A panel was asked to nominate the 10 companies they thought stood out this year for their veteran hiring and retention practices. (Photo: Shutterstock)

If they’re not yet retirement age (and sometimes even if they are), veterans separated from military service have to find jobs once they return to civilian life. And, as with anything, some employers are better than others—even specifically for veterans.

Monster.com has produced its third annual assessment of “companies that give back to those who have served by providing best-in-class veteran-oriented recruitment, hiring and retention programs.” The nominees and winners “exemplify best practices in hiring, retaining and empowering U.S. veterans,” Monster says in a statement. 

A panel of experts composed of U.S. Marine Corps officer and senior vice president of strategic programs at Orion International David Coe; personal branding coach Lida Citroën; retired Marine Corps lieutenant colonel, speaker and leadership consultant Justin Constantine; and former global head of military programs and engagement for Verizon Evan Guzman created the list of 49 nominees. 

Each member of the panel was asked to nominate the 10 companies they thought stood out this year for their veteran hiring and retention practices. Monster staff then asked each of the nominees for additional information. 

Related: 10 financial strategies for military families

Considerations in determining the winners include the percentage of each company’s 2016 hires who are veterans; the percentage of the total workforce that are veterans; the retention rate for 2016 hires; what 2018 recruitment plans it had for veterans; whether it has a dedicated veteran recruitment team and whether any of that team is ex-military; what kind of special programs it offers for onboarding, development and retention; whether they accepted military training in place of civilian credentials; and if the company’s leadership is updated on the value of hiring veterans, military culture and veterans issues. All nominees were ranked first on 2017 hires, then on total workforce, and finally the other data points to inform the final rankings.

ManTech International came out on top for the second year in a row, with 46 percent of its workforce composed of veterans; 64 percent of its hires in 2017 were veterans, and 55 percent of its 2016 veteran hires retained for 12 months. Next was Intelligent Waves, with a 47 percent veteran workforce, 37 percent veteran hire rate for 2017 and an 80 percent 2016 retention rate.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection was third, with a 29 percent veteran workforce, 31 percent veteran hire rate for 2017 and an 87 percent 2016 retention rate, followed by Lockheed Martin, with a 23 percent veteran workforce and 28 percent veteran hire rate for 2017; its 2016 retention rate is listed as NA (not applicable).

Fifth was Booz Allen Hamilton, with a 30 percent veteran workforce, 27 percent veteran hire rate for 2017 and a 79.5 percent 2016 retention rate; sixth, Schneider National, with a 28 percent veteran workforce, 22 percent veteran hire rate for 2017 and 2016 retention rate listed as NA; seventh, USAA, with a 15 percent veteran workforce, 22 percent veteran hire rate for 2017 and an 89 percent 2016 retention rate.

Eighth, BAE Systems, with a 16.5 percent veteran workforce, 21 percent veteran hire rate for 2017 and an 84 percent 2016 retention rate; ninth, Union Pacific Railroad, with a 17.5 percent veteran workforce, 20 percent veteran hire rate for 2017 and a 61 percent 2016 retention rate; and tenth, Boeing, with a 15 percent veteran workforce, 15 percent veteran hire rate for 2017 and a 92 percent 2016 retention rate.

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