Spectrum Health

One of the leading health systems in the country, Spectrum Health is West Michigan’s largest employer. Spectrum Health has a variety of locations across the region and employs over 25,000 people. 

Veteran Explorers Program

The Veteran Explorers Program was intended to hire unemployed or underemployed veterans into positions that were a strong fit so that development and retention would be maximized. The goal is to hire unemployed or underemployed veterans and integrate them into an already veteran-friendly organization. 

Program Design

In 2013, Spectrum Health developed a rotational ten-week program to cycle candidates through a variety of organizational roles to explore the best fit for each candidate. They utilize local veterans’ agencies as a source for qualified candidates. Spectrum’s HR department funds the salaries for the program and provides leadership for mentors in each rotational position. 

Key Components

One essential element of the Veteran Explorer Program’s success is that Spectrum Health has an existing strong, supportive environment for veterans. They also established a trusting relationship with local veterans’ agencies in order to reach a pool of qualified candidates.

The program's design also establishes trust between veteran hires and the organization as they transition into full-time roles.

Additionally, the Veteran Explorer Program allows candidates who do not necessarily hold all of the necessary credentials to become part of the organization and develop new skills. 

Initially, eight different positions were identified for the rotational program. It is managed by an HR staff person, who provides support part time. 


  • Over 60 veterans have participated in the program
  • Over 30 participants are now full-time employees of Spectrum Health