Knowledge centre

Veteran employment: are you overlooking valuable talent?

More than 5,000 men and women transition out of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) each year, with an extensive range of skills and abilities that make them valuable employees in the civilian workforce. However, according to research, this is often being overlooked.

In Australia, the unemployment rate for veterans is more than five times higher than the national average, at over 30%. When they do secure a position, ex-military personnel also several disadvantages including an average pay cut of 30%, working in jobs that do not match their skills, and being underpaid based on their skills and experience.

The military instils many desirable qualities such as integrity, respect and teamwork. Former ADF members are often good at solving problems, leading teams and working under pressure, and may have also acquired professional or trade qualifications that are recognised in the civilian workforce. Roles that our clients often find challenging to source suitable candidates for, such as those in cyber and information security, science, technology and engineering, are increasingly the types of experience those leaving the military have gained.

It’s not just the private sector that is missing out on talent. If we continue to overlook veterans transitioning into the workforce, we risk contributing to the growing issue of shortages in defence personnel. The perceived lack of future opportunities may actively discourage men and women from joining the defence force, with a potentially significant impact on our country’s security and ability to contribute to international projects and aid.

Clearly there is an opportunity to source great talent that many organisations are missing. Employers with inclusive hiring practices that promote opportunities for veterans could gain competitive edge over companies looking for similar skills and experience in the market. Perhaps more importantly, increasing the options available to veterans will help to close the current recruitment gap.

Clare Manton, Harrier Talent Solutions Client Director for AGL, believes it is imperative that we actively support veterans to transition into the civilian workforce:

If you’d like to learn more about how you can identify transferable skills, adapt your employee value proposition and sourcing processes to attract and retain veterans, or to understand how to build the business case in your organisation for a specific hiring program or initiative, please get in touch.

According to research, talented veterans are often being overlooked for employment opportunities and are facing other challenges when transitioning back into civilian life. The unemployment rate for veterans is more than five times higher than the national average. This is a valuable talent pool that many employers are missing out on, creating barriers for ex-military personnel who have already given so much.