What makes the difference between a regular employer and a Top Veteran Employer in 2024? As Military.com's transition master coach who has helped more than 16,000 veterans and spouses learn the skills they need to find their next high-impact job, I can tell you that there are many factors in play.
This year, the most important factor is whether a company has a dedicated veteran recruiter or veteran and spouse recruiting team. These recruiters are the invisible heroes of top veteran employment. Here's why.
Open the Military Door
When so many veterans and spouses do not even get an interview, much less the job, it's often because they do not have the required professional network to push them over the top. A company with a dedicated veteran recruiter makes all the difference by opening what we call the "military door" to veteran hiring.
Even though most transitioning military members do not realize it, these recruiters are a major part of their shared network. When a transitioning veteran does not think they know anyone at their target company, they actually do "know" a veteran recruiter -- even if they never met.
Why Veteran Recruiting Teams Matter
I was most strongly reminded of this last month when I was leading a panel at the Military Spouse Employment Partnership ENGAGE conference that was focused on more than 100 veteran and spouse recruiters. My fellow panelists and I were getting so many head nods, I had to stop and ask the group: How many of you are also military affiliated -- either you served yourself, or you had a spouse or close family member serve?
Nearly every hand went up.
No wonder so many of the recruiters in the room confessed to going above and beyond to help veterans and spouses get their resumes on track -- even though resume coaching was not part of their job.
One of our winning employers framed this attitude best. Peter Morscheck, director of digital marketing for ManTech, said: "We say, 'We know you because we are you' because it's both true, and part of our strategic advantage as a company. With a veteran population of over 40%, we find that actively recruiting veterans is vital to our success."
SkillBridge Internships Are a Very Good Sign
This devotion to the military community also results in evolving programs for transitioning veterans. In this year's survey, we especially focused on the factors that help a veteran overcome a lack of a civilian professional network, like the dedicated veteran recruiting team, the availability of SkillBridge internships and an easy-to-find contact page on their website. Nearly all of our top employers offered some kind of SkillBridge internship program, often partnering with organizations like Hiring Our Heroes.
Talent acquisition professionals at our top veteran employers also use their experience as veteran job seekers to develop internal hiring and training programs. For example, Booz Allen Hamilton's new Technical Excellence program invites the job hunter to enter through a learning development pipeline, then get rescaled into a full-time technology job at the firm.
Tom Downs, director of diversity talent acquisition and pipeline programs at Booz Allen, told me they have a "Help or Hire" policy in which they encourage their veteran recruiters to either hire military members or spouses, or help them reach into their own network of hiring professionals to find another opportunity.
Our Military.com veteran colleagues also asked us to focus on veteran retention. We found that many excellent companies do not keep track of this number. Since we are such believers in the military adage, "Expect what you inspect," this was one of our deciding factors.
It may be noted that this year's list is focused away from some of the largest military contractors that appeared on our 2022 Top Veteran Employers, like Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, L3Harris and BAE Systems. These companies are still excellent veteran employers, known for their continued support and success with veteran hiring. It is also a shift away from companies that have a well-earned reputation for veteran hiring like USAA, Navy Federal Credit Union, Capital One and Verizon.
Could your company qualify as a 2024 Top Spouse Employer? Look for our survey coming in January 2024.
2024 Top Veteran Employers
We are proud to announce our list for 2024 Top Veteran Employers in alphabetical order:
A premier leader in global engineering, project management and solutions integration. Trusted to modernize the most critical missions anywhere in the world, today and in the future.
From our retail locations and manufacturing plants to our outdoor adventure destinations and distribution centers, we help families realize their outdoor dreams.
BGIS is a leading provider of integrated real estate management services, including facilities management, project management, energy & sustainability services, strategic workplace consulting, real estate services and capital planning. Its range of solutions, supported by efficient systems, processes, and people, enables it to create and optimize places that work for its clients. The team is dedicated to inspiring better business performance and helping clients focus on their core businesses.
Booz Allen Hamilton supports the nation's most critical missions with cutting-edge solutions that meet the future head-on. We're a natural home for veterans and military spouses looking to grow their expertise and fulfill their desire to serve.
C&S Wholesale Grocers, LLC is an industry leader in supply chain solutions and wholesale grocery supply in the United States.
Comcast is a global media and technology company. From the connectivity and platforms we provide to the content and experiences we create, we reach hundreds of millions of customers, viewers and guests worldwide.
At Crown, we know that our employees are the driving force behind our success in the material handling industry. We salute veterans, reservists, Guard members, active military and military spouses.
Dominion Energy employees are committed to a simple mission: To provide reliable, affordable and increasingly clean energy that powers our customers daily.
Frontier is the largest pure-play fiber provider in the U.S. Driven by our purpose, Building Gigabit America®, we deliver blazing-fast broadband connectivity that unlocks the potential of millions of consumers and businesses.
HII is a global, all-domain defense provider, delivering the world's most powerful ships and technologies that safeguard our seas, sky, land, space and cyber.
11. Johnson Controls
At Johnson Controls, we reimagine the performance of buildings and make spaces smarter, healthier and more sustainable through the world`s largest portfolio of building technology, software and service solutions.
At Koch Industries, we deliver products that improve life for people around the world. Fertilizers that can produce more food for a growing population, building products that provide shelter and security, fiber for airbags and attire, and fuels that power homes and global transportation, to name a few.
At Leidos, our key lines of business -- civil, defense, health and intelligence -- are rife with opportunity. An expanded workforce and capabilities portfolio enable us to compete internationally and provide increased efficiency and affordability to customers.
Lumen is a global telecommunications company that empowers organizations to ignite growth by connecting people, data and apps -- quickly, securely and effortlessly.
ManTech provides mission-focused technology solutions and services for the U.S. defense, intelligence community and federal civilian agencies.
For more than 40 years, Maximus has partnered with state, federal and local governments to provide communities with critical health and human service programs.
Naval Nuclear Laboratory develops advanced naval nuclear propulsion technology for the safety and reliability of our Navy's submarine and aircraft carrier fleets.
18. Norfolk Southern
At Norfolk Southern, we move America forward with rail transportation of raw materials, intermediate products and finished goods across the Southeast, East and Midwest.
Penske Transportation Solutions is the universal brand for Penske Truck Leasing, Penske Logistics, Epes Transport Systems, Penske Vehicle Services, and related businesses. Our businesses provide innovative transportation, supply chain and technology solutions to keep the world moving forward. Visit GoPenske.com to learn more.
Quick Services was established in 2003 with the mission of delivering superior program performance by identifying, recruiting and retaining cleared professionals for some of the most critical and demanding national security missions in the U.S. government.
21. Sonepar USA
Sonepar is an independent, family-owned company with global market leadership in business-to-business (B-to-B) distribution of electrical products, solutions and related services.
For small and medium-sized companies, Spectrum Business® delivers the same suite of broadband products and services, coupled with special features and applications to enhance productivity, while for larger businesses and government entities, Spectrum Enterprise provides highly customized, fiber-based solutions.
UIC Government Solutions is a top 5 Alaskan Native Corporation (ANC) that's been in business for more than 20 years. Our 3,000 employees and 300 prime and subcontracts provide premier support to defense and civilian government agencies across the United States and the world.
Veterans United Home Loans is all about helping veterans and military families become homeowners. In two short decades, we closed more than 500,000 VA loans and became the No. 1 VA lender for homebuyers in the nation.
We're a leading provider of less-than-truckload freight transportation with the world-class network, technology and service our customers need.
If your company is a top veteran employer and you want to be considered for our next list, please be on the lookout for our 2025 Top Employer survey coming in June 2024.
Jacey Eckhart is Military.com's transition master coach. She is a certified professional career coach and military sociologist who helps military members get their first civilian job by offering career-level Master Classes through our Veteran Employment Project and on her website, SeniorMilitaryTransition.com. Reach her at Jacey.Eckhart@Monster.com.
Find Your Next Job Fast
Transitioning military, veterans and spouses may be qualified for the job, but they are missing the secrets of civilian hiring. Find out everything you need to know with our free master class series, including our next class. You can view previous classes in our video library. Questions for Jacey? Visit our Facebook page.