- Why was the Veterans Initiative created? What made Power want to reach out to Veterans in specific?
In 2015, Power was named the #1 Workplace for Millennials by FORTUNE Magazine. With this recognition came a lot of media attention, which we saw as an opportunity – an opportunity to affect change. The question was, what kind of change? Looking internally, we saw that the veterans at Power were disproportionally successful. Externally, however, veterans were struggling to find jobs and often portrayed as broken in a variety of ways. Recognizing this dichotomy led to the Power Veterans Initiative. We saw firsthand that veterans are passionate, driven, and hard working. Yet the national narrative didn’t align with this experience. With our ever-expanding footprint, we knew we could change that.
- What is the goal for Power’s Veterans Initiative?
First and most importantly, we want to hire hundreds of military veterans and military spouses. For us this is not charity – this is the right business decision. Veterans are successful here; we want more of them. Yet it’s not enough to just get them in the door. Once they’re here, our goal is to provide them with the infrastructure and support needed for them to have thriving careers.
By hiring veterans and providing a real opportunity for a fulfilling career, we will achieve our second goal: create a model for other companies to replicate. While the day-to-day tasks of every company vary, they all need dedicated, purpose-driven employees. The success of our Veterans Initiative will provide them with a blueprint for how to effectively hire and develop veterans within their walls.
Lastly, by establishing a true connection with the veteran community, we will become thought leaders in this space. This will enable us to change the national dialogue surrounding veterans from one where they’re seen as liabilities to one where they’re seen as assets.
- How is the “refer a veteran” program structured?
At Power, over 50% of our hires come from referrals. Therefore, when we launched our Veterans Initiative, we knew referrals would play a big role. The first aspect of our “refer a veteran” program is run in much the same way as all of our referrals: employees refer a veteran by entering them into our system, which then triggers our talent acquisition team to schedule a phone interview. If the referral is hired in this way, after 90 days of employment the employee who referred them receives a $2,000 bonus, just like they would for a civilian referral. Where this program differs, however, is that after those 90 days of employment, the veteran or veteran spouse also receives a bonus, which is $3,000. It’s our way of letting them know that we appreciate them and we’re committed to them.
- Are community events organized for recruitment?
Rather than create our own events, we often partner with leading Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs) on their events. We’ve found that this provides a stronger link to veterans and allows us to expand on our public-private partnerships. By participating in their career fairs or 5k runs, we’re able to introduce Power to a large number of veterans.
- As part of your mission, we understand you thrive to help create a stronger community by building community gyms and service projects. How are these selected? Can you provide a little more information on this?
Power has 12, soon to be 14, offices across the country. We knew that for this to be successful, we needed all of our offices to be involved – not just our headquarters. That’s why in each office we established a Tiger Team. These teams are made up of 5-8 trusted military and civilian employees who are charged with spearheading the Veterans Initiative in their region. Each Team has formed connections and partnerships with local VSOs that have led to joint 5k runs, community service events, and dinners. All of these activities bridge the gap between veterans and civilians, and hopefully help ease the transition of returning veterans. For us it’s not about saying we’re going to hire a certain number of veterans – it’s about helping the whole person. By partnering with organizations within our communities, we’re establishing relationships that let veterans know they haven’t been forgotten.
- What do you think this initiative has brought back to the company? How has it helped develop or grow Power Home Remodeling?
The veterans already within our walls are growing within their roles, becoming leaders, and developing the people around them. They’re bringing a unique perspective to their work, which makes our organization stronger. This year we will hire just over 200 members of the veteran community, which means they will represent over 10% of our workforce. Soon all of our employees will be working with, and learning from, veterans. The effect we’ve seen on a small scale will then ripple throughout the company, creating a more diverse culture and more dynamic organization.