Veteran Unemployment: Untapped Workplace Resources

Veteran unemployment is a bigger problem than you may realize — but their team-oriented training ensures a rare dedication to any role.
Veteran unemployment

As we celebrate our military service members this time of year, it’s time to acknowledge the veteran unemployment issues and think about how employers can take full advantage of veteran skill sets and fill critical roles on their teams.

With veteran unemployment reaching 18.5 million, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the veteran unemployment rate at 2.7% is lower than the national average of 3.4%. These stats do not consider the underemployment gap between veterans and nonveterans. A ZipRecruiter and the Call of Duty Endowment report shows nearly one-third of veterans are underemployed, 15.6% higher than nonveterans. Veteran candidates have the skills to succeed in higher-earning jobs with greater responsibility, yet employers fail to consider veterans for these roles. Many times, civilian employers may not understand how veterans’ military skills and experience transfer to the job position at hand.

The veteran hiring pool can bring the skills that make for a successful business, even if their resume may not tick the typical boxes.


Military veterans are committed. Most have entered the service due to a commitment to their country, which translates into a commitment to their unit. This commitment boils down to the success of a team, and teamwork is an essential skill for them to master. For a company or organization, it translates into impeccable follow-through. In their military career, the consequences were dire, but the same commitment to their work tends to carry through to help meet business goals and objectives.


In the military, creative problem-solving skills are taught so these men and women quickly tackle difficult circumstances with limited resources. Today’s business environment and tight labor market need creative problem solvers who can quickly look at a situation and adapt their approach to ensure success.

Veterans have had to master a number of jobs while in the military, filling their quiver with a variety of skills. Because this is a must in their military careers, veterans can quickly adopt and master new concepts. This is extremely valuable to any business facing staffing challenges.


The business environment has been especially frantic with changing legislation, new workplace rules and economic uncertainties. This forces businesses to quickly adapt. Many veterans thrive under pressure, keep the end goal in mind and focus under the most difficult situations. An employee who has the ability to remain calm and focus on the organization’s goals in the midst of change can be a person leadership relies upon and one who employees look to for guidance.


Intrapersonal skills – discipline, motivation and innovation – are some of the first skills learned in basic training. These happen to be the same skills every entrepreneur and business owner values within themselves. Finding a pool of employees who share the same drive is a gold mine.

The self-control and tenacity veterans exhibit make them an employee that leadership will rely upon. These are employees who will naturally gravitate toward leadership opportunities and make it their mission to help meet and exceed business goals.

When business owners and leadership dream of their ideal candidate, they are looking for the skills that motivate a team and an organization, which many veterans possess. A few technical skills can easily be taught but hiring based on the core beliefs and unique skills held by veterans can transform organizations.


Niki JorgensenNiki Jorgensen is a director of service operations with Insperity, a leading provider of human resources offering the most comprehensive suite of scalable HR solutions available in the marketplace. For more information about Insperity, call 800-465-3800 or visit

Categories: Featured Articles, Human Resources, Management & Leadership, Web Exclusives