Free Enterprise Staff  | October 21, 2014

Employer Roadmap Helps Businesses Hire More Veterans and Military Spouses

Though a lot of businesses want to hire more veterans, many are not sure how to go about doing it. A new tool, however, is helping solve that vexing problem, enabling companies to better recruit and hire military veterans.

Developed by Hiring Our Heroes (HOH) and USAA, Employer Roadmap is a comprehensive service specifically designed to address obstacles that veterans commonly face in the job market. Employer Roadmap does this by offering support and guidance for businesses that want to hire veterans but aren’t yet prepared to do so; businesses that are ready to recruit but need help reaching veterans; and businesses that want to empower other companies to hire more military veterans.

Employer Roadmap, which launched this summer, is already helping a broad range of companies across the U.S. improve how they recruit and hire veterans. We’ve highlighted six of the businesses that are leading this effort, having successfully incorporated veterans and military spouses into their overall recruiting and hiring strategies.

1. USAA; San Antonio, TX

Aside from helping create Employer Roadmap, USAA is an active promoter of it. The organization, which serves military members and their families, invests heavily in helping veterans and military spouses to navigate the labor market. The organization’s Military Talent Management team, for instance, regularly attends meetings at the Warrior and Family Support Center in Sam Houston Texas, where they coach vets who have been injured as well as their families on how to prepare for careers as civilians.

2. SunTrust Banks; Atlanta, Georgia

The financial giant has been a longtime supporter of the veteran community, with its HR department devoting ample resources toward recruiting veterans. The Atlanta-based bank has an applicant tracking system that it uses to calculate the number of veterans who have applied for jobs. It then continues to monitor their progress, providing insight into how many have been selected for follow-up interviews, as well as the total number who have been hired as full-time employees. By making this kind of program an integral part of the hiring process, businesses can quantify whether hiring initiatives are indeed resulting in an uptick in the number of veterans they’re offering jobs to.

3. Verizon; New York, NY

Given that Verizon CEO and chairman Lowell C. McAdam is a vet himself, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the telecommunications giant places a strong emphasis on hiring veterans and military spouses. Retaining veterans and military spouses is also a high priority for the Fortune 100 firm, which has created numerous programs and company-wide initiatives to meet this goal. The Verizon Veterans Advisory Board has been especially effective in this regard, offering veteran employees both formal and informal guidance on a diverse array of topics such as healthcare and government programs that they might not be aware of.

4. Capital One; McLean, VA

Besides being one of the largest financial firms in the U.S., Capital One is, like the other companies on our list, a trailblazer when it comes to hiring veterans. For Capital One, its commitment to veterans starts during the onboarding process, when its HR employees are taught to focus on a job applicant’s skillset, as opposed to his or her chronological work history. This benefits veterans and military spouses, according to proponents, because they’re less likely to have consistent work history given their line of work.

5. Safeway, Inc; Pleasanton, CA

Supermarket chain Safeway promotes military veterans through a number of company-wide initiatives, including a training program it specifically designed for junior and noncommissioned officers. Spearheaded by company HR president Russ Jackson, the multi-month, accelerated leadership program has helped attract and retain more veteran employees, according to the company. Safeway also partners with outside organizations that work and interact with veterans in an effort to better recruit and target such workers.

6. Carl Vickers of PeopleScout; Chicago, IL

For its part, Carl Vickers of PeopleScout helps encourage more companies to hire veterans and military spouses by promoting the importance of training programs. The recruitment process outsourcing company is an especially enthusiastic supporter of programs that help vets gain the credentials or certain technology skills they’ll need for jobs for which they’d otherwise be overlooked. The company also keeps close tabs on any technology it uses for recruitment so that it can effectively determine whether a recruiting tool is potentially bypassing applications from veterans.