• Military and Veteran Hiring: Strategies for Success from USAA

    Posted by Lori Vrcan on April 13th, 2017


    In this two-part series, we glean strategies from two organizations that have highly successful and award-winning military/veteran hiring programs. Our first post features USAA.

    “As an organization created by and for the military community, hiring veterans and military spouses has been a long-standing commitment for USAA,” says Sean Passmore, Military Hiring Advisor for USAA. “We take a holistic approach to help bring vets on board and also transition to the private sector with programs focused on recruiting, transition assistance, skills development and retention.”

    USAA is an organization that specializes in facilitating financial security for the military, veterans and their families through a full range of products and services. It is also nationally recognized for its military talent strategy and programs and maintains a 30% military and military spouse hiring goal, including achieving 25% military employee representation by 2020.

    According to Passmore, veterans bring tremendous value and a unique skillset, including incredible technical ability, learning agility, problem-solving skills, work ethic, leadership and loyalty to the workforce that can positively impact an employer’s bottom line. Military spouses also internalize many of the same values and bring a unique understanding of military family needs and concerns and an ability to quickly adapt to new environments and learn new skills.

    Recruiters, talent program advisors and representatives from various lines of business at USAA participate in dozens of military-themed community events and job fairs around the country each year, and USAA further advertises veteran opportunities through social media channels. The organization highlights careers specifically aimed at military candidates in a dedicated USAA Military section on its career center.

     USAA military section-1.jpg

    USAA works with leading third parties – like the Disney Veterans Institute, The Institute for Veterans and Military Families, the former White House Administration’s Joining Forces initiative and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring our Heroes program – to raise awareness and appreciation for the value and skills veterans and military spouses bring to the workplace.

    The organization helped the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation launch a first-of-its-kind resource for employers interested in hiring veterans and military spouses: the Employer Roadmap. This free online tool is a comprehensive and personalized resource for employers who want to hire veterans and military spouses. This strategy has greatly expanded USAA’s impact on veterans and military spouses far beyond the reach of only those they have the capacity to hire.

    USAA is assisted by its Military Affinity Group to carefully choose each group it is associated with based on shared core values and the desire to serve those who serve and the families who have supported them. In addition, the organization’s Military Advocacy Group amplifies military hiring efforts by identifying, evaluating and escalating advocacy opportunities.

    Recognizing the unique needs of transitioning veterans, USAA is launching programs to assist in their assimilation to the civilian workforce. Features include:

    • A full day of onboarding for transitioning veterans
    • An individual VETNet (USAA’s veteran and military spouse employee resource group) sponsor for 12 months
    • A 12-month Veteran Transition Leadership Development program that accelerates vets’ competitiveness for USAA leadership roles by increasing their business acumen

    “USAA was founded with the same core values that guide our nation’s military. Through these values, USAA employees are inspired to go above and beyond for our members each and every day,” notes Passmore. “That is why veterans and military spouses are such a great fit for our organization.”

    Coming up, in part two of our series, we’ll talk to Judy Brozovich, Director of Talent Acquisition for United Rentals, to learn how her organization achieves success in Military/Veteran hiring. For more information about military hiring strategies, contact NAS.

    Lori Vrcan

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