seeking to fit in.

Why is this? What is the issue that prevents companies from hiring a highly skilled and disciplined group of individuals into the workforce on a large scale? Could it be that there are a unique set of requirements needed from the veterans so that their transition would be successful in fitting into corporate culture? Could it be that recruiters are not trained in this particularly cultural competence so they miss the mark, relying on the one-size-fits-all model? And finally, I must ask, are we addressing at all any inherent bias that exists and is subconsciously overlooked when it comes to veterans?

I am just saying, I don’t understand why the gap is slow to close with the ensuring that the brave are saved.