Meet S3’s Military Attraction And Assimilation Program

Strategic Staffing Solutions (S3), a $300 million IT staffing and business solutions company, is proud to have more than 40% of its 2,700 overhead staff and contractors claim veteran, military spouse, or military dependent status. As one of the nation’s leaders in contingent workforce placement, S3 established its own Military Veteran program, and knows how to mitigate the challenges employees most often face as they transition from the military into new career pathways.

We support veterans and their spouses in various ways.

At the core of our strategy is a veterans-hiring-veterans approach with the formation of our Combat Recruit Support Team. This team, formed in 2012, has created an intentional pipeline for recruiting, retaining and placing military veterans with transferrable skill sets who are uniquely positioned to meet the needs of the customers we serve.

This team has made the transition from military to civilian careers and is perfectly suited to serve and assist new military veteran applicants.

In addition to its dedicated military veteran recruiters, S3 has also launched a website, that offers resources for veterans, spouses and dependents, including advice on translating military experience into desired civilian job skills; a database of current job opportunities in S3; and help writing a resume. And, whether it’s supporting veterans at an event in Detroit, or sponsoring a golf tournament in San Antonio, S3 also consistently supports events that support veterans. Additionally, S3 participates in Veteran benefits information and jobs fairs across its 24 U.S. branches.

We also take every opportunity to create special messages to celebrate, honor and remember important days to the military community, including Veterans Day, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, and we consistently highlight our veterans in the company newsletter and at company gatherings.

Examples of this recognition include the development of our book, “Together We Stand:  Strategic Staffing Solutions and America’s Veterans” (; the development of a distinctive employee pin for veterans; and providing all our employees Veterans Day as a paid holiday; and a video that highlights not only our veteran program but some of the individual military veteran employees who have contributed to S3’s success (

As part of its ongoing efforts, S3 continues to leverage its expertise within the staffing industry to create opportunities for military veterans. As such, we share best practices and industry intelligence in national forums such as the Executive Forum during which Col. Ken Huxley, USAF Retired, and Southwest Branch Manager, presented on recruitment of military veterans. We have also created a fast tracked Military Veteran JAVA class in Plano, Texas, and enhanced our Human Resource capabilities to better track core demographics, ease the transition of military veterans into civilian work, and increase long term retention within job placements.

Establishing a “military friendly” work environment / culture isn’t difficult, but it does take some thought.  As the Department of Labor advises, “when standing up any initiative, or preparing your workplace to welcome Veterans, keep in mind that no two have the same experiences.”

That said, acquiring knowledge regarding military culture can definitely improve employers’ and co-workers’ abilities to understand, communicate and effectively interact with veterans and their families.

For simplicity, you can break veterans into two basic groups:  those who are presently in the process of transitioning out the Armed Forces, and those that who have previously transitioned from the Armed Forces and who have held at least one civilian sector position since their transition.

Employers of those veterans in the presently transitioning group especially may encounter challenges not necessarily associated with employees without military experience.  For example, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is, unfortunately, prevalent among combat veterans.  As of September 2014, there are about 2.7 million American veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, with an estimated 20 percent with PTSD and / or depression (according to a recent RAND study).   Employers should evaluate their current benefit offerings with respect to PTSD treatment options for affected employees, and ensure the company is in compliance with Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).

Title I of the ADA, which is enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), prohibits private and state and local government employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating against individuals on the basis of disability.  USERRA has requirements for reemploying veterans with and without service-connected disabilities and is enforced by the U. S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).  In addition, PTSD may trigger Workman’s Comp considerations.

In addition, some newer veterans may need financial assistance or financial education, especially in cases where there’s a significant time gap between military separation and securing employment in the civilian sector.  Issues from tax changes to health insurance to a lack of emergency funds can put undue stress on the veteran employee.  Coupled with financial education, S3 offers signing bonuses, short-term pay advances, mortgage assistance, and the like can help relieve financial stresses.  In addition to the employers programs, there are a host of reputable non-profit organizations that provide financial support to veterans.

The good news is that veterans want to be part of your organization.  In a 2011 Pew survey of post-9/11 military veterans, more than half specifically cited the opportunity to learn skills they could use in the civilian workforce was an important factor in their decision to serve.   As employers, we have a great opportunity not only to help veterans achieve their goal of a successful transition to the civilian workforce, but to achieve our own in the process:  hiring the best employees possible to ensure the success of our own organizations.

Having employees who happen to be military veterans to help lead your efforts is a critical investment—they have “walked the walk,” have credibility among their veteran peers, and provide empathy in building the bridge between the military and corporate structure they now represent.

Veterans come from organizational cultures where values such as honesty, integrity, loyalty, commitment and service before self-define not only their daily lives but reflect the altruistic sacrifices associated with military service.  Accordingly, veterans will seek out companies that have similar core values or operational pillars.

For example, S3’s four operational pillars of setting the bar high for what a company should do, creating jobs, providing opportunities for people to improve their station in life, and being good community citizens thru charity and volunteerism, appeal to our military veteran and military spouse employees and applicants because our pillars reflect a familiar culture.  Too, S3’s “no door” policy creates and reinforces a “one team – one fight” environment versus a more traditional corporate organizational hierarchy/structure.

Like any other employee group, military veterans want to feel included, valued, and respected not only for who they are, but for the talent and experience they can bring to your organization.

For additional information, please feel free to reach out to our veteran program POCs:

Colonel Ken Huxley, USAF, Retired

Director, Talent Acquisition | 210.278.3768

Senior Master Sergeant Marvin Daugherty, USAF, Retired

Operations Officer, Central Sourcing Team | 210.278.3787