Study Finds Female Vets Less Confident in Job Hunt

Female Coast Guard servicemember.

McLEAN, Va. -- Monster Worldwide Inc. (NYSE:MWW), the worldwide leader in successfully connecting people to job opportunities, Wednesday released its annual Veterans Talent Index that revealed important differences between male and female veterans.

Female veterans are a growing segment of the workforce in the United States, and the report indicates female veterans have a greater lack of confidence in their military skills and experience compared to their male counterparts. While the statistics for female veterans show a growing percentage in the veteran pool, the female veterans' Career Confidence Index shows a gap compared to male veterans.

Compared to male vets, female veterans feel that the skills obtained during their service were less developed and less relevant to civilian careers. This disparity is noteworthy given that females currently make up 10% of our nation's veterans; that figure is expected to rise to an estimated 18% by 2040.

Nationwide, efforts by both the private and public sector to employ veterans have gained momentum, and employment conditions have improved compared to prior years. As the unemployment rate for non-veterans declines, so has the rate for all veterans and post 9/11 veterans. The 12-month average as of September 2013 was 9.2% for post 9/11 veterans, down from a peak of 11.8% in 2011.

While the numbers are improving, Monster's Veteran Talent Index shows that veterans continue to face the same challenges when it comes to communicating successfully how their military experience, skills and training relate to civilian jobs.

Employers still struggle to understand veterans' skills, but their views about capabilities and performance have remained positive over the past two years' results. The military spends billions of dollars to train service men and women in myriad capacities. Employers need to match veterans with specific roles to leverage this invaluable training and experience, and that process can be difficult if the lexicon is unfamiliar.

More than one-third (35%) of surveyed employers say their company has roles that a veteran would be as qualified or more qualified than a non-veteran to fill. If those skills were better understood, hiring decisions would be that much easier.

"We've seen the commitment to hire veterans gain momentum steadily over the last several years, and veteran unemployment rates are moving in the right direction," said Steve Cooker, executive vice president of global government solutions for Monster Worldwide. "But we need to do more, faster. Last year, the Department of Defense transitioned about 220,000 service members; they are now projecting they will transition nearly 300,000 service members each year, for the next three years. With so much veteran talent entering the civilian workforce, it is essential we do a better job aligning their experience and matching their skills to civilian jobs."

Retired Navy Rear Adm. T. McCreary, president of and vice president of Monster Worldwide, shared similar sentiments.

"Employers continue to seek the skills that our veterans acquire in the military, but it's important to build their career confidence and job search techniques as they transition to civilian life," McCreary said. "Tools like the Transition Center and the Military Skills Translator can help immensely in finding a job, and can also boost a vet's confidence in finding that job."

The Veteran Talent Index is a snapshot of the current veteran hiring landscape. Launched two years ago, the index provides ongoing, quantifiable metrics of employment conditions for transitioning veterans and the employers hiring them. Twice each year, veterans and employers are surveyed, and this report marks the fifth survey of Gulf Era II veterans, which include Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and Post-9/11 veterans.

To learn more about hiring veterans, visit the Veterans Employment Center.

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