Military Spouse Friendly® Employers Methodology

Military Spouse Friendly® Employers are assessed through the evaluation of both public data about the organization and proprietary data gathered through our free Military Spouse Friendly® Employers survey, which is now a part of the Military Friendly® Companies survey. The annual, data-driven survey assessment is available at no cost to companies and federal contractors nationwide.

Each year employers taking our surveys 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.

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 their families, but because it makes good business sense.


Public Data Sources We Use
Our Current Survey Criteria
2017 Survey Question Categories & Weightings

EY, a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services, independently evaluates the completeness and accuracy of the Military Spouse Friendly® Employers data calculations and scoring tabulations using the criteria set forth by VIQTORY. The services performed by EY are advisory in nature.

EY refers to the global organization, and may refer to one or more, of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. The methodology review was performed by EY Assurance Services. For more information about EY, please visit


Our ratings of “Spouse Employers” are based on responses to questions from the Military Spouse 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.

Survey responses are weighted according to the categories below. Final results and ratings are determined by combining an employer’s survey scores with the assessment of the organization’s ability to meet minimum thresholds. The benchmark is set by the score of the leading organization. Any company scoring at least 15% of the top score earned the Military Spouse Friendly® Employer designation.

Additionally, we use public data sources in our assessment. Companies are negatively scored if the company was found in violation of veteran/military employee protections within the past 12 months, such as:

  • 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 – 24%
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 – 5%
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 – 9%
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 – 9%
This section measures an organization’s overall policies to address the needs of military and military spouse 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 – 18%
This section covers a broad array of programs and policies that provide support to current military and military spouse employees, including mentoring of new hires, professional integration beyond orientation, and employee resource groups.

  • Military Employee Representation
  • Military Employee Supports
  • Retention Outcomes

Military Spouse Employee Policies & Compliance – 14%
Military Spouse Employee Support & Retention – 21%