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25 Most Influential Companies for Veteran Hiring
In the past 5 years, organizations across the country have made a commitment to put our veterans to work. We’ve identified 25 of the organizations that are influencing the conversation, developing programs and best practices, creating or advancing new tools, and providing the philanthropic support that is helping to level the playing field.
3M • Accenture • Amazon • Bank of America • BNY Mellon • Booz Allen Hamilton • CACI • Capital One • Charles Schwab • Coca-Cola Company • Deloitte • Edward Jones • JPMorgan Chase • Lockheed Martin • Northrop Grumman • Starbucks • Toyota • Union Pacific • UnitedHealth Group • USAA • Verizon • Walgreens • Walmart • Walt Disney Company
Engaging Like-Minded Organizations
Some of the most influential corporations in America today have helped to create transformational programs in the business community that are impacting lives and bringing together communities in support of our service members and their families.
These organizations have a deeply rooted commitment to supporting like-minded organizations in their efforts to help veterans make the transition to a civilian workforce. Their efforts have helped to promote promising new approaches, create innovative tools and garner support for best practices more quickly, so that the entire business community can benefit.
In March 2011, JPMorgan Chase and 10 other founding corporations launched the 100,000 Jobs Mission with a goal of collectively hiring 100,000 veterans by 2020. Since then, the coalition has grown to 133 companies that represent almost every industry in the American economy.
Each company has committed to hiring veterans, reporting their hiring number on a quarterly basis, and sharing best practices. Together, the 100,000 Jobs Mission companies have already hired 117,439 veterans, surpassing the coalition’s original goal seven years earlier than planned.
This year, the 100,000 Jobs Mission has doubled its commitment. In total, the companies plan to hire a total of 200,000 veterans by 2020.
“One of the keys to the success of this mission is that companies leave business competition at the door,” says Managing Director, Military & Veterans Affairs Maureen Casey. “The focus is on the issue of veteran employment from a national viewpoint—not just how do we get them in our company but how do we position them for success.” It is very much a collective effort and a place where all organizations can share lessons learned and best practices with each other—and with the broader public.
“It is truly unique. There is no charge to be part of the program and there are no hiring quotas. We merely ask each organization to make the commitment to share what is learned and be accountable for progress made, because it keeps us all moving toward our goal.”
The program’s online portal, JobsMission.com, provides employers and veterans alike the tools to make connecting easier. For veterans, the 100,000 Jobs Mission Veteran Talent Exchange (VTX) delivers job announcements from 100,000 Jobs Mission member companies, as well as tips and tools to optimize their job search. For employers, it offers leading practices that employers can use as guides when building or enhancing veteran hiring programs.
At JPMorgan Chase, the initiative is being embraced across all lines of business and generating some innovative ideas. “For example,” says Casey, “our corporate investment bank recently developed an eight-week veteran internship program. Some might think that investment banking would not be a good fit for that type of program, but our people did their homework and figured it out. At the close of the internship, all 18 veteran interns were offered positions,” she says. “And in a month or two, the program may make its way into a leading practice.
“Service members bring value to the table. If we teach them the rules of the game and the technical stuff they need to know, they will exceed our expectations. That’s what we’re trying to accomplish with 100,000 Jobs Mission.
“If we do our part, the world should open up for them.”
“The focus is on the issue of veteran employment from a national viewpoint—not just how do we get them in our company but how do we position them for success.” Maureen Casey – Managing Director, Military & Veterans Affairs
WALT DISNEY COMPANY
Supporting the U.S. Armed Forces has long been a Disney tradition, and Disney’s Heroes Work Here continues that proud legacy with a company-wide initiative to hire, train, and support military veterans.
Disney introduced the program in March 2012, with a commitment to hire at least 1,000 veterans by 2015. Having exceeded that goal in the first year alone, the company announced last March that it would create opportunities for another 1,000 former service members over the next two years.
Disney’s Heroes Work Here initiative also features a public awareness campaign to encourage employers across the U.S. to hire former military service members and to connect with Joining Forces, the White House initiative to serve our military and their families.
Last year, this campaign included a complimentary daylong workshop at Walt Disney World called the Veterans Institute, designed to help companies build effective veteran-hiring programs of their own. The event featured experts from Disney’s Heroes Work Here, government officials, veterans, and nonprofit veterans service organizations who shared their experiences, best practices, and tips for making a successful transition from the military to the civilian workforce.
