Tanya Mok | 13/09/13 | Last Updated: 13/09/14 12:01 AM ET
More from Tanya Mok | @_tanyamok
Canadian employers have little interest in hiring military veterans, according to a new survey of employers that one advocate says means "Canadian employers are missing out on a highly qualified talent pool."
The Navigator study, conducted for the Veterans Transition Advisory Council in late August, found that out of 850 employers, most have "little to no understanding of the skillset veterans have."
Though 45% of employers agree that hiring a veteran would reflect well on their business and 51% agree that a veteran's comfort level in high-pressure situations would be an asset to their companies, only 16% would make a special effort to recruit them.
Either employers aren't interested in supporting Canada's veterans, or they aren't aware of the support that's needed
"There are two possible explanations for these results," says Jaime Watt, the executive chairman of Navigator, a public strategy firm. "Either Canadian employers aren't interested in supporting Canada's veterans, or they aren't aware of the support that's needed."
Almost half of employers considered university degrees more important than military service when hiring, and only 13% said their human resources departments knew how to read the resumes of military applicants.
Veteran-specific hiring initiatives were rare, with 73% of employers admitting they don't have one, and only 4% of them planning to create one.
The fact that so few employers think they need to go out of their way to hire veterans leave the vets no choice but "to take jobs that are not in line with their qualifications," says Shaun Francis, who heads the Veterans Transition Advisory Council, a veterans group that advises the government on easing military personnels' transition back into society.
Mr. Francis says that Canadian employers don't understand the transitional skills between military and civilian jobs, while veterans "report frustration and an erosion of self-worth with their civilian careers."
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The Canadian Veterans Advocacy Team.