It’s easy to hang yellow ribbons in the break room or post a patriotic Facebook photo on Memorial Day, but how can HR leaders and their organizations offer real support to veterans entering the civilian workforce?
We found seven companies that do just that every day.
While these companies vary in size, history, and industry, they all share the same commitment to helping veteran employees thrive in their professional and personal lives.
Not only has Boeing hired more than 10,000 veterans since 2011, but it’s also supported hundreds of military and veteran-centered organizations. Boeing also has 32 veteran-specific engagement teams for their workers. These employee-led teams address topics like workforce-transition training, employee volunteering in veteran communities, and recovery and rehabilitation support.
2. Southwest Airlines
Are you a vet who needs to know how your military skills translate to civilian work? Southwest Airlines has an app for that.
Their military translator tool lets applicants enter their military job title or code to see what open positions at Southwest match their unique background.
Veterans at Southwest can also access tons of programs that help with the switch to the private sector. A team of veterans and military spouses run one such group, called the Military Ambassador program. Ambassadors have experience with veteran services and departments as well as the unique issues military families face each day. They use that experience to advise other veteran employees and work as liaisons between those employees and Southwest’s operating groups.
3. Southern Company
10% of Southern Company’s 30,000 employees are veterans, and it’s easy to see why.
Southern is part of the Troops to Energy Jobs program, which helps veterans move into the energy industry. This is one of many military recruitment and training programs Southern Company works with every year.
The utility company supports active military too. When reservists are called to active duty, Southern pays the difference between their military and civilian pay. When reservists return, Southern hosts refresher sessions to get them up to speed on any company changes that occurred during their deployment.
4. BAE Systems
BAE Systems goes beyond basic military recruitment to help veterans find positions that best fit their individual talents and goals.
Just like Southwest’s tool, the BAE military-skills translator helps match vets’ MOS and skill sets to open BAE positions. The defense and aerospace firm also works with VA employment reps to connect veterans to roles that fit their experience.
BAE continues to support vets after their first day at the office. The firm offers a range of military-focused teams to help vets thrive in their civilian roles. The BAE Warrior Integration program, for example, includes mentoring, career coaching, and community service projects.
While many programs help vets and active military members move to the private workforce, they often fail to address the professional lives of military spouses.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) wants to change that.
The accounting and consulting company offers military spouses flexible schedules, remote work options, and branch transfers when possible. “The support and flexibility of working for PwC enabled me to take on job transfers,” said Erika Sartain, a PwC manager and military wife. Erika credited her flexible schedule for giving her time to take the training she needed to advance as a CPA while she and her husband dealt with frequent military transfers to different cities.
6. Union Pacific Railroad
Like BAE, Union Pacific doesn’t just recruit veterans. It also gives them the support they need to flourish in their new roles.
The railroad franchise hosts Military Leadership Hiring programs, which places vets in management positions. UP VETS, the resource group for veteran employees at Union Pacific, offers a space for networking, mentoring, and old-fashioned kinship. It’s no wonder that over 20% of Union Pacific’s workforce have military experience.
7. Schneider National
Schneider National makes it easy for vets to switch from military service to civilian work.
The trucking company puts military-truck driving and other military experience toward certification and pay. It also offers a military apprenticeship program with stipends and tuition reimbursement for truck-driving school. Schneider helps current military members by providing extended benefits and pay for workers who are deployed for up to 18 months.
When it comes to hiring and supporting vets, companies have plenty of options: tailored career coaching, apprenticeship programs, tools to translate military experience to jobs, and more.
While you enjoy your Memorial Day with a barbecue or an extra hour or two of sleep, take a moment to think about how you can help those who served.
How does your company help their veteran staff? Tell us in the comments!