Kevin Preston, director of Disney’s Veterans Initiatives, and the initiative’s first veteran hire in 2012, is a retired Army colonel with almost three decades of experience in human resources for the military. Kevin’s excitement for both Veterans Institute—and the initiative as a whole—is palpable.
“One of the tenets of Heroes Work Here is encouraging other companies to hire veterans,” Kevin explains, “Through our Veterans Institute, we could teach companies everything we had learned and provide them the tactics to put their own program into motion. First Lady Michelle Obama, our CEO Robert Iger, and an array of military and veterans affairs experts, including Mike Haynie of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families and Col. Rich Morales of Joining Forces, volunteered their time to speak with 500 participants representing hiring organizations from across the nation.”
“We also heard from veterans and learned, first-hand, about the challenges they faced in learning a new (civilian) working culture. Questions like ‘what’s business casual?’ and ‘what goes on a resume?’ or even ‘what job should I apply for’ might sound elementary, but to a veteran, they can create a profound stumbling block.
“One of the most important things I tell transitioning service members is to start early. Get to know people that work within organizations you admire. Take the time to find out where your passion lies and what excites you. Because it’s that passion plus your experience and background that makes you an asset to any organization.”
Although significant resources are available to aid military members in the transition to civilian life, most focus on finding and securing employment. At Deloitte, the need for a broader approach was recognized early.
“For this reason, our recruitment and retention efforts start in prehire and continue throughout the employment lifecycle,” says Mark Goulart, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP and Partner Champion for Deloitte’s veteran hiring and retention efforts.
“What do veterans understand of us when they look at our website; look at who we are and what we do? What do we learn from our first set of discussions and the interview process? How do we deploy them to their first consulting role? Or their second? We looked at it like an internal consulting project and identified 18 steps to our assimilation process; from there we could identify gaps, benchmarks and areas of improvement.”
This is all part of the holistic approach Deloitte takes within its overall veterans strategy with the goal to advance military and veteran causes that promote emotional prosperity—which includes physical health and recreation, emotional health, and family strengthening—and career prosperity, which includes education, employment and community reintegration.
“We have distinct areas of focus at in the front end of the process—making the right skill match, ensuring they’re ready, and making sure the environment and culture matches desires. On the back end we have support in place, such as our Armed Forces Business Resource Groups (BRGs), and action plans vetted through the talent directors and hiring managers to make sure we do it right on our end. It’s the continual connection that makes it successful.”
One of Deloitte’s signature programs is its Career Opportunity Redefinition & Exploration (CORE) Leadership Program, which was launched at Deloitte University this past fall. Deloitte invited 50 current and former armed services men and women to an intensive 3-day experience designed to help them learn how to translate their military skills and experiences into business environments. The curriculum focused on four important areas: developing a personal brand and building a professional network, communicating effectively, understanding corporate functions and industries, and adjusting to a corporate culture.
“Deloitte’s mission-driven environment makes it a good fit for those with a military background. Working alongside others in a project environment…it’s analogous to what I learned in the military. It’s also a good example of how we pull in team members with different competencies to create a blended approach to solving our client’s most pressing problems.”
Veterans from Deloitte and other organizations were an integral part of the sessions, answering panel discussion questions and facilitating simulation exercises.
CORE is part of Deloitte’s commitment to the White House’s Joining Forces initiative; as part of this initiative, last spring Deloitte announced its commitment to setting a goal of doubling its veteran hiring numbers over the next three years.
Capital One partnered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes program to create a national campaign called “Hiring 500,000 Heroes,” designed to engage the business community in committing to hire 500,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2014.
Capital One’s three-year, $4.5 million commitment to the National Chamber Foundation and the Hiring our Heroes program, will fund the Hiring 500,000 Heroes campaign and the efforts of the Chamber to support job fairs and workforce training initiatives across the United States. These initiatives focus on connecting service members and military spouses with local small-business owners.
Hiring 500,000 Heroes is just part of a national workforce development initiative formed by Capital One, focused on helping to match job seekers—including returning veterans—with higher quality jobs and to train and retrain workers to compete for jobs based on local community demand. They have also partnered with Easter Seals in support of the organization’s Veteran Staffing Network(VSN), a nonprofit staffing agency exclusively for veterans and their families. The VSN will provide comprehensive, wrap-around support services to both the veterans transitioning to civilian life and the businesses seeking to hire military servicemen and women. These wrap-around services provide access to programs designed to meet additional needs that may impact employment access and retention.