Since 2018, Wells Fargo has hired more than 6,000 veterans into positions across the company, from hourly jobs at individual branches to salaried roles in finance, legal, tech, engineering and beyond. Part of what has made their veteran hiring so successful is how thoroughly they prepare both candidates and company hiring managers to speak each other’s proverbial language–for example, how to prepare a corporate resume, how to read a military resume and what to expect from application through a potential offer of employment. Two programs, in particular, are worth looking into as a potential pathway to a career at Wells Fargo.
The first opportunity is the Veteran Employment Transition (VET) internship. VET first launched in 2016 to offer veterans an experience with a few of the bank’s business units, and to recruit high-quality talent into salaried mid-to-high-level jobs. Seven years later, the program now runs for eight weeks each Spring and Fall with approximately 70 interns per session. It is a highly structured talent acquisition platform followed by an 8+ week program with hands-on training, networking, and professional development.
Veteran Employment Transition (VET) internship
Step one for candidates occurs well before the in-office work begins. Each incoming veteran completes an assessment to fully align their skills and interests with the needs of the business unit while still achieving their career goals. It’s also a chance for candidates to learn about Wells Fargo’s many lines of business. The first screening is a process designed to help participants achieve the ultimate success from beginning to end of the program.
Next, candidates are afforded the opportunity to learn from other veterans who have gone through the VET program. “We bring in program alumni speakers and allow for Q&A sessions so veterans can ask questions about the program and the process they’ve experienced. Sometimes they’re more comfortable asking questions of veterans, so we create that avenue during our second webinar for them to really dot their I’s and cross their T’s” says David Whitley, Business Execution Consultant for the Military Talent Strategic Sourcing Team.
Finally, incoming VET intern candidates are trained on corporate interview skills and best practices prior to their scheduled final interviews with hiring managers. “Some veterans may be leaving the military after 20-plus years and have never had an interview,” says Whitley. “And as we know in the military, they don’t really give us requests, they give us orders.” Wells Fargo has also found hiring managers are often new to interviewing transitioning veterans. This is instrumental in knocking down barriers to a successful interview discussion, preparing all parties for a smooth and successful experience with the goal of offering the intern a full-time employee upon successful completion of the interview and program .
What to Expect From the Program
“The goal is to make sure the playing field is level and to help veterans move successfully into civilian employment. We enable veterans to tell their stories while putting their best foot forward in a way hiring managers understand” he says.
Once the internship begins, VET program management is there to ensure a well-structured and productive 8+ week experience. Interns have weekly check-ins with their program leaders, are assigned group tasks, go through culture training, and are offered networking opportunities as a cohort. We don’t stop there; we offer office hours for the veterans and separate office hours for managers to answer questions that may come up along the way, with a midway check point to ensure we are delivering the best program possible.
As the program has grown over the years, Wells Fargo has found VET program tactics are working. Over the past two years, more than 93% of participants have been offered full-time employment upon completion of the program. In 2021, 44 interns completed the program and found full-time, salaried roles at Wells Fargo. “Moreover, says Whitley, the veterans who join the company are sticking around, so offering a military-ready landing place makes a difference.”
“As a veteran myself, and newbie to Wells Fargo, one of the things I can say is the company culture is amazing,” he says. “I am happy to report, more than 50% of veterans who join Wells Fargo stay at least five years.”
Boots to Banking (B2B)
VET, however, isn’t the only program under the Military Talent Sourcing Team umbrella, which manages the company’s employment pathways for veterans. Another avenue for veterans to begin Wells Fargo careers is Boots to Banking (B2B), which combines the active, intentional preparation tools of VET with frequent and ongoing recruitment for specific job openings.
Instead of starting with an eight-week internship, B2B hosts online recruitment and training sessions, and matches veteran candidates with Wells Fargo hiring managers with specific hiring needs in preparation for an interview . High-volume and highly focused, B2B is a bit like a white glove, red carpet veteran hiring program within the larger organization. When the team receives upcoming job needs from a line of business – typically 10-12 weeks before a date of hire – the B2B squad kicks into gear with recruitment efforts, hosting up to six online events a week to introduce potential candidates to the company and available roles.
Like VET, the B2B squad educates veterans on best practices and tips on creating a civilian resume, walks the veteran through what to expect during an interview, and shares best practices on how to navigate end-to-end preparation expectations. At the same time, the B2B squad works closely with hiring managers to prepare them for veterans’ specific needs and strengths as we help them navigate transferrable skill sets. As one program manager explained, at B2B “We set the table and make it a great, relaxed experience for both parties.”
Overall, VET and B2B programs are the embodiment of Wells Fargo’s commitment to veteran hiring, in practice. Program managers are veterans too, and share a mission to make the post-military transition as positive as possible, drawing on the kinds of questions, challenges and struggles they experienced after their own transition from military service.
For Whitley, the success each program is experiencing has been deeply gratifying to witness and with the expansion plans for both programs, he’s thoroughly optimistic on reaching even more veterans and changing more military family’s lives. “I believe increased success,” he says, “is yet to come.”
How to Apply
To apply for the fall 2022 VET program: The application link and instructions will be live and available on this page from May 13 – June 13, 2022.
Questions? Email VET: VETProgram@wellsfargo.com
To learn about upcoming B2B recruitment events: B2BProgram@wellsfargo.com
To connect with a military recruiter: Militaryrecruiting@wellsfargo.com
For more on Wells Fargo’s opportunities for veterans: https://www.wellsfargojobs.com/military
All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran.