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 Vets Valued & In Demand

Leaders at top companies recognize the importance and advantages of recruiting veterans, and the value they bring to the workplace and global business climate.
While individuals enthusiastically thank former military men and women for their service, many businesses take gratitude a step further, especially considering the value the bring to the workplace and to the global business of top companies.
They understand that hiring veterans is good business, as evidenced by a study by the Center of New American Security, which conducted 87 lengthy interviews with representatives of 69 companies. The study found that overriding sentiment was the same, that veteran employees bring a certain expertise and discipline not found in other areas, as well as traits such as leadership, teamwork. This combined with other hard and soft skills add value to a company’s culture and bottom line.
Ryder, Brown-Forman, Brunswick and Northrop Grumman are among those top companies committed to recruiting, hiring, retaining and advancing those who served and sacrificed for this country.
Following are responses by representatives of these companies regarding the military and veteran-friendly policies espoused and carried out by the companies for which they’re proud to work. Learn why these companies heavily seek vets to fill positions, and how vets are an integral part of business scope and strategy at these employers.
Ryder Benefits from Vets’ Military Expertise
Headquartered in Miami, FL, with operations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the U.K., Ryder was founded in 1933. Currently its 36,000 employees manage critical transportation and logistics functions for more than 50,000 customers and a fleet of more than 240,000 commercial vehicles.
Michael Raley serves as manager of recruiting services, veteran programs at the Fortune 500 company. He discusses the company’s military/veteran recruiting and retention strategies.
What’s the company’s commitment to hiring veterans?
Raley: Ryder has been a long-time supporter of hiring from the military. The company is grateful to the men and women who make extraordinary sacrifices while serving our nation. As a leader in transportation and logistics, Ryder understands the unique work experiences of military personnel and values their inherent leadership qualities.
Why are veterans believed to be a valuable asset to the company?
Raley: The distinct logistical, mechanical and management skills learned through military service are a great asset to Ryder’s organization.
Veterans are able to help fill a variety of important roles necessary for Ryder’s operations, including diesel mechanics, professional truck drivers, logistics managers and other professional support positions.
What attributes are important for recruiting/hiring veterans?
Raley: Veterans bring inherent values, qualities and skills, developed during military service, to the workforce. Leadership, mission orientation and teamwork, along with trade craft skill sets, are among attributes Ryder seeks when recruiting and hiring veterans.
What recruiting tools/policies are used by the company when hiring veterans?
Raley: On Veterans Day 2015, Ryder launched its Veteran Buddy Program, pairing current Ryder employees who are military veterans with new veteran employees. The program is designed to help ease the transition from military to civilian life, which is often a major challenge for recently separated veterans returning to the workplace.
In May 2016 a Women Veterans Task Force was established to focus on methods and practices for attracting more female veterans to the trucking industry, and to Ryder in particular.
In July 2016 Ryder began a 12-week Diesel Technician Training Program with the U.S. Army at Fort Sill, OK, to train participating soldiers during their final 180 days of service to be Level ll Diesel Technicians at one of more than 800 Ryder service locations across the country. In June 2017 this program was expanded to Fort Riley, KS.
Ryder also has a Military Leave Policy, in which any Ryder employee who is a member of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard Reserves or Public Health Service is granted a partially paid leave of absence for military service, training or related obligations in accordance with applicable law.
Ryder further renewed its commitment to participating on the Veterans Employment Advisory Council for 2018. Established as part of the U.S. Chamber’s Hiring Our Heroes program, this initiative focuses on enhancing collaboration between the public and private sectors to improve career opportunities for veterans.
Currently Ryder attends an average of 20 to 25 military and veteran hiring events per year in its effort to provide quality career choices to transitioning service members and military veterans.
What positive take-aways have been realized by adding veterans to the workforce?
Raley: The inherent values, qualities and skills veterans bring to the organization always make a positive impact on the workforce.
Ryder is proud to be able to offer great career opportunities to the men and women who have sacrificed in service of our nation, while greatly benefitting from the value each brings to the company.
For further information about Ryder’s military hiring, go to ryder.com/careers/military-recruitment, or visit the company’s social media pages on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Brown-Forman Seeks & Leverages the Talents of Vets
Supported by nearly 4,600 employees, Brown-Forman brands are sold in approximately 160 countries worldwide. At the Louisville, KY-headquartered company Kelly Stearman is highly regarded for the competency she displays as senior employment analyst.
Additionally, she serves as the diversity advisor for the veteran employee resource group, BRAVE, at this 145-year-old company responsible for building numerous fine quality beverage alcohol brands. Stearman discusses the company’s military/veteran recruiting and retention strategies.
What’s the company’s commitment to hiring veterans?
Stearman: Brown-Forman is proud to hire military veterans, who have done so much for our country.
Committed to leveraging veterans as a strategic source of talent, Brown-Forman’s vision is to be an employer of choice among the veteran community, creating an environment where veterans can successfully transition to the civilian world using their skills, experiences and leadership qualities to establish successful careers.
