Our Values In Action
Leading the Way on Military Hiring
Military veterans and National Guard and Reserve members make terrific employees. Not all companies recognize the benefits of hiring veterans, however. “There are still so many stigmas and stereotypes that prevent companies from committing to military hiring,” says Marjorie Morrison, founder and former CEO of the PsychArmor Institute, which provides no-cost, online education to individuals who work with, live with, or care for members of the military community. “For example, some employers may believe that vets just follow orders — that they aren’t innovative. That’s a myth, of course, as Comcast NBCUniversal and other companies can attest.”
Another barrier? Hiring managers often can’t decode the resumes of veterans and need help understanding how military jobs can translate into civilian ones.
To help overcome both the misleading stereotypes and the more mundane hurdles of hiring, we at Comcast NBCUniversal have been sharing our knowledge and experience with other companies to encourage them to draw employees from the military community.
“While we have made a significant commitment to military hiring, we are only one company, and we of course can’t hire everyone,” says U.S. Army Brigadier General (Retired) Carol Eggert, Senior Vice President for Military and Veteran Affairs at Comcast NBCUniversal. “So we have broadened our reach and are providing guidance and encouragement to other companies that might be considering hiring from the military community but don’t know where to start.”
The Veterans at Work Certificate Program
In 2018, we sponsored the Veterans at Work Certificate Program, an online training program for human resources professionals who would like to improve their military hiring capabilities. The program was created by the SHRM Foundation — the nonprofit arm of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) — in partnership with the PsychArmor Institute and Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families.
To become certified, participants must take 11 online courses and read the SHRM Foundation’s new guidebook on military hiring. The courses cover everything from the business case for hiring veterans to how to use publicly available resources to find veteran job candidates. Launched in November 2018, the program is provided at no cost to participants thanks to financial support from Comcast NBCUniversal.
PsychArmor’s School for Employers Who Invest in Military Talent
The certificate program courses were developed by the PsychArmor Institute, which offers its own broad array of courses for employers above and beyond those required for the certificate. Comcast NBCUniversal has had a close relationship with PsychArmor since 2015.
“We initially built online course content for healthcare providers interacting with veterans,” says Morrison, whose own background is as a psychotherapist. “Then I met Carol Eggert, and she suggested I broaden my programming to include content for employers.”
Comcast NBCUniversal provided PsychArmor with a three-year grant to create employer courses and assisted in developing content. Today, PsychArmor offers 33 courses for employers, which have been taken more than 100,000 times by representatives from almost 250 corporations, nonprofits, government agencies, and educational institutions. In addition, PsychArmor is partnering with us on the expansion of our Internet Essentials program to low-income veterans by developing a curriculum of digital literacy training tailored for veterans.
Hiring Our Heroes
We are also encouraging employers to hire from the military community through our involvement with Hiring Our Heroes, an initiative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. In 2018, we sponsored a series of Hiring Our Heroes events in which representatives from the private sector, nonprofit military service organizations, state and local chambers of commerce, and colleges and universities discussed how to improve veterans’ readiness and training for civilian careers and how to increase veteran hiring. More than 375 people attended programs held in Boston, Minneapolis, Atlanta, and Philadelphia.
Through all of these efforts, we hope other companies will be inspired to hire members of the military community. Doing so not only benefits the companies themselves — they gain reliable, talented, and experienced employees — but it’s also a meaningful way to give back to those who have given so much.
“Only 1% of Americans serve in the military. For those of us who do not, our way of serving can be by supporting veterans when they come home,” says Morrison. “If you’re in a position to hire, it’s just the right thing to do.”