How Employers Can Meet Their Affirmative Action Goals

How Employers Can Meet Their Affirmative Action Goals

Employers may have read with some trepidation the outcome of a recent Supreme Court decision that prevents American colleges from considering race in admissions decisions. After all, the goals of affirmative action programs have been advanced in recent years by Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives now present in most organizations since President John F. Kennedy ushered in the initiative in 1961. As a result of the decision, the Wall Street Journal tells us that, “Corporate diversity and equity programs that divide and classify by race should also be on notice that they will face legal challenges.”[i] However, organizations that ignore workplace diversity will not remain competitive or sustainable. So, how are today’s DEI leaders to effectively meet their goals? My answer: The veterans and military spouses of today’s military community are here to help you successfully meet your talent pool composition aims.

Some facts: Veterans, one of several protected classes for equal opportunity purposes in the United States, are among the most valuable components of diversity and inclusion efforts. They emanate from an already diverse talent pool (31 percent of active-duty service members come from racial and ethnic minority groups; 17 percent are women), bring a bevy of transferable skills, and are readily available. More than 200,000 of them matriculating from the military annually represent an ongoing just-in-time talent play. And their impact is palpable. Cumulative Gallup Workplace Studies uncovered a 22% increase in productivity at organizations that create inclusive environments that include veterans.[ii] When you hire veterans, you not only hire diversity, you hire success.

And that’s not all. The Center for a New American Security found that more than 90 percent of HR managers said veterans are promoted faster than their non-veteran peers and 68 percent said that veterans performed better or much better than their non-veteran peers. More than 75 percent also said veterans are easier or significantly easier to manage than their non-veteran peers. In sum, and as I’ve documented in my books, veterans have the skills that U.S. employers say are needed for success in today’s workplace.[iii]

Even better: Hiring veterans and their spouses increases our nation’s security. As I document in my new award-winning book Hiring Veterans, doing so proves that military service provides a gateway to successful civilian careers and encourages future participants in the nation’s all-volunteer military to serve. NOT hiring veterans likewise has national security implications: The Department of Defense (DoD) must pay Unemployment Insurance for Ex-Servicemembers (UCX) to states whose veterans are not employed, and these funds subtract from DoD’s operating budget and thereby sacrifice funds that could otherwise contribute to our common defense.

Few talent pools are more malleable and valuable than those emanating from today’s military. You owe it to yourself and your organization to meet these folks halfway with a dedicated hiring program. You represent the economic engine by which veterans and their spouses can assimilate into society as productive members and propel themselves, their families, and your organization forward. Applying these ideas will improve your process of incorporating more of these heroes and increase the virtuous cycle of improving your organization’s productivity and beating your competition. And in doing so, you’ll do your part to contribute to the nation’s security. It’s a win-win-win value proposition.

Do yourself, your organization, your shareholders, and the country a favor: Initiate a formal program to hire the members of today’s military community! You won’t be disappointed.

About the Author

Matt Louis is one of the nation’s leading experts in career transition for veterans and public service professionals. He coaches individuals on their transition efforts and advises employers on hiring programs designed to successfully assimilate these valuable talent pools. Matt is also the President of Purepost, the optimal means for matching talent to available roles in the US economy. He is the author of the award-winning[1] and best-selling[2] HarperCollins book Mission Transition, a practical guide for veterans in career transition, their families, and their employers. His second book, Hiring Veterans, an award-winning[3] practical guide for organizational leaders on how to build programs to assimilate veteran and military spouse talent successfully, is published by CareerPress and was a #1 New Release on Amazon in the Job Hunting category. Both are available anywhere books are sold.

[i] “A Landmark for Racial Equality,” The Wall Street Journal, Page A14, June 30, 2023. See also: Michael Toth, “Is Your Company’s DEI Program Lawful?” The Wall Street Journal, Page A17, July 3, 2023.

[ii] Mark Kaplan and Mason Donovan, The Inclusion Dividend: Why Investing in Diversity & Inclusion Pays Off (Brookline, MA: Bibliomotion, Inc., 2013), 37.

[iii] Matthew J. Louis, Mission Transition: Navigating the Opportunities and Obstacles to Your Post-Military Career (Nashville, TN: HarperCollins Leadership, 2019). Matthew J. Louis, Hiring Veterans: How to Leverage Military Talent for Organizational Growth (Newburyport, MA: Career Press, 2023).

[1] 2022 International Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal for Non-Fiction Military; 2021 eLit Book Awards: Gold Medal for Business / Career / Sales, Gold Medal for Current Events (Foreign Affairs / Military), Gold Medal for Best Author Website; 2021 Nonfiction Authors Association Silver Book Award; 2022 Global Book Awards (War & Military); 2021 Axiom Business Book Bronze Medal (Career); 2021 Living Now Book Awards Bronze Medal (Motivation / Improvement); 2023 Book Excellence Award (Career); 2023 Book Fest Book Awards: Website / Overall Design, 2nd place; Nonfiction Business - Careers, 3rd place; 2023 Outstanding Creator Awards: Best Non-fiction Book, 2nd place; Best Military Book, 1st place; Best Self-Help & How-to Book, 1st place; Best Educational & Reference Book, 1st place; 2023 International Firebird Book Award (Career & Military Nonfiction); Pinnacle Book Achievement Award (Career) Fall 2022; 2022 Incipere Book Awards (Self-Improvement, 2nd place); 2022 Chanticleer International Book Awards (Military & Front Line, 1st Place); 2023 BooksShelf Nonfiction Writing Contest Finalist (Top 5%); 5-Star reviews: The Book Commentary, Readers’ Favorite

[2] #1 for Job Markets & Advice – Amazon, November 2022.

[3] 2023 Global Book Awards Finalist – War & Military; 2023 Pinnacle Book Achievement Award – Business Reference; 5-Star review: Readers’ Favorite

Share this: