Business Ranking Hopes to Help Returning GIs

By ranking businesses on their ability to recruit and retain veterans, Military Friendly — a startup established in 2003 under Coraopolis-based Victory Media Inc. — seeks to provide a tool for individuals leaving the service to make informed decisions about post-military opportunities.

“There are Fortune 1000 companies tripping over themselves to hire veterans, and about 400,000 returning service members every year,” says Sean Collins, a nine-year Navy veteran and current vice president of product for Victory Media.

Sean Collins, VP Product Development at Victory Media, at Nasdaq in NYC.Sean Collins, VP Product Development at Victory Media, at Nasdaq in NYC.

Despite the demand, men and women leaving the service are often at a loss as to how to navigate the job market. The Top 100 Military Friendly Employers list attempts to bridge the gap by highlighting companies seeking skill sets compatible with the attributes of military personnel, including trainability and adaptability.

“There are a lot of synergies between the values of the military and the values of PNC,” says Percy Simpson, a West Point graduate and director of line of business marketing. “While an infantry company commander is not necessarily an obvious choice to run branch networks, the skill set is spot on.”

Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services Group has been a Top 100 Military Friendly employer since 2012.

The Top 100 list is generated through a 75-question survey that seeks to compile a wide variety of data — from the number of a company’s veteran employees to insurance and medical benefits for both active and inactive service members. The data are then used to assign each participant a score, the top 200 of which are audited by independent advisory boards and members of Ernst & Young LLP.

High-scoring companies tend to report large numbers of veteran new hires, remunerate employees called to active duty, provide retraining for returning employees and include programs that encourage veterans to self-identify.

Many of the Top 100 corporations also position veterans in recruiting positions and provide frequent veteran-specific training to human resources managers.

At the end of July, Military Friendly will begin another ranking process of employers. While the evaluation is usually limited to mid- or large-cap businesses, all are encouraged to apply.

“By taking the survey and bench-marking your company, you can begin to incorporate military-friendly practices,” says Mr. Collins.

Corporations interested in being considered for the Top 100 Military Friendly Employers list may request a survey by visiting www.victorymedia.com/contact.

For more information, please contact Rocio Labrador at [email protected] or at 412-263-1370.

This is an excerpt of a press release published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette by Rocio Labrador on June 23, 2014. Read the full press release here.

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