November 12, 2018 – By Adam C. Johnson – veteran of the U.S. Army and management consultant who specializes in business strategy and data privacy.
Hundreds of companies have received kudos from veteran’s publications for their deliberate efforts to recruit, hire, train, and retain the women and men of the U.S. military.
The U.S. will soon take a pause from the workaday world to say “thank you” to the women and men in uniform, and to our veterans for their service to the nation. It’s also a good time to recognize the many companies that make the extra effort to hire that latter group. In particular, three military- and veteran-friendly organizations help ease transition for service members from the military to industry.
So, what does it mean for companies to be friendly to military personnel and veterans?
In general, a company is “veteran friendly” if it takes deliberate action to recruit, hire, train, and retain military personnel or veterans. Veteran hiring preference, military skills translation, and flexible work schedules to accommodate training and deployments are among a few of the steps companies may take to assist current or former service members.
Three organizations routinely rate companies to determine the extent to which each is military- and veteran-friendly and assist these companies to increase their commitment to veterans and military personnel. Outlined is a brief explanation of the most well-known ratings that determine, according to their respective criteria, whether a company is friendly toward service members and veterans.
Victory Media administers one of the most familiar and data-driven ratings, Military Friendly Employers. It seeks to identify the top military friendly employers that have invested considerable time and resources to recruit, hire, and retain veterans and military personnel.
Victory Media’s approach includes a survey to candidate companies about their practices that affect veterans and military personnel, consideration of publicly available data sources, and input from veterans themselves. Following the survey, participating companies receive a scorecard that allows them to benchmark and improve their scores. Victory Media only places a small percentage of eligible companies on its Military Friendly list each year.
DiversityComm releases a yearly list for its Best of the Best Top-Veteran Friendly Companies in its publication, U.S. Veterans Magazine. By using market and independent research and survey responses, DiversityComm identifies the “best of the best” companies for veterans. Hundreds of companies participated in the surveys and polls this year, but only 169 companies made the list.
Sightline Media Group publishes an annual list of Best for Vets: Employers in Military Times. Sightline selects companies to participate in a 90-question survey to determine company ratings. Ranking considerations include “employer support of the guard and reserve” awards, veteran on-boarding, spouse policies, and at least nine other criteria. Its methodology is somewhat ambiguous because it states that “not everything listed in the chart was considered in the rankings, and many items not listed were considered.”
Although there isn’t one perfect metric or rating to determine which company is the friendliest or dedicates the most resources, it’s fair to assume that companies on all three lists are those that have demonstrated a commitment to veterans. Fifty-seven companies made all three lists in 2018 (figure 1).
Being veteran friendly is a journey companies embark upon to continually adapt to meet the needs of those in or once in uniform. The rating agencies and the companies each one lists—and many others that aren’t listed—have taken deliberate steps to hire the women and men of the U.S. military. For doing so, we should commend these companies for their efforts and commitment to our veterans.