Putting Veterans to Work is Serious Business at UPS

UPS2b  Veterans have many of the traits and characteristics that will set them up for a successful career at UPS, and the company is eager to bring them on board.  At the company’s Worldport facility in Louisville, Kentucky, that’s been the focus of human resources recruiter Sandra Hartz. Worldport is the worldwide air hub for UPS located at the Louisville International Airport. With nearly 21,000 employees, UPS is the largest employer in Louisville.

UPS, a global leader in logistics, has announced plans to hire 50,000 veterans by the end of 2018, doubling their original five-year hiring pledge made last year. In 2013, UPS hired 13,000 veterans, an increase of more than 30 percent from the prior year. UPS has increased the number of veterans hired annually by 73 percent, since it began its formal veterans hiring program in 2011. Currently the company employs nearly 24,000 veterans, representing 7.5 percent of the company’s U.S. domestic workforce.

Helping UPS and Worldport reach the veteran population is RecruitMilitary. Hartz attended the company’s Louisville Career Fair for the first time in March of 2014. “For us, it was a wonderful event with great attendance. Our three recruiters were busy constantly, speaking to candidates one-on-one whenever possible,” she said. “We put a lot of candidates into our pipeline that very day.”  She plans to attend future RecruitMilitary hiring events.

UPS3bWith a wide range of career choices at both Worldport and UPS, recruiters at the Louisville event were seeking veterans to fill many roles: sales, maintenance, aircraft repair and maintenance; management; finance; supply chain; accounting; and engineering among them. The Louisville facility handles 150+ flights daily – including loading and unloading, as well as transferring cargo to trucks, which then drive to various locations. There is a high demand in particular for part-time employees – who receive full-time benefits as part of their employment.

Hartz is an example of UPS’s belief in promoting from within. She has spent more than 20 years with the company, beginning as a part-timer at the Worldport facility. “There is a huge opportunity for people coming in,” she said. “We like people who can make things happen, and that’s what veterans do.”  She believes veterans make excellent managers. “They have a high level of integrity, dedication, and adaptability. They analyze things well and they get good results.”

She offered the following career advice:


  • “Vets hire other vets,” Hartz said. She encourages taking advantage of social media, especially LinkedIn.


Resume Tips:

  • “We are very interested in what aircraft you worked on, A&P, certifications and licenses. Emphasize those, and be specific,” she encouraged.
  • If you managed people, list how many and what types of personnel you supervised.
  • Keep it to two pages only – cover the high points in your resume. You can elaborate on the rest in your interview.
  • Finally – “It sounds basic, but make sure you proofread your resume. It’s easy to overlook an error – give it to someone else to review.”


Interview Advice:

  • “Be ready to describe how you’d handle conflict. It is present in any job, so be prepared to talk about how you’ve successfully resolved issues in the past. “


Staged for Success:

UPSbSuccessfully resolving conflict skills are just one of the reasons that veterans are a good fit at UPS. “They’ve had experiences handling all kinds of situations and conflict. They know how to work as a team and independently to accomplish the task at hand,” Hartz added.

Veterans will find the culture at UPS comforting and familiar. Once hired, UPS offers a Veteran Business Resource Group (VBRG) within UPS’s own intranet system. It’s a place for UPS employees to network and learn about new opportunities.

UPS was founded in 1907, and one of its four founders, George Casey, served in the Navy during World War I. “It was a family company when it started, and that feeling exists to this day,” said Hartz. “We have lots of veterans here already – and the environment feels like what they’re used to – uniforms, rules; policies. There are a lot of similarities.”


About the Author

This article was written by Liz Wheeler