USAA Making Strides in Focused Military Recruiting Effort

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One in five new hires are veterans, military spouses, Reserve or National Guard

USAA, the financial services provider of choice to the military community, is making significant progress toward its goal of having at least 20% of its workforce made up of employees with military experience, including veterans, military spouses and members of the National Guard and Reserve. The company’s focus on the military community is part of a multiyear recruiting program that includes unprecedented outreach to wounded warriors.

     

In 2008, USAA hired 472 new employees with prior military experience or who are military spouses, which represented 21% of USAA’s hires overall. The company also enhanced efforts to recruit wounded warriors by hiring a military talent manager who is a wounded warrior himself.

Brian Neuman, a former Staff Sergeant and Army Ranger, nearly died from severe injuries he received in Fallujah on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2004. Knowing he couldn’t rejoin his fellow soldiers in battle, Brian thought about how he could still serve the military. He decided to work with USAA and is now helping injured veterans as the organizer of USAA’s new wounded warrior outreach program.

The special emphasis on hiring workers with military experience is a strategic initiative aimed at improving USAA’s nationally recognized customer service experience for its 6.8 million members.

"The leadership traits, work ethic and shared experiences that come with being a part of the military community are a valuable asset and a key ingredient to our success in providing empathetic and best-in-class service to our customers," said Liz Conklyn, executive vice president of People Services at USAA. "These individuals have a unique appreciation for our mission – for many of them employment with USAA is an extension or a continuation of their military service – and they, more than anyone, know our members, their challenges and their needs.

"Even in today’s economy, our business continues to grow – we added 350,000 new members in 2008. So we will continue to hire from the terrific talent pool of the military community," Conklyn said.

Roughly 17% of USAA’s total workforce has military experience. Veterans hold positions at all levels and in all organizations at USAA, from the Board of Directors to call center operations, human resources, corporate communications, information technology, banking services, and more. Nearly two thirds of USAA’s military experienced employees work in customer contact positions.

Among those is Andrew Powers, who joined USAA following his recovery at Brooke Army Medical Center from wounds received from an IED explosion in Iraq that left him badly wounded. Powers currently serves as a member service representative at USAA’s headquarters in San Antonio, interacting directly with USAA members each day. Powers understands the benefit of having someone on the other end of the phone who, in effect, knows the challenges and sacrifices of military service.

"The challenges of the military lifestyle are easier to grasp if you’ve lived it, and I think that results in an extra ‘helping’ of excellent service for our customers," said Powers. "For me, it’s especially rewarding to know that my company wants me to go above and beyond to deliver that level of service."

As part of the military hiring program, USAA recruiters attend dozens of military-related job fairs and conferences, as well as briefings at numerous military installations for members transitioning to civilian life. The program also includes a special focus on assisting wounded warriors and their families through recruiting and hiring, job training, and family assistance.

"Our military heritage is the cornerstone of our culture, and we want to do more to attract and develop military talent. We are expanding our outreach to include additional focus on officers, NCO’s, wounded warriors, and spouses," said Bob Lockett, assistant vice president of military programs.

About USAA

USAA, a diversified financial services group of companies, is among the leading providers of financial planning, insurance, investments, and banking products to members of the U.S. military and their families. For the past three years, BusinessWeek magazine ranked USAA among the top two "Customer Service Champs," highlighting our legendary commitment of providing highly competitive financial products for 6.8 million members. For more information about USAA, or to learn more about membership, visit usaa.com.

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