The Monster 2017 best companies for veterans
Our third annual list showcases companies with a dedication to providing jobs for veterans.
Veterans, you’ve served your country, and now you’re back on the homefront for a new and challenging mission: Operation Get a Job.
While veteran unemployment has been slowly declining in recent years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data, it’s often still tough for former military folks to prove their value to the corporate world. Fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone. Monster is in your corner—and your battalion.
In honor of Veterans Day, we set out to determine which companies are making the most extraordinary efforts in veteran hiring. That way, after you ramp up your resume and finesse your cover letter, you can start your job search with these businesses that are actively trying to recruit people with your experience.
To assemble our third-annual list (view our 2015 and 2016 winners here), we gathered a panel of veteran hiring experts, and asked them to nominate companies. To that list, we added last year’s winners. Next, we collaborated with Military.com to develop a methodology that considered each company's veteran hiring, onboarding, and retention practices. We then collected data from each of the companies on their veteran hiring programs and results. Finally, we sorted the data to create our rankings, starting with the percentage of year-to-date 2017 hires that were veterans, as that shows their current commitment. (See the full methodology below the winner profiles.)
“We’re proud to announce our annual list of Best Companies for Veterans—a way for Monster to celebrate companies that are serious about hiring those who have given their service to our country,” says Jodi Hon, SVP and GM of enterprise business for Monster. “Also, we’re thrilled to see in our third year a continued commitment to veteran hiring across a wide spectrum of industries. This year’s list shows an increased acknowledgement from industry that veteran's experiences and skills reach well beyond traditional industries of defense and aerospace and into transportation logistics, technology, and financial services.”
The list also impressed upon us once again what a commitment to veteran hiring looks like: All of the winners boast total workforces that are a minimum of 15% veteran-staffed—more than double last year’s baseline.
Terry Howell, senior director at Military.com, attributes this jump to improved awareness. "Companies like Starbucks and Amazon [both nominated this year] have made efforts to bring employment opportunities for veterans and military spouses to the public’s attention,” Howell says. “Their leadership and support for organizations, such as the Veterans Jobs Mission, is having a great impact on veteran unemployment.”
Panelist Evan Guzman, founder of The MiLBRAND Project, which helps companies attract and retain veteran hires, says he sees more companies acknowledging the value veterans can bring. “Veterans are loyal, resilient, possess a strong work ethic, and are masters of teamwork,” he notes. “Companies, especially the nominees and winners on our list, know that veterans bring advanced experience in meeting mission objectives and will adapt those skills into their jobs.”
Here’s the full corps of corporations and organizations that made our 2017 top 10:
1. ManTech International Corporation
What the company does: ManTech provides advanced technological services to the U.S. government in the areas of defense, intelligence, law enforcement, science, administration, health, and other fields.
Headquarters: Fairfax, Virginia
Percentage of 2017 hires who are vets: 64%
Percentage of workforce who are vets: 46%
What we liked: ManTech was at the top of Monster’s list last year, and they retain the distinction once again. The company has a dedicated staff that focuses on veteran recruitment, which could account for the fact that 64% of their hires in 2017 are veterans—a whopping 17 percentage points higher than any other company we looked at. The commitment to veterans starts with the on boarding program, which consists of a four-hour orientation, a lunch with the new managers, and a “work buddy” to make introductions to the new team. ManTech has set impressive hiring targets to exceed the previous year’s numbers and increase the number of veterans and disabled veterans year over year.
2. Intelligent Waves
What the company does: New to the list this year, Intelligent Waves LLC is a veteran-owned small business that specializes in providing IT and communications support to a wide variety of U.S. government customers.
