Read on for an explanation of how we came up with the rankings and more information on our rankings chart:
Companies across the country were invited to take part in a rigorous, detailed survey about their company culture, veteran recruitment, military policies and accommodations for reservist employees. We developed the Best for Vets: Employers 2018 rankings based on the answers provided in the survey, which is 90 questions long. The rankings, compiled annually since 2010, are and have always been objective, independent, and held to the same standard as all other Military Times editorial content.
This year, Military Times sent out the survey to more than 2,300 organizations and received just over 200 responses. Of those, nearly 150 were substantially complete, and 100 made the final Best for Vets list.
Companies’ responses relevant to culture and military recruitment efforts each made up about 34 percent of the total possible score. Policies for employees who are members of the Guard and Reserve accounted for about 20 percent, and policies for former service members comprised nearly 12 percent of the final score.
In the chart, industry categories are courtesy of CareerBuilder.com. Data under employees show the number of employees and new hires, both overall and military-connected, in calendar year or fiscal 2017, unless otherwise indicated.
The percentage of recruiting budget for veterans column indicates what portion of a company’s recruiting budget it dedicates to recruiting military-connected employees. Military experience instead of certification shows whether companies accept military training instead of civilian credentials in at least some cases. Veterans on-boarding rates the way companies acclimate new veteran employees, including orientation, training and mentorship programs. The best rating is 4 stars.
The symbols in the military spouse policies column represent accommodations an organization makes, when possible, for military spouse employees who may face unique challenges due to military deployments or scheduling. A computer represents remote work, a clock represents a flexible schedule, and the arrows indicate the company allows spouses to transfer to another branch.
A bronze medallion under ESGR awards, given by the Defense Department’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve national committee, means an individual at the company has received the Patriot or Spouse Patriot award. A silver medallion indicates the company has received either a Seven Seals, Above and Beyond or Pro Patria Award. The gold medallion is for companies that have been awarded the Freedom award, ESGR’s highest honor, or the Extraordinary Employer Support award for continued support of National Guard and Reserve service, given only to former recipients of the Freedom or Pro Patria awards.
Reservist pay shows the level of pay offered to reservists, training or activated, and how long that pay continues. Full pay is the full civilian pay plus the military pay; full difference is the entire difference between military and civilian pay; partial difference is part of the difference between military and civilian pay.
Not everything listed in the chart was considered in the rankings, and many items not listed were considered.
Natalie Gross has been reporting for Military Times since 2017. She grew up in a military family and has a master's degree in journalism from Georgetown University.