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Research Questions

  1. What veteran employment lessons are available from the 100,000 Jobs Mission?
  2. What further improvements could increase veteran employment opportunities?

Eleven companies cofounded the 100,000 Jobs Mission in 2011 to promote veteran employment, with a goal of hiring 100,000 veterans by 2020. The coalition has grown to over 175 companies, which have exceeded the initial goal and are now on track to hire 200,000 veterans by the end of 2014. These companies represent nearly every U.S. industry and vary in size, geographic location, and in the types of veterans they hire. Reflecting on the first three years of operation, JPMorgan Chase & Co. asked the RAND Corporation to capture the lessons and experiences from the 100,000 Jobs Mission to identify further improvements to veteran employment opportunities. RAND researchers conducted qualitative interviews with representatives of a sample of member companies, delving into the ways they recruit and hire veterans, help veterans transition into their new jobs, and manage and develop veteran employees and the value veterans bring as employees. Interviewees pointed out that veterans are most noted for their leadership skills and teamwork; for their flexibility and ability to work in a fast-paced, changing environment without undue stress; for their dependability, integrity, and loyalty; and for their experience working in a culturally diverse or global environment. This research also explored the challenges to hiring and employing veterans and provides recommendations to assist employers and promote veteran employment opportunities more broadly.

Key Findings

Employers Cite Benefits from Employing Veterans

  • Veterans have experience working in and leading teams.
  • They are flexible and able to work in a stressful, fast-paced, dynamic environment.
  • They are dependable, demonstrate a strong work ethic, and have the tenacity to consistently complete the work.
  • Veterans display integrity and loyalty.
  • Veterans are experienced with culturally diverse and global working environments.

Some Recruitment Methods Are More Successful Than Others

  • Companies identify prospective veteran employees in a variety of ways, including job fairs, recommendations from other veterans, and various online resources.
  • Companies cited the most benefit from reaching transitioning service members before they left the military.
  • Some federal resources, such as the Veterans Employment Center and SkillBridge, are particularly helpful in reaching transitioning service members.

Making the Connection Between Specific Skills and Available Jobs Can Be Challenging

  • Some military skill sets, such as information technology and maintenance, have obvious application in the private sector, while military-specific skills can be more difficult for employers to understand and appreciate
  • Within companies, veterans and other individuals with training in military occupations and culture are most successful recruiting veterans.

Veteran Employment Programs in Companies Tend to Focus on Recruitment and Lack Broader Metrics of Success

  • Companies have focused on how to identify, attract, and hire veterans and have not dedicated as many resources to gathering evidence of veteran employee performance and retention.
  • Company metrics that empirically demonstrate higher performance and longer retention among veteran employees may be increasingly important to justify veteran employment resources.


  • Companies should educate managers on the value of veteran employees; select their recruitment activities strategically; consider participating in federal resources, such as the Veterans Employment Center (VEC) and SkillBridge; expand veteran employment efforts beyond recruitment; and establish and track relevant recruitment, performance, and retention metrics.
  • The Department of Defense should continue to facilitate on-base access for private-sector recruiting events; encourage transitioning service members to register early in the VEC; and consider expanding training and internship programs, such as SkillBridge.
  • The Department of Defense, Department of Labor, and Department of Veterans Affairs should continue to improve and evaluate the Transition Assistance Program.
  • The 100,000 Jobs Mission should institute an advisory board of coalition members, consider industry-based coalition subgroups, provide a formal orientation and guidance session for new members, and consider providing veteran employment information and resources to nonmember companies.

This research was sponsored by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and conducted within RAND Labor and Population.

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