Navigator Ltd.

Veterans Transition Advisory Council

September 13, 2013 07:00 ET

Ground-Breaking Survey: Military Veterans Face Significant Barriers Finding Meaningful Employment

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 13, 2013) - Canadian employers do not actively seek out military veterans when looking for new hires and most have no plans to make recruiting former soldiers a priority. In fact, most human resources professionals show little to no understanding of the skillset veterans have, a new study of Canadian employers conducted on behalf of the Veterans Transition Advisory Council reveals.

"This unprecedented research speaks to the importance of joint efforts underway between our Government, the Veterans Transition Advisory Council and leaders in corporate Canada to promote and encourage the hiring of Veterans," said the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs. "I look forward to participating in the upcoming True Patriot Love Multinational Symposium on Veterans Transition later this month, and to meeting with international counterparts as well as leaders in private industry to work towards greater progress on this important issue for Canada's Veterans."

While close to half (45%) of employers agree that hiring a veteran reflects well on a business, and a majority (51%) agree that a veteran's experience, and training for, high pressure situations would be an asset to their company, 35% of employers do not think that their organization needs to make any special effort to recruit veterans and nearly half (49%) had no opinion on the subject. Only 16% agree that such an effort is needed.

"There are two possible explanations for these results. Either Canadian employers aren't interested in supporting Canada's veterans, or they aren't aware of the support that's needed. The research tells us that employers agree that hiring a veteran would be good for their business. That disqualifies the first option. But there is a fundamental disconnect in how Canadian employers view the upside of hiring a veteran and their willingness to take action. They simply do not know that their support is badly needed - and this must change." said Jaime Watt, Executive Chairman of Navigator, a member of the Veterans Transition Advisory Council.

The lack of motivation to hire veterans is matched by a lack of understanding of what a veteran can potentially offer to a business. Just 13% of respondents said that their HR departments know how to read a resume from a military applicant and only 3% knew where to receive training on how to read one.

Despite the unique experiences and pressure-tested skillset many military personnel have, nearly half of employers (46%) said that a university degree is more important than military service.

Nearly three-quarters (73%) of employers admit that their company does not have a veteran-specific hiring initiative. Of those that do not have such a plan, only 4% intend to develop and implement one.

"Canadian employers are missing out on a highly qualified talent pool because they generally don't understand how a military occupation is transferable to civilian work. Conversely, many veterans feel they have no choice but to take jobs that are not in line with their qualifications and correspondingly, report frustration and an erosion of self-worth with their civilian careers. These results speak to the importance of the Veterans Transition Advisory Council and our ongoing efforts in partnership with leaders in corporate Canada and Veterans Affairs Canada to promote the importance of hiring Veterans and all that Veterans can offer to these organizations following their service," said Shaun Francis, Chair of the Veterans Transition Advisory Council and Founder of the True Patriot Love Foundation.

The survey was conducted between August 20 and 25, 2013, and surveyed 850 Canadian employers. It is the first of its kind ever taken in Canada.

About Navigator

Navigator is Canada's leading high stakes public strategy firm.

Research, Strategy, Results.

These are the three pillars of our campaigns. It is a simple, powerful, and proven formula. One that ensures every approach we develop has one goal: our clients' success.

Navigator was built to offer companies, organizations and governments winning strategies that fuse the discipline of research and planning with the most powerful marketing, communications, and government and stakeholder relations tactics.

Our team values its diversity of expertise. Having excelled in the political arena, market and public opinion research, journalism, marketing, and law, our practitioners are able to tackle issues holistically. Through this prism we are able to analyze issues in new ways, enabling us to ask the unthought-of question, discover the unrealized answer, and expose fresh insights that move public opinion.

Over the years Navigator has retained its independence. We are not a branch plant or a Canadian public affairs division for an international public relations affairs firm. We have spent years nurturing local media relationships and have extensive communications, research, strategic counsel, and government relations experience across Canada.

With offices in Toronto, Calgary and Ottawa, Navigator has the reach, resources, and track record to help clients on both a Canadian and international scale.

About the Veterans Transition Advisory Council

The Veteran Transition Advisory Council (VTAC) was assembled in January 2013 by the True Patriot Love Foundation with the encouragement of the Minister of Veterans Affairs (Canada).

VTAC is made up with representatives from leaders in corporate Canada who are working to identify systemic barriers that prevent veterans from making a successful transition from military to civilian employment, and to work to promote the importance of hiring Veterans as well as their potential value to private industry.

The council also works closely with and is mandated to provide the Minister of Veterans Affairs with recommendations on how to support Veterans in transitioning from military to successful civilian careers.

True Patriot Love Multinational Symposium on Veterans Transition

Held at Canada House in London, U.K., this two-day symposium (September 24-25, 2013) will focus on Veterans Transition by gathering international leaders on Veterans' issues including government, academia, charities and private industry to engage in dialogue and forge new partnerships to support todays Veterans in achieving their full potential.

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