With Veterans Day just around the corner, Indeed wanted to better understand the landscape for veterans returning to work. Veterans have much to offer the civilian workforce, having faced unique challenges in active duty. Not only do they bring transferable skills from the time they spent in service, but they also have strong soft skills, including problem-solving, critical thinking, integrity and collaboration — all of which are crucial to high-functioning teams.
However, despite this valuable experience, it can be a challenge for many veterans to find civilian jobs after leaving the military. They may not know where to start their search or how to connect their skills to an employer’s needs. Employers, in turn, may not understand that military service work often involves skills that are transferable to the corporate office or may overlook candidates who describe their background in military terminology.
We wanted to know which companies provide the best jobs and benefits for current and former U.S. military service members, so our data analytics team dove into over 200 million ratings and reviews listed on Indeed Company Pages. Based on those results, here are our Top-Rated Workplaces for Veterans in 2019:
Keller Williams leads the list once again
This year’s top 10 top employers for veterans span a variety of industries: from government and defense to real estate, banking, retail, tech and health care.
The government and defense sectors provide a smooth transition for many veterans. These jobs allow for continued national service and involve skills and tasks similar to those utilized in the military — making companies within these sectors some of the top employers for veterans. In fact, veterans make up 31% of the federal workforce, despite being less than 10% of the U.S. adult population. An initiative called veteran’s preference also gives special consideration to qualified veterans seeking federal employment.
However, the top-ranking company on this year’s list is Texas-based real estate franchise Keller Williams, leading the pack again after coming in first last year.
Keller Williams is known for having a remarkable culture, which seems to score big points with employees. The company ranked first on two other Indeed lists — Top-Rated Workplaces for Culture and Top-Rated Workplaces for Work-Life Balance — within the past year.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) follows Keller Williams, coming in at number two. Through its dedicated job page for veterans, the FBI clearly demonstrates how veterans can apply transferable skills and continue serving their country through employment at the organization.
Other government agencies that rank highly as top employers for veterans include the Internal Revenue Service (#9) and NASA (#13). As defense contractors, Northrop Grumman (#3), Raytheon (#6) and Lockheed Martin (#7) are also natural fits for our list; these organizations provide products and services, such as defense and transport, to the U.S. military and intelligence departments.
Rounding out the top five workplaces for veterans is grocery and retail chain H-E-B (#4), followed by banking and financial services company Capital One (#5). The rest of the top 10 run the gamut of industries, including health care giant Kaiser Permanente (#8) and multinational tech firm Microsoft (#10).
What are the Top-Rated Workplaces for Veterans doing right?
HQ: Austin, Texas
Operating in 700 offices across the globe, Keller Williams is lauded in reviews for offering extensive training and resources to every new hire, empowering agents to do their best work.
The company actively encourages veterans to join, too, with a jobs page detailing why service members make great hires. It helps veterans identify transferable skills, noting that qualities such as flexible thinking, collaboration, decision-making and being comfortable in dynamic environments are all necessary to becoming a high-performing real estate agent.
“Education is the fundamental benefit of working here, as Keller Williams does a better job at education and motivation than any other agency,” says one employee, adding that “they teach veterans how to run companies and teams, to the benefit of all participants.”
Another employee praises the company culture and teamwork, stating that “you are surrounded by like-minded, goal-oriented individuals.” They add that colleagues work together, brainstorming and sharing ideas and experiences with the goal of bettering one another and the company.
HQ: Washington, D.C.
Is working at the FBI really how it appears on TV? While employees can’t give specifics around what they do, many praise the organization’s mission and purpose and enjoy knowing that they have made an impact on the world.
For the coveted Special Agent position, the FBI offers waivers to preference-eligible veterans, although it requires all applicants to have a bachelor’s degree. This position involves many transferable skills for service members, beginning at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, where new hires are trained intensively in physical fitness, defensive tactics, practical application exercises and the use of firearms.
What’s more, the FBI established its Wounded Warriors Internship Program in 2012, which enables the organization to provide career development opportunities for active-duty service members recovering from a medical procedure.
One employee describes working at the FBI as rewarding, saying that “the most enjoyable part of the job is knowing that what you do is important and it does make a difference.”
The employee adds that agents know to expect the unexpected in a typical day and must be flexible, good team players and effective leaders — all familiar aspects to service members.
HQ: Falls Church, Virginia
Global defense contractor Northrop Grumman values hiring veterans — in fact, around 20% of their employees are veterans, and they are dedicated to recruiting even more through programs such as Hiring Our Heroes.
Defense contractors seek workers with skills such as self-discipline, initiative and leadership, making service members a perfect fit. Many veterans also have security clearances, which are extremely valuable to these types of employers.
One employee praises the benefits and job security that come with a job at Northrop Grumman: “They promote from within when the required skills are available. They also have continuing education benefits, which allow you to grow and compete for higher jobs.”
Another employee says the company strives to make the workplace experience enjoyable and supports work-life balance by being flexible with family events and emergencies.
HQ: San Antonio, Texas
This San Antonio-based supermarket has a strong showing on our Top-Rated Workplaces lists, recently leading the Top-Rated Workplaces for Retail. H-E-B also shows support for veterans through H-E-B Operation Appreciation, a company-wide campaign that has worked with charitable partners to build nearly 30 homes for wounded veterans and their families.
One veteran says H-E-B is “by far the best place I have worked at since retiring from the military,” citing the “great benefits … and atmosphere” in addition to a solid management team. The employee also praises their coworkers, the competitive hourly pay and the flexibility of the job, allowing employees to set their own schedules.
“Every day is a new learning experience for me, whether I am stocking new materials or ... talking with new customers,” another employee says. “The people I work alongside are reliable and nice people to work with. I've learned useful skills like precision and consistency through my time working with H-E-B, and am anxious to learn more with this great company.”
5. Capital One
HQ: McLean, Virginia
Bank holding company Capital One is number five on our list, offering resources and benefits specifically for veterans and service members. Their website even provides a “Military Skills Translator Tool.” The tool allows potential applicants to enter military-earned skills, including specialties and subspecialties, which it then translates into civilian professional qualifications that match with open positions at Capital One.
The company also provides a range of benefits to support continuing service members and military spouses. These include time off for training and active duty, as well as uninterrupted benefits during leave.
This support for work-life balance is further evidenced in employees’ feedback: “Everyone feels strongly about the 40-hour work week, and trust[s] employees to get their work done in that time frame,” one worker says. “If you ever work more than that, everyone wants to help you cut that down.”
The employee adds that “the salary is competitive, they give you a lot of trust and ownership over projects and analytics and they value everyone's voice in the room — regardless of your level in the company.”
Here at Indeed, we’ll continue to keep watching the Top-Rated Workplaces for Veterans. If you’re an employer seeking more information to guide your hiring strategy for this highly qualified talent pool, visit the Indeed for Veterans employer resource hub.
Happy Veterans Day!