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The U.S. Army Nov. 19 announced the launch of a joint campaign with the Society for Human Resource Management to encourage employers to hire veterans, especially those with physical disabilities, post-traumatic stress disorder, or traumatic brain injuries.
The campaign includes a video featuring returned service members who successfully applied their military skills to civilian work, as well as a website aimed at employers.
The 10-minute video being made available to employers on the Army's Warrior Transition Command's (WTC) website highlights a number of misconceptions employers may hold about hiring veterans.
Employers often do not have a clear sense of how skills learned in the military might translate to civilian workplaces, according to the video. But by focusing on specific skills, hiring employers can see how a particular job candidate might fit into their workplaces, it stated.
Employers also are often fearful about how PTSD might affect a worker's overall demeanor, according to the video. But it points out that people are equally likely to have PTSD after a car accident, and the condition is not limited to veterans. Many returned service members with either traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) or PTSD join or rejoin traditional workplaces, according to the video.
The video also made the case that the employer tab for implementing reasonable accommodations for PTSD or other disabilities is typically low. Most such accommodations cost employers less than $500 and many do not cost anything, the video stated.
Jeff Pon, chief human resources officer at SHRM, highlighted the results of a survey SHRM conducted among its members. Two-thirds of respondents said they had hired a veteran in the past six months, a greater percentage than in 2010.
“[T]here is a business case for hiring veterans, but we're being told one of the biggest challenges is that employers and veterans have the difficulty of connecting,” Pon observed.
Pon also said PTSD has a stigma among employers, with 61 percent of its veteran-hiring survey respondents saying they believed that accommodating workers with PTSD or TBI required “more effort” from employers. But some 83 percent of those respondents said it would still be worth it to do so, Pon said.
By Michael Rose
The U.S. Army's website for employers and its video on the hiring of veterans is available at http://www.wtc.army.mil/employers/.
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