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Veterans' Employment

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On June 1, 2011, SHRM Interim President and CEO Henry G. (Hank) Jackson, CPA, testified before the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs during a hearing titled “Putting America’s Veterans Back to Work.” 

SHRM was invited to testify by committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R-FL) at the hearing which focused on the issue of high unemployment among returning veterans.  In his testimony, Jackson (pictured at right with other panelists) described the work SHRM is doing to emphasize veterans as an integral part of any organizations talent strategy and to create workplaces that support employees who serve in the military, Guard and Reserves, along with their spouses and family members.

Specifically, SHRM’s testimony, which can be viewed HERE, outlined SHRM collaborative efforts to link employers with resources that help them recruit and retain veterans:

  • Working with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) linking SHRM chapters and state councils at the local level;
  • Collaborating with the Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) to develop a guide and educational materials for HR; and
  • Participating in the White House’s “Joining Forces” initiative to support military families and educate employers on effective recruitment and retention of military spouses.

However, despite the fact that employers are interested in hiring veterans, knowledge gaps exist among employers about how to find and hire veterans, Jackson said.  He cited a 2010 SHRM survey of members that found 53 percent of respondents were unsure about how to go about hiring veterans.  When asked by committee members for recommended actions that the federal government could take to improve the problem, Jackson highlighted two main issues:

  • The need for a single place for employers to post open jobs and find veterans with the skills and qualifications to fill those positions; and
  • Improved programs to prepare transitioning veterans for their individual job searches.

Special Workshop on Engaging Military Veterans at the 2011 SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition

In conjunction with the upcoming 2011 Annual Conference and Exposition in Las Vegas, SHRM is conducting a special preconference workshop on Sunday, June 26, from 8:00 AM to 1:30 PM.  This workshop will help HR professionals design and implement a talent management strategy with a special emphasis on hiring veterans and developing a military inclusiveness strategy.  The workshop is available at no cost to all Annual Conference attendees, but pre-registration is required.  To see our great speakers and topics as well as register for the program, please click HERE.

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