Many companies actively seek to hire veterans and throw support behind the active military. It hasn’t been until the past few years, however, that military spouses have been recognized as exemplary employees and companies have been taking tangible steps to recruit this demographic.
Serving 28.3 million Americans each day, Comcast NBCUniversal is one of those companies that takes action in hiring military spouses and service members. In 2015, the company created a Military and Veteran Affairs division, headed by Vice President Carol Eggert, brigadier general (Ret.), U.S. Army. At that time, the company committed to hiring 10,000 veterans, National Guard and Reserve members, and military spouses by the end of 2017.
Its initiatives are so encompassing that Comcast NBCUniversal earned the No. 1 designation in this year’s Military Spouse Friendly Employers® list.
Comcast NBCUniversal has been a long-standing partner with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes, as well as teaming with the Department of Defense’s Military Spouse Employment Partnership.
The company regularly participates in job fairs around the country and online. Outreach programs geared toward the military spouse community include internships, apprenticeships, managerial training programs and networking events.
Referrals also yield big results. Michael Cox, Senior Vice President, Talent Acquisition for Comcast, recently announced an enhanced employee referral program intended specifically for the military community, including military spouses.
Any employee who refers a military spouse as a candidate who is ultimately hired will be awarded a referral bonus double the amount of the regular referral.
Although the referral program already is strong, Eggert anticipates the volume of referrals to increase significantly with the added financial backing.
Talent acquisition and recruiting specialists have resources at their hands, including a Military Readiness Resource eBook and a partnership with PsychArmor, which provides training videos and materials for recruiters and hiring managers.
Once a military spouse employee is on board, Comcast NBCUniversal offers:
- A dedicated human resources concierge to help service members, spouses and their families during deployments and other duty-related events that may impact the family unit.
- The option to shift to part-time employment while a spouse is deployed.
- A dedicated VetNet Employee Resource Group that pools more than 5,000 employees with ties to the military community to create a dynamic resource group to provide on-boarding help, mentorship, sponsorship programs and events focused on growing the professional and personal development of military spouses, veterans and Guard and Reserve employees.
Embrace the Workforce
“Investing in the military spouse market means creating a path to build a career with Comcast NBCUniversal since we cover such a wide career field with media, entertainment and technology,” Eggert says. “The military spouse market has a key strength that many others don’t—flexibility—as a result of the fast-paced world of the military that requires constantly changing locations and job situations. That’s perfect for us as an organization that is on the cutting edge of a rapidly changing sector. We know the military spouse community has a talent pool that can adapt to any number of new work environments and instantly thrive.
“The philosophy across the Comcast NBCUniversal family is to develop, retain and embrace a workforce that reflects the communities we serve,” she continues. “With opportunities across so many specialized fields—technology, entertainment, news, sports, cable and more—military spouses benefit from workforce initiatives across the company that ensure our programs and the careers of those who lead them are structured to yield long-term success.”
Continuous Career Path
One of the key hindrances to fluid career paths for military spouses is frequent relocation. Comcast NBCUniversal alleviates this concern for military spouses. “We make every effort to connect them with a Comcast NBCUniversal job if their next location is in the footprint of our business,” Eggert says. “If they are moving to a location outside of our footprint, we work with them to find employment at that location, which includes reaching out to companies we work with in the MSEP program to discuss available options at other military spouse-friendly organizations. And, if all else fails, we provide a generous transition assistance package. We understand many of our military spouses will one day be back in a location within our footprint, and we want to make sure they come back to us when that day comes.”
Hiring 10,000 spouses, veterans and Guard and Reserve members is just the beginning of Comcast NBCUniversal’s commitment.
“The energy behind that effort will continue into the future,” Eggert says. “Everyone in this community has served and sacrificed for our country in a unique manner. For spouses, our way of recognizing that sacrifice is using our offices nationwide to provide them opportunities to continue to advance and accelerate in their own careers while their spouse serves our country.”