Walmart is set to bring its presence – and its ambitious commitment to hire veterans – to The American Legion’s 95th National Convention in Houston, where the retail giant will maintain a booth at the Legion’s Hiring Fair on Aug. 27. Ret. Brig. Gen. Gary Profit, senior director of Military Programs at Walmart, will also participate in a panel discussion on the Legion’s Employment, Empowerment and Entrepreneurship Summit on Aug. 27.
Walmart’s presence at the Legion’s hiring fair comes on the heels of its announcement to hire 100,000 veterans in the next five years. Still in the infancy stage of the commitment, Walmart plans to make significant progress toward its goal in Houston, where company representatives will be hiring and interviewing candidates not just for in-store jobs, but for careers in a variety of areas like information technology, customer service, supply chain and distribution, and many other fields.
“It’s across the board,” Profit said. “Walmart essentially has an insatiable appetite for talent, and we hire people at all levels, anywhere from very entry level folks to much more senior folks.”
As an electronic component to its commitment, Walmart has also launched a hiring and employment website specifically tailored to military and veterans. The site first asks its visitors if they have been honorably discharged from the military within the past year, then navigates them to a landing page that allows them to select a job or career area they think is suited for them. This is essentially the veteran’s first step in reaching what is guaranteed employment with the Walmart corporation.
CEO Bill Simon made news headlines earlier this year when he announced that his company would hire any veteran who was honorably discharged to work for the world’s largest private employer.
“We know that everyone doesn’t want to work in the retail and wholesale industry, but if you do you have a place at Walmart,” Profit said. “We believe that will represent 100,000 opportunities over the course of the next five years.”
The company currently employs about 1.4 million workers nationally – roughly 100,000 of whom are veterans.
Among them is Simon, who served 25 years in the Navy. Simon is part of a military lineage at Walmart that began when the corporation was founded in 1962 by Sam Walton, a World War II veteran.
“A lot of people want to kind of think that we are relatively new on the scene with our relationship with the U.S. military, but it arguably dates back to Capt. Sam Walton, who founded the company 50 years ago,” Profit said.
To continue to grow its military lineage – and eventually reach the goal of hiring 100,000 veterans - Profit stresses that Walmart truly will employ any veteran who was honorably discharged, ranging from a part-time employee who is just looking to earn extra cash while he is attending college on the GI Bill, to a full-time salaried worker who is fresh from the front lines.
“The commitment (to the military) has just grown and fostered because we think this is the largest and most diverse talent-rich pool, and we want them to be part of our team,” Profit said.