Hiring Our Heroes (HOH): What Vets Should Know

October 11, 2023

8 min read

Hiring Our Heroes is a great way for vets to find meaningful employment.

For service members and veterans transitioning to the workforce, going from military to civilian life can be difficult. Returning to the office after not working in a civilian environment can be pretty jarring. That’s where Hiring Our Heroes comes in.

We’ll give you the breakdown of this organization, including what Hiring Our Heroes is, what its purpose is, and how you can score a meaningful job you enjoy post-military. 

What Is Hiring Our Heroes? 

Hiring Our Heroes (HOH) is a nonprofit created as a network to match up members of the military community with opportunities for employment. In the organization’s mission statement, the organization puts DEIB initiatives at the forefront. It aims to increase economic opportunities. It’s similar to other organizations, like VetJobs or G.I. Jobs.

This organization has lots to offer for the military community. For example, veterans and their families can access services like:

  • Programs
  • Events
  • Career counseling

All of these services are intended to help people in the military to find meaningful employment with various employers. 

What are Hiring Our Heroes Career Connectors? 

Career Connectors are an aspect of Hiring Our Heroes that help connect veterans and people in the military community with employment opportunities. The Career Connector team is made up of experienced career advisors. 

These career advisors have multiple responsibilities, including things like:

  • Reviewing program applications
  • Providing resources to candidates 
  • Reviewing event registrant profiles
  • Preparing candidates for hiring events
  • Reviewing resumes and cover letters
  • Making sure candidates are ready for employment

Career Connectors at Hiring Our Heroes will also work with military spouses for support. Veterans and military service members who are still transitioning back to civilian life will also get personalized advice and guidance. 

Who is the founder of the organization? 

Kevin Schmiegel is the founder of Hiring Our Heroes. The current president of the organization is Eric Eversole.

You can hear Schmiegel speak on the 10-year anniversary of Hiring Our Heroes below:

When was it founded?

Hiring Our Heroes was launched in March 2011. That year, throughout the U.S., this organization held around 100 hiring fairs in communities meant to target military families who needed help with employment. 

What Is the Hiring Our Heroes Fellowship Program?

The Hiring Our Heroes Fellowship Program is one of the options HOH offers. This program allows members of the military to get personal, hands-on experience in a civilian workplace. 

There are two main options: internship programs and industry-focused programs. 

With internships, you can expect the program to last around 6 to 12 weeks. You’ll get connected to various businesses that offer opportunities for work, with the end goal being employment. This program includes specific options such as: 

  • Skills-based fellowships
  • Corporate fellowships
  • Caregiver fellowships
  • Military spouse fellowships

These internships are useful because they allow people in the military community to get professional training, relevant certification, and most importantly, hands-on experience. Plus, the programs span across a wide range of industries, such as: 

  • Ecommerce and digital marketing
  • Data analytics
  • UX design
  • IT support 
  • Cybersecurity
  • Applied technology/Salesforce
  • Solar and renewable energy
  • Project management

If you get an internship through the Hiring Our Heroes Fellowship Program, you’ll partner with a “host” company four days a week. This is where you’d get hands-on experience and on-the-job training in a safe learning environment. 

For one day a week, you’ll get training related to your specific position as well as professional development training. In the same vein, you’ll also get the chance to earn certifications depending on your career goals. 

The Hiring Our Heroes Fellowship Program can help people in the military community gain new skills and get experience in a safe space. 

If you’re interested in applying to the Hiring Our Heroes Fellowship Program, fill out an application online.

Hiring Our Heroes and Hiring Events

Of course, Hiring Our Heroes hosts lots of hiring events. In fact, over half a million people in the military community — particularly veterans and their families — have been matched with employment. There are over 617,000 hires stemming from Hiring Our Heroes and its events and programs. 

The goal of these hiring events through Hiring Our Heroes is to link people in the military community with available local, national, and remote opportunities for employment. The organization connects potential candidates to many types of businesses of all sizes. 

Hiring Our Heroes offers more than 65 events every year. These include events like:

  • Hiring expos
  • Career summits
  • Hiring fairs — including both in-person and virtual options — that are geographically- and industry-specific 

Career summits, hiring expos, industry- and geographically-focused hiring fairs are offered in-person and virtually each year. For example, if you’re looking for the best communication jobs, maybe inquire if there’s an official event focused on that industry. 

Since Hiring Our Heroes opened in 2011, the organization has offered over 1,425 hiring events around the world. These events have been held across the U.S., in every state. Hiring Our Heroes events have also been held on military installations in places like:

  • Japan
  • Germany
  • Puerto Rico
  • Italy

Career Summits

With Hiring Our Heroes Career Summits, people who are veterans, service members who are transitioning, military spouses, and caregivers of military personnel can be connected to employers of all kinds. 

