Markets In Action

A Sense of Duty: Hire Veterans

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its December Jobs Report on Friday, January 9, which stated that total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 252,000 jobs and that the unemployment rate declined to 5.6%.

One segment of the population that is comprised of well qualified, uniquely talented workers is our veterans. They have served our country honorably and have a unique set of soft skills they developed during their military service that, combined with additional technical skills training, makes them strong candidates for success in a corporate environment. The Department of Defense spends $140 billion annually to train military personnel and it would be a lost opportunity, and a stain on our country, if these qualified individuals spent any time in unemployment.

Firms within the financial services sector have stepped up to recruit, train and provide opportunities for our veterans. It is important to cultivate these talented individuals for the overall betterment of the U.S.

    • Prudential Financial, Inc. launched its “Veterans Initiatives” in 2008 when the company began collecting data on veterans hiring. The Veterans Initiatives contain the following elements:
    • Recruitment – Recruit high potential candidates who have or will soon separate from or are currently serving the military in a reserve status, by partnering with local high schools, colleges, youth organizations, government offices, local military bases, veterans support groups, and outplacement services;
    • Training – Offer a fully-paid scholarship for a certification program at a major university and an internship where veterans learn to adapt their established skills to a corporate environment and learn skills specific to a particular position using a unique monitored, controlled and supportive development approach.
    • Employment – Successful completion of the program provides veterans with employment opportunities at the sponsoring corporation. Candidates become paid consultants while working at a sponsoring corporation. Corporations have the option to maintain the consultancy or extend full-time offers for employment based on business needs; and
    • Philanthropy – Support for veterans’ service organizations through philanthropic grants, employee volunteerism and by matching qualifying employee contributions. Prudential contributes approximately $3 million annually.

In recognition of Prudential’s long-term, comprehensive commitment to promoting veterans transitioning back into the civilian workforce, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) awarded Prudential with its Sustained Diversity Leadership award at its recent 2014 Diversity Conference in St. Louis, MO. Prudential has also been recognized by G.I. Jobs Magazine as a “Top 100 military friendly employers” and as “Best for vets 2013 employers” by Military Times EDGE magazine for its efforts related to veterans.

SIFMA and its member firms are committed to supporting veterans and active duty armed forces around the world. SIFMA supports Veterans on Wall Street (VOWS), an initiative dedicated to honoring former military personnel and employees currently in the National Guard and Reserve by facilitating career and business opportunities in the financial services industry.

SIFMA values its veterans and the business community understands the skill set that veterans possess translates into the corporate world. The financial services industry has led the charge to incorporate veteran hiring into its overall recruitment efforts.

As 2015 kicks off and on the year’s first Jobs Day, one suggestion for a New Year’s resolution is to follow the lead of financial firms and work with local military and veteran organizations to recruit, train and employ veterans.

As Prudential Financial’s Chairman John Strangfeld stated, “I am proud that at Prudential we are developing a broad range of initiatives that we believe will have a lasting, positive impact on the lives of our veterans and their families. We are also sharing our best practices with other companies and inviting them to join us in supporting similar initiatives as well. It’s not just the right thing to do-it is also a great talent acquisition strategy.”