Why are veterans believed to be a valuable asset to the company?
Stearman: Through their military service, veterans gain many tangible and intangible skills that are desirable to organizations.
Veterans are highly trained individuals that are loyal, adaptable, resilient and team-driven, and many possess leadership and management experience from their time in the military. These are just a few of the qualities that make veterans such valuable assets at Brown-Forman.
What attributes are important for recruiting/hiring veterans?
Stearman: It’s many of the attributes mentioned above that Brown-Forman looks for when hiring veterans. Additionally, the company’s core values of trust, respect, integrity, excellence and teamwork are not only deeply ingrained in our culture, they’re also closely aligned to the values of the military. At Brown-Forman veterans find that the values they’ve lived by in the military are still front and center at this company.
What recruiting tools/policies are used by the company when hiring veterans?
Stearman: Brown-Forman engages in strategic veteran outreach with community partners such as Where Opportunity Knox and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), as well as other veteran service organizations.
The company works diligently to build its brand as a military-friendly company in the communities in which employees live and work.
The company’s veteran Employee Resource Group (ERG), BRAVE, boasts a dedicated team of employees, many of whom are veterans, veteran spouses and/or family members, who help focus on recruiting efforts. It’s with their assistance that the company works hard to move beyond being just “military-friendly,” and aims to be more “military-informed” or “military-ready.”
This involves providing resources, such as resume guidance to veteran candidates and to the organization internally, via basic military culture training for HR personnel and company recruiters.
What positive take-aways have been realized by adding veterans to the workforce?
Stearman: Veterans have experienced and been a part of something bigger than themselves. They have skills that cannot be taught in a classroom.
As a result, they bring unique experiences, come from diverse backgrounds, and bring diversity of thought to the workforce - and we’re all better for it.
For more information about Brown-Forman, go to b-f.com and brown-forman-veterans.jobs, and social media sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter.
Brunswick Corporation Values Vets’ Versatility & Leadership
Headquartered in the Chicago suburb of Mettaua, IL, Brunswick Corporation is family to approximately 15,000 employees around the world. Drawing upon its nearly 175 years of experience, today the company is a market leader in the marine, fitness and billiards industries.
As director of talent management, Lauren Beckstedt is responsible for talent strategy, talent acquisition and the employment brand for Brunswick Corporation. Beckstedt discusses the company’s military/veteran recruiting and retention strategies.
What’s the company’s commitment to hiring veterans?
Beckstedt: With more than 750 of our U.S. employees identifying themselves as veterans, Brunswick Corporation is committed to hiring those who have sacrificed and served our country.
Brunwick’s selection among the Top Military-Friendly Employers highlights our growing years-long efforts to better recruit, hire, train and retain veterans. Additionally, we set yearly targets with the goal of increasing our number of veteran hires from prior years by 2% to 3%.
To further strengthen our company’s efforts, Mercury Marine, a division of Brunswick, signed an agreement with the U.S. Army Recruiting Command that gives priority interview status to qualified soldiers participating in the Army’s Partnership for Youth Success (PaYS) program. Mercury also developed a Veteran Employees Network to provide veterans with increased support as they transition to a life beyond the military. This Network further serves the veteran community through participation in community service events.
Why are veterans believed to be a valuable asset to the company?
Beckstedt: Veterans often display a model combination of raw leadership ability, accountability and teamwork, which aligns well with a company culture that favors versatility.
The ability to learn a variety of jobs quickly, strong integrity and commitment to quality are further benefits.
What attributes are important for recruiting/hiring veterans?
Beckstedt: Brunswick seeks leaders inspired to build their careers as well as contribute to our organization’s future growth.
We look for candidates with strong communication, problem-solving and teamwork skills, in addition to a proven ability to perform well under pressure - an essential component for meeting deadlines and multitasking.
What recruiting tools/policies are used by the company when hiring veterans?
Beckstedt: Brunswick has partnered with several local and state agencies in our efforts to recruit and retain veteran talent. Each year, Mercury Marine honors, unites, attracts and engages past and present veterans through the Veterans Day event. We also host veteran-only recruitment, veteran-only recruitment fairs and open houses for veterans and their families.
We proudly offer first-class benefits to our employees. In fact, Brunswick was recently selected as having one of the Best in Class 401(k) Plans by PLANSPONSOR, and featured on Glassdoor’s list of Eight Companies with Enviable Benefits.
We additionally promote continuing education opportunities through our tuition reimbursement program, and support professional advancement via the GI Bill.
What positive take-aways have been realized by adding veterans to the workforce?
Beckstedt: Brunswick is committed to helping veterans transfer their talents and experience to our workforce as they transition from their military service. We value their diverse experience and knowledge, which provides an exceptional foundation for any business or industry.
For more information about Brunswick Corporation or to learn about our career opportunities, visit brunswick-careers.com, or connect on LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook.
Northrop Grumman Views Veterans as Integral to Its Workforce
Headquartered in Falls Church, VA, Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, C41SR, strike and logistics and modernization to customers worldwide.
