Remembrance Day is right around the corner! Hiring a qualified veteran isn’t just a great way to recognize their contributions to our country—it’s also good business sense.
On Sunday, at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, Canadians will observe two minutes of silence. This time honours those who have served (and continue to serve) our country in times of war. Many of us think of veterans as those who served in World War I, World War II, or the Korean War. However, according to Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) , a veteran is “any former member of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) who successfully underwent basic training and is honourably released.”
According to VAC, more than 42% of veterans are part of the working-age population.
Some employers may have questions or concerns about hiring a veteran of the CAF. In the spirit of Remembrance Day, we’re highlighting some of the benefits of hiring Canadian veterans.
Common Employer Questions
Understanding Transferable Skills
It’s easy to recognize the skills that a candidate may have gained in the hospitality industry, as a labourer, or in an office environment. These are industries that most people have some familiarity with, after all. Employers, though, may struggle to understand the transferable skills of a candidate whose last position was, say, Lieutenant-General or Chief Petty Officer.
Luckily, the Government of Canada has made it easy for you to decipher those resumes. Use the MNET (MOSID/NOC Equivalency Tool), also known as the ‘Military to Civilian’ job translator, when you’re unsure of how a particular rank translates to the position you’re hiring for.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
There are many damaging stereotypes associated with PTSD. One of the most dangerous is the assumption that all veterans experience the symptoms of PTSD, are ‘crazy’ or ‘dangerous,’ or cannot function in work environments. While PTSD can be a debilitating condition, it is manageable and it is not restricted to veterans.
Here’s what you need to know about PTSD:
- PTSD is an anxiety disorder. It can appear after a traumatic event, such as a natural disaster, crime, war, major accident, or being a witness to any of those events. source
- Symptoms of PTSD can show up anytime, from 3 months after an event has occurred, to years later. source
- In the U.S., an estimated 70% of adults experience a traumatic experience. Approximately 20% of these people develop PTSD source
- The VAC estimates that up to 10% of war zone veterans will go on to experience PTSD source
Employers can manage employees who experience PTSD symptoms by
- keeping an open dialogue and minimizing stigma
- dealing with signs and symptoms as soon as possible
- having an Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) in place to refer employees to
- and making accommodations to minimize work-related stressors
Possibility of Deployment
Good news! Veterans are former members of the CAF, and the possibility of deployment is unlikely.
The CAF may request a recall to active duty, but only in extreme circumstances, such as a national emergency (think war or invasion), There has been no precedent for this in Canada, though.
If your employee is a reservist, though, they are voluntarily serving on a part-time basis. Many reservists have non-military, full-time careers, so training and deployment is voluntary (except during a national emergency). Employees should notify their employer if they are in the Reserve Force and if they plan to volunteer for deployment.
Benefits of Hiring a Veteran
Veterans are high-quality candidates, many of whom have leadership experience. Their records often demonstrate that they are resourceful and able to communicate clearly and effectively.
Veterans are technically skilled, dedicated, and loyal. They’re used to thinking on their feet and staying cool under pressure. After working on diverse teams, veterans can also be flexible with a strong work ethic.
Hireability and Retention Rates
A 2018 survey conducted by Orion Talent highlighted the hireability and retention rates for veterans compared to civilians. The veteran ‘interview-to-hire’ ratio was 59% higher than civilians! Their offer acceptance rates were 65% higher as well, and veteran retention rates were 67% higher than civilians.
Worried About the Labour Shortage?
As the baby boomers retire, Canada’s labour force growth is on a steady decline. The BDC is warning employers that the labour shortage is here to stay. They recommend developing strong hiring and retention strategies to stand out in the competitive labour market. Targeting under-utilized segments of the population, such as veterans, and focusing on retention through employee value propositions and flexible working environments, is a strategic business plan that will help employers combat (…get it?) the labour shortage .