Veterans face negative stereotypes when applying for jobs, according to a survey released by the Forces in Mind Trust which reveals nearly one fifth of senior decision makers are unlikely to consider hiring veterans, mostly due to negative perceptions of their time spent in the Armed Forces…

Of the negative perceptions held by potential employers, the most common is that veterans do not have the relevant skills or experience (44%). This is followed by a belief that they may not fit the culture of the workplace (19%); skills from active duty may not translate into a business environment (18%); or they may have different levels of education from those expected of civilian workers (11%).

Over a quarter of the organisations polled in the research have never hired a veteran and 10% of organisations don’t believe taking advantage of the skillsets of veterans would bring value to their organisation. However, nearly two thirds of employers polled in the survey believe hiring veterans helps contribute to the diversity of their organization.

The smaller organizations polled in the survey ranked as the least likely to consider hiring a veteran (65%) whilst the larger organizations ranked as most likely (87%).

The Veteran Employment research was commissioned by FiMT, whose mission is to enable ex-Service personnel and their families to make a successful and sustainable transition to civilian life. Over 1,000 senior decision makers were polled in the research, including private, public and third sector organizations of all sizes.

The research is part of FiMT’s core Employment Programme which aims to ensure that no ex-Service person, or their spouse or partner, is disadvantaged in achieving a successful employment outcome. The FiMT Employment Programme is focused on bringing about change in two areas:

  • Ex-Service personnel having the right skills and understanding, receiving the right support and preparing appropriately
  • Employers understanding the skills and potential of Service leavers, and being able to access and harness the veteran workforce

Ray Lock, Chief Executive at FiMT says: “The fact that many organizations would not consider hiring veterans due to negative perceptions of their time spent serving in the Armed Forces, highlights the misunderstanding that veterans are unskilled or unfit for business environments. Such misunderstandings are unfounded and damaging to veterans’ employment opportunities.

“Employers must ensure these unhelpful perceptions are addressed in their recruitment processes, so that they benefit from the skills that veterans can bring to their organization. Veterans gain strong leadership, communications, management and STEM skills from their time spent serving in the Armed Forces so employers would do well to tap into veterans’ talent.

“Our research demonstrates that Government must strengthen its strategy for translating and accrediting skills, experience and qualifications gained in the Armed Forces for the civilian world. We need to increase awareness and understanding among civilian employers of how Service leavers’ skills fit their recruitment needs.”