As corporate director for diversity and inclusion at Northrop Grumman, Kymberlee Dwinell is responsible for the strategic direction, implementation and alignment of the company’s integrated diversity and inclusion initiatives around the world.
In this capacity she manages initiatives designed to foster inclusive workplace behaviors, creates educational vehicles for expanding diversity knowledge and develops employee networks and strategic communication plans for diversity. She discusses the company’s military/veteran recruiting and retention strategies.
What’s the company’s commitment to hiring veterans?
Dwinell: Northrop Grumman employs thousands of veterans worldwide, and is committed to hiring and assisting military-experienced candidates and employees. Veterans bring a unique set of skills to the company, understand our mission and have a first-hand appreciation for our business, products and services.
We value the training and leadership development that candidates gain from their military service and experience. In 2017 approximately 25% of the company’s new hires were veterans.
Why are veterans believed to be a valuable asset to the company?
Dwinell: Northrop Grumman recognizes the value men and women in uniform bring to the workplace, and is thankful for their experience, their leadership skills and the sacrifices they’ve made for our nation.
As employees, veterans demonstrate the same excellence and dedication they displayed in the service. The company is committed to supporting our nation and allies, and we believe this commitment mirrors the mission and mindset of the various branches of the military.
What attributes are important for recruiting/hiring veterans?
Dwinell: As a leading global security company, Northrop Grumman prioritizes having veterans as an integral part of its workforce. Veterans help move the enterprise forward by providing specialized skills and perspectives.
The company has a large and diverse set of capabilities, and seeks qualified candidates for many functions. Most employees have technology and STEM-related backgrounds, but we also hire those with skills in logistics, manufacturing, business management, finance and accounting.
Additionally, we actively seek candidates with military experience for positions such as military trainers, military equipment repair and modernization specialists.
Military skills and the principles that veterans bring with them are highly prized at Northrop Grumman because they align well with the company’s core values of leadership and integrity.
What recruiting tools/policies are used by the company when hiring veterans?
Dwinell: Northrop Grumman has a number of initiatives supporting veterans. Among them are:
Veteran Inclusion Committee: This group includes executives, recruiters, veterans, corporate citizenship employees and members of our VERITAS (Veterans, Employees and Reservists Inspired to Act and Serve) employee resource group, which supports veterans and others. The committee’s mission is to support veteran engagement, inclusion and retention. It focuses on helping to create a robust, visible and connected veterans community including military spouses, families and allies.
Navigator: When a newly hired veteran comes into the company, we match that employee with a volunteer navigator to assist with the transition into our company culture. This is especially valuable for those who have recently separated from the military and can gain insight from an experienced employee. The volunteers in the Navigator program have a military background, too, and they can provide networking opportunities, answer cultural questions, offer guidance and friendship for the new employee. With core differences between military command and corporate enterprise, being partnered with someone who understands those differences first-hand helps provide a smoother transition into Northrop Grumman’s operating style and culture.
Operation IMPACT: Operation Impact (Injured Military Pursuing Assisted Career Transition) is a unique, award-winning, diversity program within Northrop Grumman focused on assisting severely wounded service members as they transition from the military to a private-sector career. Should a service member be unable to work due to the severity of his/her injuries, the same support will be extended to a member of his/her immediate family who will act as the primary wage earner.
VERITAS: The VERITAS all-inclusive employee resource group (ERG) is committed to recognizing and supporting active duty and reservists, National Guard members and veterans through community outreach and networking programs aligned with company business objectives. This ERG has more than 3,000 members in 25 chapters across the U.S.
Veteran Websites: A section of the company’s external careers website is dedicated to veterans, while an internal intranet focuses on veterans and provides specific veteran-requested internal and external resources that includes information about professional development, support groups, networking and links to organizations, including the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Northrop Grumman is also actively involved with several military transition assistance efforts. As part of our leadership in the Network of Champions organization, we host and support employment transition boot camps and career fairs for wounded warriors at bases around the country. They offer one-on-one interaction and cover topics such as translating military skills, culture outside the military, resume preparation and mock interviewing.
A sponsor of the Northern Virginia Technology Council Employment Initiative, Northrop Grumman works to accelerate veterans’ transition to civilian life by creating more employment opportunities with Virginia technology companies.
What positive take-aways have been realized by adding veterans to the workforce?
Dwinell: According to Tim De Cordova, a U.S. Army veteran and Northrop Grumman quality engineer, “many veterans have been fortunate to find good jobs with Northrop Grumman. Not only do they help the company grow and succeed, they also provide great value by giving back to those who have served their country.”
Col. Mike Miller, U.S. Air Force, retired, and VERITAS chapter chair in Space Park, CA, adds: “Northrop Grumman truly cares about veteran employees.”
He applauds the company’s mentoring efforts, noting: “By engaging actively with veteran employees through VERITAS-led events, veteran employees are assisted in locating new mentoring and networking relationships.”
For more information follow northropgrumman.com and northropgrumman.com/Careers, and Twitter @NGCNews, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and Glassdoor.
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