While serving as a military police sergeant for the U.S. Army, Aaron Dumbrow was accustomed to higher-level officers paying attention to his reports from the field. When he entered the IT field after medical retirement from the Army, Dumbrow wasn’t sure his voice would continue to be heard in the same way. But soon after joining cloud solutions provider VMware as a senior systems engineer, Dumbrow was pleasantly surprised to receive an email from the company’s CEO, following up on his recent status report and offering to help with a project.
“Much like in the military, when I send reports up, people at VMware actually want to read them and understand what matters to us in the field,” Dumbrow says. “When I realized the level of engagement from higher levels, it felt like this was the right place for me.”
Like Dumbrow, a number of military veterans have selected VMware as an employer after leaving the armed forces. And the company’s leadership couldn’t be happier. In fact, attracting veterans is an important part of VMware’s recruitment strategy. “After veterans have done in service for our country, we give back through our hiring programs,” says Sarah Clark, diversity hiring program manager at VMware. “It’s valuable for us too, as most vets are hardworking, smart, agile, great leaders and team players, and have a lot of skills that come from their military experience.”
In addition, hiring veterans simply makes good business sense for VMware, as the U.S. armed forces are customers and as employees, vets can offer special insight into the military.
VMware’s inclusive culture and values were created by its employees and has become a central tenant of their daily activities. Because the company’s values happen to closely resemble military values, they have become an attraction and retention factor for veterans who are looking to make the transition from military to civilian workforce.
Through a new pilot program, VMware has recently hired a wounded veteran with no IT experience. “We’re going to train him from the ground up to become a tech support professional,” says Huy Tran, technical support manager and U.S. Army veteran. “After three months, he is amazed at the company’s values and the experience he’s had here.”
In addition, a handful of veteran employees are joining to form an employee resource group for other veterans across the organization, with support from management and human resources. “This group will offer a way for us to help recruit more veterans and mentor and retain the ones we have,” Dumbrow says.
All the effort to make veterans feel at home at VMware has paid off. Those on board say they appreciate a number of aspects of the company’s culture, including:
- The military is known for fostering tight bonds between the soldiers who serve together. And VMware fosters a similar sense of camaraderie, Tran says. “A fellowship is developing among my team and me, like in the Army,” he says.
- While soldiers are supremely focused on service to their country, “A lot of people don’t really get to be involved in community service after leaving the military,” Tran says. “But VMware does that really well.” For instance, the company offers each employee 40 paid hours of community service time each year for employees to give back to the causes closest to their hearts.
- The VMware team believes in checking egos at the door and working together to achieve great outcomes “Everybody is moving in the same direction.” Dumbrow says, “And like the military, we don’t leave anyone behind.”
- “In the military, we took a bunch of kids off their parents’ couches, ran them for eight weeks, and they came out soldiers,” Dumbrow says. “VMware is an intense place to work. You have to be amazing to stand out because you are working with amazing people. If you want to be better, they will push you to be that. “
As VMware focuses on a culture of transparency, it uses Glassdoor to publicly showcase its mission and vision to like-minded job seekers. If you’d like to highlight your own company’s commitment to hiring America’s military veterans find work, request a Free Employer Account, log in to your employer center and begin updating your Pledges and Certifications (see Employer Branding ‘Benefits’ within the Employer Center).