Will recruiting military vets give Walmart and Amazon a competitive edge?
Many retailers have identified the value of recruiting military veterans as employees. Several large businesses have in fact established goals for recruiting workers who have served in the armed forces.
Walmart, which is among the retailers most active in hiring veterans, announced an expansion of its military leave of absence policy yesterday. The policy, which goes into effect on June 24, pledges that Walmart will make up any difference between what the company and the government pays its employees when they are called off for military assignments lasting more than three days. Walmart claims the expanded policy puts it among the first in retailing to apply its pay differential to include basic training.
“We’re turning jobs into fulfilling careers for veterans, active service members and their families, and we’re making it easier for them to work, live and serve,” said Gary Profit, a retired brigadier general and senior director of military programs for Walmart. “We believe that anyone who wants to serve in our armed forces should be able to do so without fear of losing wages or leaving their family in a lurch.”
On Memorial Day 2013, Walmart announced it would offer a job to any eligible U.S. veteran within a year of active duty. The goal set at that time was to hire 100,000 veterans by the end of 2018. Walmart claims to have hired 170,000 veterans in the interim.
In January, Amazon.com launched its “Military Leaders” program to recruit retired officers from the military and fast-track them for management positions within its logistics operations.
“When they come to Amazon they’re super-successful, they have a bias for action and have proven their ability,” Rachel Lessard, a former nuclear submariner and recruiter for Amazon’s program, told The Seattle Times.
“When you’re in a submarine your environment is so complex, and there’s so much extra going on that if you can be a submariner we think you can be a good fit for the complex environment in our operating centers,” she said.
- Walmart Expands Military Leave of Absence Policy for its Associates, Removing Barriers to Service – Walmart Stores
- Amazon Wants you: Retail giant turns to military vets as its looks for management talent – The Seattle Times
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do military veterans bring to retail organizations that places them in such high demand among employers? Will Walmart’s military leave of absence pay differential program and Amazon’s “Military Leaders” initiative result in either company gaining a competitive advantage in the marketplace?