In the name of eradicating the oxymoronic duo known as "the job skills gap" and "unemployed vet syndrome,"  the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)  issued its "Military-Veteran Hiring Toolkit for Employers" on Monday.

The free toolkit provides 10 tips in 32 pages on ways HR managers can successfully find, recruit, and retain military veterans in the civilian workplace. The brochure is chock full of dandy tips many companies may not be aware of.

A recent SHRM survey of employers who hired returning veterans found 90 percent valued the technical skills the veterans brought to the job and learned their new employees 

  •  Had a strong sense of responsibility.
  •  Worked well in a team and under pressure
  •  Showed a high degree of professionalism.
  •  Worked tasks to completion.
  •  Had strong leadership and problem solving skills.
  •  Were adaptable

 Sadly, much of the above maybe a secret to the corporate world, which is just beginning to thaw from long-held hiring freezes.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:about 12 percent of Gulf War-era II veterans were unemployed, compared to the 5.7 jobless rate in Minnesota.  Veterans ages 18 to 24 suffer a whopping 30.2 percent unemployment rate. That's nearly twice the 16.1 percent rate for non-veterans in that age group.

Determined to narrow the gap, SHRM officials said the toolkit just might help companies do more to support returning veterans. That will be important. Some 33,000 troops will be looking for civilian jobs after they return from Afghanistan between now and September 2012.

Wonder what your HR department might do? Take a look at  . It suggests tax credits,  job fairs, ways to evaluate applicable job skills and general tips for successfully integrating a veteran into the corporate setting.



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