Headquarters: Reson, Virginia
Percentage of 2017 hires who are vets: 37%
Percentage of workforce who are vets: 47%
What we liked: Intelligent Waves LLC is a new entrant to our list, and comes in with impressively high numbers, and a culture that truly supports veteran personnel. IW offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that provides counseling and referral services to their veterans, whether they are in need of personal, health, or wellness assistance. Its shadow program and education benefits program allow veterans to receive the training and certifications they need. In addition, IW partners with Warriors Ethos, founded by Intelligent Waves’ CEO Jared Shepard, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing assistance in the career planning, professional development, and placement of wounded warriors, veterans, and their families through transition.
3. U.S. Customs and Border Protection
What the company does: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), one of the world’s largest law enforcement agencies, is charged with keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the U.S., while also facilitating lawful international travel and trade.
Headquarters: Washington, DC
Percentage of 2017 hires who are vets: 31%
Percentage of workforce who are vets: 29%
What we liked: Making its second consecutive appearance on this list, CBP works to consistently and effectively recruit and employ qualified disabled veterans—with an emphasis on “effectively.” For example, CBP makes strategic use of Special Hiring Authorities for Veterans, which allows CBP to circumvent the typically competitive job-application process by directly appointing qualified veterans into positions within the workforce. Also, CBP’s National Frontline Recruitment Command established the Special Emphasis Recruitment Team to expand the recruitment efforts of diversity groups to include veterans and transitioning service members. Additionally, CBP employs a full-time Veterans Employment Program Manager who advocates for the placement of transitioning service members, veterans, and veterans with disabilities into the agency for all open positions in both law enforcement and mission support roles.
4. Lockheed Martin
What the company does: Lockheed Martin is a global aerospace, defense, security, and advanced technology defense contractor.
Headquarters: Bethesda, Maryland
Percentage of 2017 hires who are vets: 28%
Percentage of workforce who are vets: 23%
What we liked: For the third time in a row, Lockheed Martin cracked the top half of our list—and it’s easy to see why. For one, Lockheed Martin employs a full-time military relations and recruiting team, comprised of retired Army, Navy, and Marine vets, that attends more than 170 military recruiting events a year. The company even hosts a Military/Veterans Leadership forum every year for military and veteran leaders across the enterprise to share best practices and build new initiatives in support of veterans.
5. Booz Allen Hamilton
What the company does: Booz Allen Hamilton provides management and technology consulting and engineering services to major corporations, governments, and not-for-profit organizations.
Headquarters: McLean, Virginia
Percentage of 2017 hires who are vets: 27.2%
Percentage of workforce who are vets: 29.8%
What we liked: A veteran of our lists, having placed in both previous years, Booz Allen Hamilton understands from the top down the importance of veteran staffing—49 of the company’s leaders are veterans. The company maintains a Veteran Recruiting Center of Excellence (VRCE) with a specific talent acquisition team geared wholly to recruiting and retaining veterans. After being onboarded, Booz Allen Hamilton's workers have access to employee-led resource groups to support veteran, reserve, national guard, and military spouse employees in building their careers via peer networking, mentoring circles, and volunteer opportunities.
6. Schneider National
What the company does: Schneider National is a provider of trucking and transportation logistics services.
Headquarters: Green Bay, Wisconsin
Percentage of 2017 hires who are vets: 22%
Percentage of workforce who are vets: 28%
What we liked: Schneider is no stranger to this list—having been a winner in 2016. The company's ongoing commitment to veteran hiring is evident in the fact that more than a quarter of the total workforce is veterans. Schneider also offers on-the-job training programs, apprenticeships, and both onsite and web-based instructor-led training. Plus, if you have military truck driving experience and obtained a CDL-A through the Military Skills Test Waiver, Schneider will accept it as certification when applying for a job at the company.
What the company does: USAA provides insurance, banking, investments, retirement products, and advice to more than 11 million members who are serving or have received an honorable discharge from the military, plus their eligible family members.
