Every year, we celebrate the sacrifices made by our armed services… or do we? Memorial Day is considered the official kickoff of summer, so apparently we honor those who have given their lives by barbecuing something or going to a theme park. That just doesn’t seem right.

A much better way to honor the sacrifices made by members of the armed forces is to help improve the lives of service members and veterans who are still living. Unemployment among veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars is 21% higher than the unemployment rate for the general population. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for vets is 9.2% as of April, compared to 7.6% for the general population.

We can do better. We owe them at least that much.

Veterans have a great deal to offer your clients: experience, especially in high-tech fields; knowledge of how to work well as a team; a problem-solving mindset and proven dedication and discipline. If you’re wondering how to put all of that to work for you, check out this kit: “Hiring Veterans: A Step-by-Step Toolkit for Employers.” It’s designed for traditional employers, but can work fine for staffing firms as well.

Even better, the American Staffing Association is presenting a webinar next Thursday (May 31) called “Hiring Heroes: Transitioning From the Military to the Civilian Work Force.” It’s free to ASA members.

Let’s help this generation of veterans win the battle against unemployment. What better memorial can our industry give?

Are you making an effort to hire vets? Talk to us about it in the comments!

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