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Military Friendly® Employers Methodology

The list of Military Friendly® Employers and Military Friendly® Employer ratings are assessed through the evaluation of both public data about the organization and proprietary data gathered through our free Military Friendly® Employers survey, which is now a part of the Military Friendly® Companies survey. The annual, data-driven Military Friendly® Employers survey assessment is available at no cost to thousands of companies and federal contractors nationwide; employers must have hired military veterans within the last 12 months in order to participate.

Each year, employers taking the survey are held to a higher standard than in previous years via improved methodology, criteria and weightings developed with the assistance of an independent research firm and our Advisory Council.

Survey responses are weighted according to the categories below. Final survey results and ratings are determined by combining an employer’s survey scores with the assessment of the organization’s ability to meet minimum thresholds for the recruiting, hiring, advancement and retention of veterans and military employees. The benchmark is set by the score of the leading organization.

Corporate America has a voracious appetite for hiring from the military—not simply because it is the “right thing to do” for our veterans, service members and military spouses, but because it makes good business sense.


Public Data Sources We Use
Our Current Survey Criteria
2019 Survey Question Categories & Weightings


Organizations must successfully complete the Military Friendly® Employers portion of the Military Friendly® Companies survey to verify that they meet at least three of the following benchmarks:

  1. New Hire Retention Rate for Veterans is greater than 50%.
  2. New Hire Retention for Veterans is higher than for Non-Military Employees.
  3. New Hire Retention Rate for Guard & Reserve Employees is greater than 50%.
  4. New Hire Retention for Veterans is higher than for Non-Military Employees.
  5. Military Employee Turnover is lower than for Non-Military Employees.
  6. Military Employee Turnover is less than 20%.
  7. Promotions and Advancements of Military Employees is higher than for Non-Military Employees.
  8. Percent of Military Applicants selected is higher than for Non-Military Applicants selected.
  9. Guard and Reserve policies exceed federal requirements.

Additionally, we use public data sources in our assessment. Companies are negatively scored or may be disqualified if the company was found in violation of veteran protections within the past 12 months:

  • Company has an outstanding claim(s) case or violation under investigation by the US Departments of Labor or Defense, or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
  • Company has been debarred from participation in federal contracting.


Career Opportunity & Advancement – 18%
This section focuses primarily on the resources applied to assure successful transition to civilian employment. Key performance indicators include employee retention and a new measure of selection for promotion and advancement.

  • Career Opportunities
  • Career Supports
  • Promotion & Advancement

Culture & Commitment – 29%
This section benchmarks the existence of company-wide commitment from official policies to executive leadership. It also reviews dedicated personnel, facilities and training provided to execute this commitment and assure prioritization of military applicants and employees.

  • Institutional Commitment
  • Personnel & Facilities
  • Training Programs
  • External Engagement & Recognition

Hiring & Onboarding – 7%
This section measures both activities and outcomes related to new hire selection and the sophistication of onboarding initiatives. Hiring outcomes provide evidence of the effectiveness of these programs.

  • Onboarding Supports
  • New Hire Process
  • Hiring Outcomes

Military Employee Policies & Compliance – 16%
This section measures an organization’s overall policies to address the needs of military employees, including the current status of agreement and cooperation with federal programs and law.

  • Guard & Reserve Policies
  • Deployment Policies
  • Government Program Compliance

Military Employee Support & Retention – 24%
This section covers a broad array of programs and policies that provide support to current military employees, including mentoring of new hires, professional integration beyond orientation, and employee resource groups.

  • Military Employee Representation
  • Military Employee Supports
  • Retention Outcomes

Recruiting & Sourcing – 6%
This section reviews policies, programs and supports for attracting, and sourcing new military job applicants, as well as key outcome indicators measuring military applicant identification and selection.

  • Military Sourcing Efforts
  • Military Recruiting Commitment
  • Applicant Outcomes


Our rankings of “Spouse Employers” are based on a subset of questions from the Military Friendly® Employers survey. Questions considered for the Military Spouse Friendly Employers® list includes those covering the recruiting programs designed specifically for military spouses; spouse hiring efforts and results; policies for military spouses whose service members are deployed; and the presence of special apprenticeship programs or on-the-job training programs for military spouses.