Wells Fargo: Hiring 20,000 Veterans by 2020

November 16, 2016 3:07 pm


Andrew Barnes
Diversity Talent Acquisition Strategy – Veterans Segment
Veterans’ Team Member Network National Outcomes Chair


Andrew Barnes joined Wells Fargo (No. 9 on the DiversityInc 2017 Top 50 Companies for Diversity list) in 1999 as a recruiter. Barnes is currently a project manager in human resources, leading enterprise veteran and early talent strategic initiatives. In his role, he is responsible for the development and delivery of innovative, integrated diversity talent acquisition strategies, programs and processes focused on veterans and early talent.

Through the years, Barnes has been involved in veteran recruiting and is on the board of directors of the Wells Fargo Veteran’s Team Member Network (VTMN) as the national outcomes chair. Barnes is also the project manager for Cell Phones for Soldiers, a VTMN nationally sponsored campaign. He is heavily involved in working with veterans to decode their military résumés, along with helping them transition into a corporate environment. In 2012, Barnes received the Enterprise Diversity and Inclusion Champion Award.

He served honorably in the U.S. Navy Reserves as a Petty Officer from 1992-2000 with the Seabees and was attached to Amphibious Construction Battalion 2 DET 106, in Little Creek, Virginia.

Q: Why is your company focused on recruiting veterans? Describe your veterans recruitment/outreach initiatives. 

A: Wells Fargo values the leadership, discipline and service record of military members and veterans, employing more than 8,300 team members who self-identify as veterans. At any given time, more than 200 team members are on military leave.

We are committed to hiring and retaining military veterans, veterans with disabilities and active military personnel. We make it easy for veterans to translate their military skills into job skills through a tool called “Hiring Our Heroes’ Military Translator.”

Since 2012, we have hired more than 6,200 veterans and participated in more than 800 military job fairs.

Wells Fargo has been helping military members and veterans succeed financially for more than 160 years through initiatives to recruit and retain team members, foundation donations, countless volunteer hours and event sponsorship.

In 2014, Wells Fargo made a commitment to employ 20,000 veterans by 2020. As a result of this commitment, we earned our first MilitaryFriendlyEmployer and MilitarySpouse Friendly Employer titles in 2016 from G.I.Jobs, appeared on the MilitaryTimes list for “Best for Vets: Employers 2014” and ranked No. 7 on the DiversityInc 2015 list of “Top 10 Companies for Veterans.”

Q: Are veterans recruited for leadership positions, if so, have you had success in this area? Describe please.

A: Yes, Wells Fargo has hired more than 1,400 veterans in the first nine months of 2016, and many of them were hired into leadership positions.

Wells Fargo focuses on attracting veterans at different stages of their civilian careers, and we are proud to recruit veterans for leadership positions and leadership development programs.

The Wells Fargo Veteran Employment Transition program focuses on sourcing and hiring competitive transitioning veterans for internships within Wells Fargo Securities, our investment banking and capital markets division.


Q: Once veterans are hired, do you have programs in place to retain and develop them? Please describe in detail.

A: Wells Fargo’s commitment to veterans doesn’t end once a job offer is made. The company strives to create a culture of caring that supports veteran team members throughout their careers at Wells Fargo. Some notable initiatives include:

Education — Wells Fargo is committed to providing recruiters, hiring managers and interviewers with the tools and knowledge needed to successfully recruit, hire, and retain veterans. As a result, the company offers many online and virtual training courses. In 2014, the company successfully launched the Value of a Veteran training courses.

Reemployment and job search assistance — When team members take extended leave to fulfill military-related service, Wells Fargo offers them reemployment following their return from military service consistent with USERRA. Also, if team members need to relocate due to their spouses’ military duties, the company will provide dedicated resources to help them find a comparable position in the company.

Veterans’ Team Member Network — The Veterans’ Team Member Network’s mission is to support and educate members of our Wells Fargo community who share an interest in veteran matters. The group networks with team members and the community through outreach efforts to promote greater veteran awareness and share opportunities that enhance the professional growth and development of its membership.

Career planning — Each year, the company contacts all self-identified veteran team members to share information about Wells Fargo’s career development process, tools and resources. The company is dedicated to helping veteran team members grow and advance their careers based on their individual goals and aspirations.


Q: What challenge(s) has the company faced in recruiting or retaining veterans and how has it overcome those challenges?

A: As the demand for veteran talent increases, we continue to focus on our talent acquisition strategic priorities to increase the number of veterans employed by Wells Fargo:

Outreach — Sourcing and attracting veteran talent through partnerships, career fairs, job boards, marketing, direct sourcing, etc.

Readiness — Helping veterans prepare for careers in financial services through training/internships, scholarships, partnerships with community colleges/universities, and targeted programs

Internal Efficacy — Building internal capability through recruiters/hiring managers training, the Veteran Recruiting Community of Practice, the Veterans Recruiting Steering Committee, engagement of all Wells Fargo lines of business, forecasting & metrics, veteran referral program and collaboration with the Veterans’ Team Member Network

The retention of veterans is a priority and we are focused on the engagement and development of veterans by promoting self-identification as veterans, promoting participation in the Veterans’ Team Member Network programs, encouraging participation in the Career Resource Program and helping veteran team members grow and advance their careers.


Q: Do you have a veterans resource group? If yes, can you describe how it has helped the company address or meet business objectives?

A: Yes, Wells Fargo has a Veterans Team Member Network (VTMN) that provides team members with personal and professional development, mentoring, leadership engagement, networking and community outreach opportunities. Today, the VTMN boasts more than 5,100 members and 55 active chapters.