Our nation has made great strides in closing the veteran unemployment gap. Veteran unemployment continues to fall as more and more companies across the country are “hiring our Hero’s”, but that is only half the battle. The better half of the equation, and all too often forgotten, is the military spouse.
According to a recent study conducted by the Military Officers Association of America andSyracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families, 90% of female military spouses are underemployed or overqualified for the jobs they hold. Often times, military spouses sacrifice their own careers and continuing education to support their significant other. This involves frequent relocations, being “single parents” during numerous deployments, and routinely starting over in new houses, schools, and communities.
Although military spouses do not wear the uniform, they possess many skills today’s employers are looking for. Just as the service member, the military spouse is flexible; adaptive to change; conscious of cultural and regional differences; and are focused on getting the job done. They are a resilient and dedicated group that will add value to any organization.
When considering a military spouse hiring strategy:
- Do not be afraid to hire military spouses.
- Learn more about military culture as it applies to the military spouse.
- Reach out to the veteran population and their spouses simultaneously.
- Understand the sacrifices they have made in their own careers to support their service member and our nation.
- Capitalize on their ability to operate in diverse settings.
- Take advantage of their ability to adapt easily to change.
- Leverage their capacity to work successfully in a high stress environment.
- Do not hold the fact they change jobs every two or three years against them. Military service require spouses to relocate often.
- Do not think that younger military spouses are unskilled. It takes a great deal of planning and execution to keep a military household running.
While military spouse selflessly serve our nation behind the scenes, their contributions are no less important than the warfighter. It takes a team to accomplish a military operation and it takes a team to keep a military family going while that mission is being carried out.
Forward March, Inc. can assist your organization in developing an exceptional veteran hiring strategy to include attracting, hiring, and retaining military spouses. With over 110 years of combined military experience, FMI has had proven success finding the right military talent, at the right time, for the right job.
~ Article written by Jason Caswell, Forward March Inc – Director of Training and Talent Pipeline Services