These Career Summits include things like: 

  • Interactive panel discussions
  • Career fairs
  • Industry-specific workshops

Hiring fairs and expos

Hiring fairs can occur not only in-person, but also virtually. They connect job seekers in the military community to employers. Some of these events are industry-specific and some are specific to a geographical area. 

With hiring expos, venues and professional sports orgs around the U.S. partner with Hiring Our Heroes to best link candidates in the military community with national or local hiring managers. 

Hiring Our Heroes events include events — both in-person and virtual — such as:

  • Military Spouse Professional Network Monthly Series
  • Exploring Careers in Financial Services
  • Camp Lejeune Career Exploration & Hiring Fair: Skilled Trades
  • Schofield Barracks Career Summit
  • Next Step Vets Webinar
  • Exploring Careers in Government Contracting and Consulting

To check out more active event listings, visit the Hiring Our Heroes calendar for more information. 

How to prepare for a Hiring Our Heroes event

Preparing for a Hiring Our Heroes event is a matter of using the resources Career Connectors will share to help you prepare for the event. 

Another great way to prepare is to sign up for or take advantage of one of the resources offered, such as:

  • Available webinars 
  • Industry or employment workshops

If the event isn’t virtual, prepare to wear business casual or business attire. If a hosting military installation advises you differently, follow their instructions. 

Who can participate?

Anyone can participate in a Hiring Our Heroes event so long as they are a:

  • U.S. service member
  • Veteran
  • Military spouse to a service member or a veteran

How much do Hiring Our Heroes events cost?

All Hiring Our Heroes events are free of cost. As such, service members, veterans, and their families won’t have to pay to attend nor register.  

How to Get a Job via Hiring Our Heroes

One of the main purposes of Hiring Our Heroes is to provide military service folks, veterans, and their spouses with meaningful employment. For those wondering, here’s how to get a job via Hiring Our Heroes. 

First, start by exploring the organization’s website. Check out the Hiring Our Heroes events, fellowships, internships, webinars, job fairs, and other opportunities. For example, you might want to add a few events to your calendar so you can network and then find a good position.

Feel free to reach out to people at the organization, like the Career Connectors or other advisors. They’ll steer you in the right direction depending on your goal. 

However, once you do end up with an interview or two, no matter how formal or informal they are, you’ll want to practice. To do so, try taking advantage of an interview simulator like Yoodli

Yoodli uses generative AI technology to provide you with practice interview questions and relevant follow-up questions. It’s trained to analyze a recording of yourself answering the question and to provide you with a whole host of resources and information. 

For example, you’ll get insights to metrics like:

  • Speaking rate, like how fast or slow you speak
  • Filler word usage (which ones you use and how often)
  • Word choice 

You’ll also get a transcript of what your interview question response was verbatim. 

Instead of wondering what you need to work on in terms of interview skills, Yoodli will let you know and provide you with actionable suggestions for improvement. That allows you to skip the guesswork entirely. 

Learn more about how it works below:

Yoodli is a great accompaniment to all the resources Hiring Our Heroes offers.

Hiring Our Heroes offer rate

This nonprofit has a good offer rate. During Hiring Our Heroes’ hiring events in 2019, the offer rate was 43%. 

If you get an offer, the next step is preparing for the first 90 days at a new job.

Resources from Hiring Our Heroes 

On top of the organization’s commitment to pairing members of the military community with meaningful employment, Hiring Our Heroes also provides a host of resources on its website. 

For example, there are tons of digital roles those in the military can explore and access. There are webinars, research articles, and innovative digital tools available.   

Some specific examples of resources currently available include materials like: 

Partners of Hiring Our Heroes

Hiring Our Heroes has a multitude of partners and companies who actively hire through HOH events and other initiatives. These partners are called “Friends of HOH.” 

Specifically, these companies will help veterans, service members, and their spouses to find meaningful work through seamless transitions. In other words, these businesses actively recruit, hire, and build up members of the military community.

Some notable companies who partner with Hiring Our Heroes include: 

  • Amtrak
  • Autozone
  • Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s
  • CarMax
  • Charles Schwab
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods
  • Discord
  • Fidelity 
  • Hilton
  • Intel 
  • John Deere
  • Merck
  • Nestle
  • Visa

The Key Takeaway

Hiring Our Heroes is a fantastic organization committed to helping members of the military community — including service members, veterans, and their spouses — find employment that’s meaningful and significant. 

If you’re part of the military community, definitely take advantage of the services offered by this awesome organization, whether it’s the hiring fairs, fellowship programs, hiring events, or even just its online resources. You can even explore other options, like SkillBridge, for example.

Once you’re ready to start your journey to employment, you can also use Yoodli to help prepare for those interviews and critical conversations.


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