Tuesday, January 15 - The “hire a vet mandate” goes well beyond JVS Veterans First. We have reports today that retailers Walmart and Best Buy have made it clear that they are not only open to hiring returning US Servicemen and women, but that in the former retailer’s case, they will guarantee vets a job. Effective Memorial Day, any honorably discharged veteran is assured of a position at Walmart in the first 12 months of their discharge, according to a statement from the company. These jobs will be in local stores and clubs as well as in distribution centers and in the Home Office.
Walmart, which bills itself as the largest private employers of veterans in the nation, hopes to solidify the claim by hiring as many as 100,000 veterans in the next five years.
“Hiring a veteran can be one of the best business decisions you make,” said the company’s U.S. President and CEO Bill Simon on the Walmart website. “Veterans have a record of performance under pressure. They’re quick learners and team players. They are leaders with discipline, training, and a passion for service. There is a seriousness and sense of purpose that the military instills, and we need it today more than ever.”
The company has already contacted the White House and hopes to work with First Lady Michelle Obama’s team. They’ll also reach out to the Department of veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense and other major U.S. retailers.
Best Buy’s commitment to veterans may not be quite so formalized, but the electronics retailer seems to have a similar philosophy. A Best Buy recruiter recently was part of a group of government officials, educators and business people assembled by the Minnesota National Guard (MNG) at a station in Kuwait to work on resume writing, mock interviewing and job application skills.
It’s part of a concerted effort on the part of the MNG to get its servicemen and women trained for civilian life while they’re still in service. A substantial number of the 2,700 National Guard members have no work waiting for them when they return. MNG is sending help to the bases and further intensifying job preparation when they return, reporting that of the 500 soldiers they have worked with, only 35 are still unemployed.
National Guard and Reserve soldiers face particular hurdles because of the potential of their being summoned back to action and therefore away from their job.
All the same, Best Buy recruiter Best Buy recruiter Bruce Kiefner expressed his company’s desire to hire vets in a report on National Public Radio (NPR).
"They have that get-the-job-done attitude, and that's what has really attracted us to them. They are serious yet they have a personal side, and that's where we like to bridge that gap," Kiefner says. "We want the serious leader, but we also want someone that can take a breath and have fun with the team, and those are typically our best leaders."
Check out the whole NPR report here