10 Great Companies For Veterans In 2017

 

Around this time of year, many turn their attention to the nation’s veterans: how they have served, the causes for which they’ve sacrificed, and the issues they must deal with in uniform and out of it.

Believe it or not, the job market can be challenging for even the most experienced warriors, but some companies offer great opportunities for veterans looking for a career in the private sector. Monster.com, a global job search website, conducted its third annual assessment of which companies are the most beneficial for former military personnel, ranking them based on their commitment to hiring veterans and the initiatives they’ve launched to attract them and keep them happy.

For more on Monster’s methodology for its report, scroll to the end of this article.

The results of Monster’s ranking report places ManTech International Corporation in the top spot for the second consecutive year. ManTech, which is based in Fairfax, Virginia, is a provider of products that include cyber security, information technology, logistical services and organizational communication, among other solutions. Its customers include the Department of Defense, the intelligence community, all branches of the armed forces, as well as federal agencies like the FBI and the State Department.

By the numbers, ManTech’s credibility as an employer of veterans is strong, and understandable considering its client base. More than half the people the organization hired this year—64%—were veterans, and the company’s overall workforce is 46% former military. ManTech has staff dedicated to hiring veterans and sets target recruitment numbers to shoot for.

In second place on Monster’s ranking is Intelligent Waves, based in Reson, Virginia. The company provides IT and communications support to variety of U.S. government customers. This year, 37% of the firm’s hires have been veterans, and its overall workforce is 47% former military. Intelligent Waves CEO, Jared Shepard, founded Warriors Ethos, a nonprofit that provides career planning, professional development and placement of wounded warriors, veterans, and their families.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection comes in third. The Washington, D.C.-based organization has a workforce that is 29% veteran, and vets made up 31% of its 2017 hires. Border Protection employs a full-time veteran employment manager and, through the Special Hiring Authorities for Veterans, can onboard vets it feels are qualified without an application process.

What’s In It For Employers

Hiring veterans comes with benefits, both tangible and intangible, says Audra Jenkins, chief diversity and inclusion officer with Randstad North America, a human resources company. “Veterans tend to be highly organized, very able to stick to a calendar of events, and they are natural born leaders,” she says. Leadership training and being situated in platoons or groups, reinforces veterans’ strengths within a team scenario, Jenkins adds.

There are also some practical reasons for making the hiring of former military personnel a priority—it’s possible to receive federal reimbursement for hiring them, training them and moving them.

For example, the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) gives tax breaks to employers who hire and retain veterans. The Veterans Workforce Investment Program offers grants to employers for the hiring and training of veterans. Companies can also see financial upside through the Returning Heroes Tax Credit and the Wounded Warriors Tax Credit. The costs of relocating a veteran hire can also be covered through a government relocation assistance program.

Also, in the case of companies that have federal contracts, a certain portion of veterans on the payroll is actually mandated, says Jenkins.

Getting Them On Board (And Keeping Them There)

But to actually go about hiring vets takes commitment and the first step is understanding how skills learned in the military can translate to the private sector job market. “When you help hiring managers understand that, that’s the biggest hurdle,” says Jenkins.

In that arena, restructuring ones resume so that it makes sense to a private sector recruiter might be in order. Being a member of a tank crew, for example, could translate to experience working with heavy equipment, according to an article on Military.com. Other expertise earned in uniform can also be rephrased to articulate value to a prospective employer in civilian life.

One way for companies to attract veteran personnel is to hire some in recruiting positions or in senior jobs, which provides a role model of sorts. “Veterans respect and have high regard for other veterans, so if you have a veteran on your recruitment team as an example, They understand the lingo,” Jenkins explains. “It’s almost like a secret handshake.”

Once hired, veterans need to feel like they are on a career track that makes sense to them, and employers can help in that arena. “If you want to retain veterans, I think it really starts with making sure you set them up for success,” says Jenkins. “You have not only a career progression plan for them but also an on-the-job learning and skills development plan. Do they have proper training? Do they have the right mentor? Are they reporting to the right type of leader that will help them be successful? Is it a culture that’s inclusive?”

Monster.com's 2017 Best Companies For Veterans

    ManTech International Corporation
    Intelligent Waves
    U.S. Customs and Border Protection
    Lockheed Martin
    Booz Allen Hamilton
    Schneider National
    USAA
    BAE Systems
    Union Pacific Railroad
    Boeing

Method

In compiling its ranking, Monster chose a top ten from a list of 49 companies made up of last year’s top firms, plus a handful nominated by four expert panelists:

  • David Coe, a U.S. Marine Corps officer and senior vice president of strategic programs at Orion International, which helps organizations attract, hire, develop and retain military talent
  • Lida Citroën, a personal branding coach who has worked with hundreds of veterans, and author of Your Next Mission: A Personal Branding Guide for the Military-to-Civilian Transition
  • Justin Constantine, retired Marine Corps lieutenant colonel, speaker and leadership consultant who serves as senior advisor to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Hiring Our Heroes Campaign. He is also a fellow with the Truman National Security Project
  • Evan Guzman, former Global Head of Military Programs and Engagement for Verizon and founder of The MiLBRAND Project, an agency dedicated to helping businesses and employers attract and retain veterans and military spouses


Monster then reached out to the 49 nominees for additional information upon which to base its ranking, such as what percentage of the company’s 2017 hires were veterans; what percentage of the total workforce is veterans; what the retention rate was for 2016 hires; what 2018 recruitment plans it had for veterans; whether it has a dedicated veteran recruitment team and whether any of that team is ex-military; what kind of special programs it offers for onboarding, development, and retention; whether they accepted military training in place of civilian credentials; and if the company’s leadership is updated on the value of hiring veterans, military culture, and veteran’s issues.

 

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Source: forbes.com