According to the Society of Human Resource Management, military veterans are known for being high-performing employees and possessing the expertise, leadership and training to fill skills gaps. With 200,000 service members transitioning out of military service, this talent pipeline is growing.

To compete for and win members of this valuable talent pool, employers need targeted veteran recruiting strategies that align with veteran’s preference about workplace diversity and recruiting. Read on to find out what our Diversity in the Workplace Statistics Survey uncovered about veteran’s unique perceptions and priorities.

Military Veterans and Service Members Share Their Thoughts on Diversity

Of the survey participants who self-identified as military veterans or service members:

  • 28% are women, 64% are men and 8% are non-binary (compared to 50%, 46% and 3%, respectively, for all survey participants)
  • 30% are members of the LGBTQ community and 11% are allies (compared to 13% and 8%, respectively)
  • 75% identify with a religion (compared to 61%)
  •  43% self-identify as having a disability (compared to 18%)
  • 24% are Hispanic/Latino; 51% are Caucasian; 25% are African American/Black (compared to 12%, 66% and 15%, respectively)

Veterans Have Strong Feelings About Workplace Diversity

Based on survey results, it’s safe to say workplace diversity is equally as important to veterans as it to all survey participants.

Is workplace diversity important?


Veterans factor it into their their decision-making processes about taking jobs and leaving them.

A potential employer’s commitment to diversity would be an important factor in my decision to accept a job with them.


I would consider finding a new job if my employer didn’t demonstrate a commitment to promoting a diverse workplace.


When compared to responses from all employees who participated in Yello’s survey, a higher percentage of veterans (76% vs. 70%) would be reluctant to take a job from a company without diversity in executive leadership.

I would be reluctant to accept a job from a company who claims it is diverse if it didn’t have any underrepresented employees in its executive leadership positions (e.g., CEO, CFO, COO)


I would be reluctant to accept a job from a company who claims it is diverse if I didn’t meet any underrepresented employees during the interview process


What’s more, a higher percentage of veterans (73% vs. 63%) would be reluctant to take a job from a company with no underrepresented employees involved in the interview process.

Veterans agree that age, race and gender are the types of workplace diversity that matter most, but religion, marital status and military status rank higher for veterans.

When you consider your ideal workplace, what types of diversity in the workplace are among the most important to you?


Veterans believe workplace accommodations – not pay – is the most important diversity initiative a company can undertake. Flexible work options are less important to veterans, while maternity and paternity benefits are more important.

Which of the below are most important to you when it comes to initiatives that support diversity in the workplace?


Veterans have different views on how diversity impacts the workplace, placing job satisfaction higher than pay equity; productivity higher than culture; and business competitiveness higher than community.

In which areas do you think diversity in the workplace has the most impact?


Veterans may be more accepting of employer brand messages. 88% (vs. 77%) believe it when a company’s communications say it’s committed to diversity.

If an organization claims to be diverse in its marketing materials, website and executive communications, I trust that it is diverse


Veterans indicate the best way to show a commitment to diversity is through representation in management, representation in executive leadership and diversity communications.

Which of the following best shows an organization’s commitment to promoting a diverse workplace?


While veterans agree that networking with diversity organizations and diverse colleges are the best ways to recruit underrepresented talent, they rank job boards and hiring events higher than all employee-respondents.

In terms of employee recruitment, what policies/initiatives do you consider most important for employers?


Interestingly, throughout the survey, veterans showed their convictions are stronger than the general population’s. They selected strongly agree or strongly disagree more frequently than all respondents. 

What Companies Can Do to Recruit Veterans

Based on survey results, following are ways employers can strengthen their ability to find, attract, assess and hire veterans:

  • Make sure there are people from underrepresented groups in senior leadership and management.
  • Involve people from underrepresented groups in the interview process.
  • Clearly state your commitment to diversity in company communications.
  • Have strong policies and practices for making workplace accommodations for employees with disabilities.
  •  Offer top-notch maternity and paternity benefits.
  • In addition to networking with diversity organizations and colleges, recruit using targeted job boards and by attending veteran hiring events.

Learn More about Recruiting Veterans

Survey Methodology: The survey was conducted online within the United States by SurveyMonkey Audience on behalf of Yello between September 16 and September 26, 2019. It surveyed 500 full- and part-time employees, aged 18-73; 13% self-identified as military veterans or service members. Rounding leads some response totals to add up to more than 100% and in some cases, participants chose more than one response.