By Tom Hiebert, Senior Director of Veterans Initiatives, ADP
Serving in the U.S. military is one of the biggest challenges, and honors, I’ve ever experienced. When I re-entered the civilian workforce, and civilian life, after 28 years of Army service, I knew that the skills I developed would serve me well in the next step of my career, but I didn’t quite know how. At ADP, we believe we have a responsibility to bridge this gap for Veterans, and I’m proud to be a part of the team that designed our Veteran hiring program to do so.
At the same time, I know that building – and actually putting into practice – a program like this is not easy. So in addition to being proud of our Veterans Initiatives program, I want ADP to be a resource for other companies attempting to do the same. Here’s how we at ADP formed and focused our program.
- Make a formal commitment
Working with ADP’s leadership team, we set a goal for engaging with Veterans – to build a pipeline of Veteran talent across the United States, with a particular focus on our nearshore offices in El Paso and Augusta, where we have a significant Veteran presence. Because we had the backing of leadership, we were able to create a culture that understood why Veterans were important to us and how it was a mutual benefit for Veterans and for ADP.
- Design a focused recruiting methodology for Veterans
ADP campus recruiters have partnered with university Veteran centers to identify Veterans who might be a fit for ADP, and bring them on board. To make sure Veterans’ skills are noticed, we conduct training sessions to educate recruiters on how various hard and soft skills translate to our team’s needs. Hard skills in cybersecurity and information technology, and soft skills in team building, problem solving and critical thinking are commonly found on our jobs boards and on Veterans’ resumes.
- Build a support infrastructure
Once Veterans join our team, it is just as important to make sure they have the resources and support they need to grow and develop, especially as they transition into the civilian workforce. For starters, we welcome all our Veterans personally to ADP by recognizing their military service with an ADP Veteran “challenge” coin. We have also embedded Veteran-specific onboarding into ADP’s formal onboarding and assimilation program for all Veterans transitioning into ADP around the country. Beyond onboarding, we launched a Military Business Resource Group, Military Strong, which brings Veteran community members together. Whether it’s building homes for other Veterans through Habitat for Humanity, or mentoring newer members of the community through our Veteran mentorship program, the Military BRG makes sure that Veterans can find an ongoing sense of comradery with their civilian teams.
Investment in Veteran hiring is not only a good thing to do, it’s a business imperative. Veterans make up a growing part of our workforce, and contribute to our diverse range of talent every day. Just as it’s an honor to have the opportunity to serve in the military, it’s an honor to work at an organization where people with different backgrounds and experiences – military and civilian – are intentionally brought together because the company sees the value.
Recently, I had a great conversation with Steve Adubato on ADP’s Veteran hiring initiative. To learn more about our program and how we make it work, check out the segment on NJTV, which can be viewed at here.