In his August 2014 GI Jobs article, Industry Intel: Surprising Retail Careers, Marty Levine interviews Ellen Davis, senior vice president of the National Retail Federation (NRF), who describes a robust career field. Davis explains: “Retail is a fantastic career opportunity. First of all, it’s big – there are a ton of opportunities. You can work in retail in your hometown. You can travel around the world with retail. The biggest tip I would give a veteran is that this is an industry that really offers career opportunities.” That includes careers in IT and cyber security, logistics, and operations.
Featured in the article is Whirlpool, the world's leading global manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances. Whirlpool is also an Orion International Featured Employer, having distinguished themselves by their commitment to hiring veterans. Whirlpool’s top careers for Veterans, as listed in the article include Engineering/Project Management, Procurement, Information Technology/Global Information Systems, Production Management, and Logistics. Orion is currently recruiting veterans for engineering and technician positions with Whirlpool.
In addition to hiring veterans, Whirlpool also supports them on the job through their Whirlpool Veterans Association (WVA), a group welcoming all Whirlpool employees interested in recognizing and supporting their veteran colleagues. The group supports community events, advocates veteran recruiting, provides on-boarding support for veterans and their families, and even hosts social events. To learn more about how Whirlpool recruits and supports the veterans they hire, click here.
Kimberly Fry, senior manager for talent acquisition at Whirlpool, tells Levine, “We’ve found veterans to be outstanding talent. Our biggest challenge is finding roles that are big enough for them – which is a great problem to have. What I found is that the background of the military is so diverse that I can place the veterans anywhere in our organization and we’ll be confident in their performance – from hourly to the top and everywhere in between.”
Due to the diversity of available positions in Retail, Davis points out that veterans are going to find tremendous opportunity in areas where they already have experience in the military, be it logistics, security, management, or even IT. “Forty-four percent of retail jobs have nothing to with being in a sales role,” she says. Salaries can vary greatly by position but, according to Davis, Retail is one of the few “meritocracies” left, with many people in retail bringing home $100,000+.
Ultimately, Levine illustrates that Retail is more than just being a cashier and that those who are cashiers have a shot at working their way up the chain into management. He also points out that the breadth of experience veterans have makes them a great fit for this huge, diverse industry.
To learn how your company can become an Orion Featured Employer like Whirlpool through a full-cycle customized Military Talent Program, please click here.