Consider Hiring a U.S. Military Spouse
Hiring U.S. military spouses is good for business. Military spouses are scrappy, diverse, and highly qualified. Military spouses are adaptable and resilient problem solvers because of the lifestyle they live in support of our Nation’s great military. Frequently left to handle household affairs alone while the service-member is deployed or at extended periods of training the spouse will inevitably come face to face with Murphy’s Law—what can go wrong will. This daily “practice” of rolling with the punches makes hiring a military spouse an excellent choice for your business, because no matter what the job throws at a spouse, they’ll handle it with ease and grace.
Military spouses are misunderstood to those outside of the military community. For employers, a glance at a military spouse’s resume would reveal “red flags” such as resume gaps, checkered work experience, being underutilized and over-qualified.
Military spouses face severe unemployment rates for no other reason than… “I move a lot.” Within the military community, it’s common knowledge that spouses face an uphill employment climb and military friendly companies afford spouses some grace. To outsiders looking in, the lack of understanding drives negative stigmas that military spouses must overcome before being seriously considered for a position.
Here is some hard data to illustrate career hardships faced by military spouses from the White House “DoD Military Spouse Demographic and Employment Information” publication:
- There are approximately 1 million military spouses.
- 92% of Active Duty spouses are female.
- 89% of Active Duty spouses have some college education or higher (with 28% having attained a 4-year degree, 14% having an advanced degree).
- Active Duty spouses have a 24% unemployment rate
- Female military spouses earn, on average, 25% less than their civilian counterparts.
- Military families relocate more than civilian families, moving approximately every 2-3 years.
U.S. military spouses are dealt an unspoken penalty for supporting their service member. Military spouses are highly educated, yet 1 in 4 are unemployed and they earn much less in the workforce.
The Conditions for Success
When companies provide military spouses the conditions for success, they thrive in the workforce! Military spouses are diverse, loyal, hardworking, and extreme value added for any organization that welcomes them into the ranks.
To hire, retain, and promote U.S. military spouses, an employer must focus on one key element: flexibility. Offering flexibility to military spouses involves allowing reduced work hours and time off for those times when the service member is deployed or in extended training periods. Finally, allowing the spouse to keep their position long-term despite frequent relocations through virtual employment, or transferring the spouse to a different site at their new duty station is key to military spouse career longevity at your company.
Enter the Remote Revolution
The Coronavirus pandemic has changed the world as we know it. We have adapted to a completely different way of living – everything from how we shop, how we receive medical care, how we entertain ourselves, to how we work has changed drastically. We hesitate to imply that this global crisis has yielded any positive side effects, but it would be remiss to not highlight some of the benefits of a global shift towards telecommuting. More specifically, how this shift has opened doors for military spouses typically constrained by perceived “staying power” when job seeking.
Prior to the pandemic, most non-remote companies were focused on expanding upon work-from-home flexibility or building out small remote teams for the purposes of cutting costs and retaining employees choosing to flee high-rent, high-traffic cities. However, proactive hiring of remote employees was limited, making these coveted remote opportunities scarce and highly competitive.
Changing the Game, for Good
Today, we have seen that working remotely is actually more than just doable. When given no other options, companies and their employees, with the help of modern technology, have been able to creatively adapt, and even progress during this time.
According to research conducted by Stanford economist, Nicholas Bloom:
“We see an incredible 42 percent of the U.S. labor force now working from home full-time. About another 33 percent are not working – a testament to the savage impact of the lockdown recession. And the remaining 26 percent – mostly essential service workers – are working on their business premises. So, by sheer numbers, the U.S. is a working-from-home economy. Almost twice as many employees are working from home as at work.”
This overdue evolution serves as a significant benefit to the military spouse community. Historically having had a harder time landing employment opportunities in roles not traditionally seen as remote-worthy, this unexpected game changer opens so many doors across a variety of industries and professions.
Premier’s intention is to advocate for military spouses and connect them with remote and flexible opportunities suitable for their ever-changing lifestyles. Given the surge in the abundance of these opportunities present day, we are eager to connect military spouses with our client companies and recognize the unique, transferable skills that make them such strong and versatile candidates.
Begin Within and Premier have partnered to align efforts in support of this community of job seekers, providing direct access to employment opportunities and resources. For client organizations, we are eager to provide access to highly qualified, readily available, diverse, military candidates who will undoubtedly contribute significantly to their organizations’s culture and growth.
- Learn more about Jaime Chapman and Begin Within here.
- Learn more about Premier’s commitment to Veterans and Military Spouses here.
- Learn more about Premier’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging efforts here.
- Learn more about our unbiased and equitable hiring practices and platform, Ajna, here.
Additional Data Sources:
Military Spouses in the Labor Market. (2018, May). Retrieved from https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Military-Spouses-in-the-Labor-Market.pdf
Social Cost Analysis of the Unemployment and Underemployment of Military Spouses. (2016, April 5). Retrieved from https://bluestarfam.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Social-Cost-Analysis-of-the-Unemployment-and-Underemployment-of-Military-Spouses_Final_4-5-1.pdf
Military Spouse Demographics and Employment Information. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/DoDMilitarySpouseDemographicsandEmployment_20180912.pdf?854664812=2075827788
Stanford research provides a snapshot of a new working-from-home economy. (2020, June). Retrieved from https://news.stanford.edu/2020/06/29/snapshot-new-working-home-economy/
Also, keep an eye out for the Blue Star Families 2021 Survey results that will be published soon. https://bluestarfam.org/survey/