Honoring—and Employing—Veterans at Workday

If you’ve been following Workday on social media the past few days, you may have seen our profile on Kristin. As a biomedical maintenance technician in the Air Force she developed a keen attention to detail—a skill that serves her well as a quality assurance engineer at Workday. Or maybe you read about Chris, a former Marine who now works here as a deployment consultant, even though a recruiter once told him he should look to a career in retail security. These employees started as interns in Workday’s Career Accelerator Program (CAP), and we’d like to thank them, and all who have served in our armed forces, on Veterans Day.

Yet to truly honor our veterans, we need to say more than thank you. We also must recognize and help them overcome the obstacles many of them face as they try to transition from the military into civilian careers.

Imagine this: You’ve served six years in the military, where every day you worked with others as a team, developed a strong work ethic, and learned how to adapt quickly to changing situations. Maybe you were an engineer, or managed people in high-stress situations, or learned the Six Sigma principles while building aircraft.

But you find again and again that hiring managers and recruiters don’t know how to interpret your military experience for the corporate job descriptions they’ve created. Their resume scanning systems don’t recognize the terms used in the military to describe your incredible skills that would most certainly bring value to their companies. So your resume is cast aside, and the job search continues.

That’s why initiatives such as Workday CAP are so important. The program offers veterans a six-month, full-time paid internship, with the goal of full-time employment. Its mission is to break down barriers to jobs in the tech industry that unemployed and under-employed people face due to their non-traditional resumes.

Even in a tough hiring market there are plenty of talented and hard-working people who will prove to be amazing team players—if only given the chance.

Earlier this year, our first group of interns worked on teams throughout the company—sales, technology, legal, services, and more. We’re happy to report that 10 out of the 12 interns have joined us at Workday full time (including Kristin and Chris). We’re so excited about CAP’s success that in 2017, we’re expanding it to 30 internships for military veterans, and looking at other groups who could benefit from some career acceleration.

Yet we certainly don’t consider this charity. The fact is, the more we do to foster a diverse workforce, the more fun we have at work, the better we get at understanding all of our customers, and the smarter we get at developing new ideas. All of these things are absolutely essential to delivering and supporting the world’s most innovative and user-friendly enterprise applications.

I also hope that what we’re doing will inspire others, and help build recognition that even in a tough hiring market there are plenty of talented and hard-working people who will prove to be amazing team players—if only given the chance.

To learn more about CAP, and hear from our veterans on what it’s done for their lives and careers, watch the three-minute video below.