As Veteran's Day Approaches, Korn Ferry Survey Shows Hiring Managers Have a Bias Toward Hiring Vets


- More than a Third of Respondents say Their Organization has a Greater Emphasis on Hiring Veterans Than 5 Years ago; However Few Have Hiring Programs to Attract Vets - 

Editor’s Note: Survey Results at Bottom of Release

Los Angeles, Nov. 6, 2017 – As the United States prepares to honor its military veterans this Nov. 11 Veteran’s Day, a new Korn Ferry survey shows there is an emphasis by U.S. hiring managers to help veterans make the transition to civilian life.

In the October 2017 survey of nearly 1,000 professionals, 58 percent said they believe their organizations’ hiring managers have an unconscious bias toward hiring veterans. The survey also shows that more than a third of respondents (34 percent) say that compared to 5 years ago, their organizations are placing a greater emphasis on hiring veterans.

When asked which military skill set translates most directly to management roles within their organization, the greatest percentage (45 percent) said leadership, followed by team mentality (20 percent) and goal focus (14 percent).

“Transitioning military members bring with them invaluable skills, experiences and traits, such as precise communication, individual accountability, impeccable execution and natural leadership,” said Bill Sebra, Global Operating Executive, Korn Ferry. “Organizational leaders who make a concentrated effort on recruiting veterans will no doubt benefit from new employees who display poise, ingenuity and the ability to handle stressful situations.”

The survey did find that there is more work to be done when it comes to a programmatic approach to hiring veterans. Two-thirds of respondents said their organizations do not have clear messaging as to why veterans should choose their company as a future employer, 63 percent said they do not have veteran hiring outreach programs in place, and 69 percent said they do not provide training to hiring managers on veteran-specific hiring practices.

“With unemployment rates so low and the competition for talent so high, organizations must put a focus on highly engaged, well-trained veterans,” said Sebra. “From the perspective of the veteran who is seeking to make the transition to a civilian career, it’s important to take the time to educate hiring mangers on how their military experiences can translate into a corporate environment. It’s critical that companies and veterans work together to make the transition smooth and successful.”

About the survey

Korn Ferry fielded the survey in October of 2017. It garnered 972 responses. Percentages are rounded to the nearest decimal. Totals may not equal 100 percent.

Compared to 5 years ago, how much emphasis does your organization place on hiring veterans?

Much more emphasis - 15 percent
A bit more emphasis - 19 percent
About the same emphasis - 39 percent
A bit less emphasis - 7 percent
Much less emphasis - 20 percent

During the hiring process, do you think hiring managers have an unconscious bias toward or against hiring veterans?

Yes, they have an unconscious bias toward hiring veterans - 58 percent
Yes, they have an unconscious bias against hiring veterans - 21 percent
No, they do not have an unconscious bias for or against hiring veterans - 21 percent

What military skill set translates most directly to a management role within your organization?

Leadership - 45 percent
Team mentality - 20 percent
Goal focus - 14 percent
Respect for hierarchy - 7 percent
Communications skills - 7 percent
Technical ability - 7 percent

Does your organization have clear messaging on why veterans should join your company?

Yes - 34 percent
No - 66 percent

Does your organization provide training to hiring managers and/or recruiters on veteran-specific hiring practices?

Yes - 31 percent
No - 69 percent

Does your organization have a veteran hiring outreach program in place?

Yes - 37 percent
No - 63 percent

Does your organization provide onboarding or transition support to your veteran hires?

Yes - 37 percent
No - 63 percent

About Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry is the preeminent global people and organizational advisory firm. We help leaders, organizations and societies succeed by releasing the full power and potential of people. Our more than 7,000 colleagues deliver services through our Executive Search, Korn Ferry and Korn Ferry divisions. More information on Korn Ferry can be found at Ferry

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