Tomorrow, the country pauses thank, honor, and remember those who have served in the U.S. military.
While some will offer the veteran-focused discounts and promotions that have become popular in recent years, many employers have committed themselves to taking further action, recruiting and hiring these individuals for jobs that utilize the leadership qualities, technical skills, and field experience they earned throughout their military service.
The thirteenth annual list of The Top 100 Military Friendly Employers, released by Victory Media on MilitaryFriendly.com, highlights these organizations who have made focused efforts to hire from among the “nearly 400,000 active duty, National Guard, and Armed Forces Reserve service members” that Victory Media says will bring their skills to employers and educational institutions this year.
“We live in an era when the value of military service in the professional world is unquestioned and unmatched,” said Chris Hale,chairman and cofounder of Victory Media and a Navy veteran. “Veterans are graduates of the premier training institution in the world, but they need a consistent and predictable standard that lets them make good choices for major life decisions like where to work or where to enroll in school.”
To determine who makes the grade, the organization researches employers across industries. The resulting lists are vetted by Ernst & Young , LLP, using weights and methodology established by Victory Media. Criteria are retooled every year with the help of industry experts from across the country.
Companies are evaluated according to “military recruiting efforts, percentage of new hires with prior military service, retention programs for veterans, and policies on National Guard and Reserve service.”
Companies from a broad array of industries are represented throughout the ranking, with employers from the Diversified Services, Finance, and Energy sectors making the strongest showing.
At the top of the list again is Illinois-based supplemental insurance provider Combined Insurance. The company committed to hiring 4,000 veterans by 2016, partnering with organizations including the Transitions Assistance Program and Hiring Our Heroes, as well as the Veterans Administration to meet that goal. This year, 39% of the company’s new hires were veterans.
In second place is defense strategy consultancy Booz Allen Hamilton. “At Booz Allen,” reads the company’s description on MilitaryFriendly.com, “we speak military.” Nearly one third of the company’s overall employees are veterans, as are 26% of Booz Allen’s 2015 hires.
The United Services Automobile Association (USAA) comes in third, with 15% of its overall workforce made up of veterans, as well as 22% of this year’s hires. Headquartered in Texas, the financial services company provides banking, investing, and associated services to individuals and families who serve or have served in the U.S. military.
IT systems provider ManTech and CSX round out the top five.
The “diversified services” industry is the best represented on this list, with 38 companies making the cut, including Cintas, General Electric, Accenture, Hilton, the U.S. Postal Service, and Koch Industries.
“Those earning the 2016 Military Friendly designation demonstrate a strong connection between classroom learning and career development,” said Daniel Nichols, Victory Media chief product officer and a veteran of the Navy Reserve. “They’re moving the needle beyond ‘why recruit military’ to translating military competencies into training and positive employment after graduation.”
Originally published by Kathryn Dill on Forbes.com.