Headquarters: San Antonio, Texas
Percentage of 2017 hires who are vets: 22%
Percentage of workforce who are vets: 15%
What we liked: USAA is a newcomer to this year’s list, but definitely not new to the veterans' community—having been providing financial services and advice to vets for 95 years. Their dedication to hiring and retaining veteran employees starts with a full-time Military Hiring Advisor, whose goal for 2018 include having 30% of all hires be veterans and military spouses, and reaches all the way to top management, who receive training on how to interview transitioning service members. Plus, VetsLeaD (Veteran Transition Leadership Development), a 12-month program featuring classroom training and executive mentorships for certain new transitioning veteran employees, is designed to close any business-knowledge gaps. These efforts are paying off: The 2017 VetsLeaD employees are currently at 100% retention.
8. BAE Systems
What the company does: BAE is an international defense, aerospace, and security company that delivers a full range of products and services for air, land, and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, security, information technology solutions, and customer support services.
Headquarters: Arlington, Virginia
Percentage of 2017 hires who are vets: 21%
Percentage of workforce who are vets: 16.5%
What we liked: BAE’s commitment to veteran hiring keeps them on the list for the third year, and they’re going strong. They’ve set an impressive 2018 goal of 100 veteran hires per month, with a particular emphasis on women veteran placements. Their Warrior Integration Program (WIP), now in its eighth year, focuses on integrating combat-wounded veterans into the workforce through onboarding, mentoring, and career development. The program boasts an 88% retention rate for those who complete the program. Top management is actively engaged in the process, too, with the Veterans’ Support Network (VSN), which educates leadership on the value of veterans in the workforce. Additionally, the CEO has recognized about 5,000 veterans annually with a personalized note and token of appreciation.
9. Union Pacific Railroad
What the company does: Union Pacific Railroad is North America's premier railroad franchise, covering 23 states across the western two-thirds of the United States.
Headquarters: Omaha, Nebraska
Percentage of 2017 hires who are vets: 20%
Percentage of workforce who are vets: 17.5%
What we liked: Union Pacific has been recognized as a U.S. corporate leader in diversity and inclusion, including veterans—with 20% of 2017 hires being ex-military. UP frequently hosts regional Military Leadership Hiring programs to place vets in management positions, and sponsors UPVETS, which provides support, networking, and mentorships to veteran employees. New veteran hires are partnered with a current employee who is a veteran to help support the transition from military career to civilian career. It's no wonder that the company boasts a 2016 veteran retention rate of 61%.
What the company does: Boeing is the world's largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defense, space, and security systems. Their products include commercial and military aircraft, satellites, weapons, electronic and defense systems, launch systems, advanced information and communication systems, and performance-based logistics and training.
Percentage of 2017 hires who are vets: 15%
Percentage of workforce who are vets: 15%
What we liked: Boeing returns to the list for the second time, and with an astounding 2016 veteran hire retention rate of 92%. A single point of contact manages all military recruitment strategies and relationships within the corporate staffing group and also ensures veteran candidates are matched to the best opportunities within the company. The Boeing Military & Veteran Engagement Team (BMVET) is responsible for integrating Boeing’s efforts within the military and veterans communities and gets a big boost with continuous support straight from their president and CEO. Boeing is a frequent sponsor of numerous recruitment and transitioning events, including the Veterans in Aerospace Symposium and the Veterans Transition Initiative.
To create the top 10 list, Monster first gathered a panel of four experts:
- David Coe, a U.S. Marine Corps officer and the senior vice president of strategic programs at Orion International, which creates programs that help organizations to attract, hire, develop, and retain military talent
- Lida Citroën, a personal branding coach who has worked with hundreds of veterans and authored the book Your Next Mission: A Personal Branding Guide for the Military-to-Civilian Transition a
- Justin Constantine, retired Marine Corps lieutenant colonel, speaker and leadership consultant who serves as a senior advisor to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Hiring Our Heroes Campaign and 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 asked each of these experts to nominate the 10 companies they thought were this year’s standouts for their veteran hiring and retention practices. Our staff then reached out to each of the nominees for the following additional information: 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 are veterans; 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. We ranked first on 2017 hires, then on total workforce, and finally used the other data points to inform our final rankings.