Businesses across the U.S. should understand the benefits of not only opening their recruitment programs to an increasing number of veterans, but also to those individuals who support them.
Military spouses and caregivers offer a range of valuable skills that can sometimes be overlooked by employers. However, companies hoping to secure diverse talent should be open to exploring the unique qualities that this group can bring to any role.
Understanding the challenges for military spouses and caregivers
When thinking about veterans, many people see only those who have physically served our country by joining the armed forces. However, those who provide support to veterans as spouses or caregivers are often overlooked in the sacrifices they make.
One issue that these individuals regularly face is the inability to secure employment, due to the need to follow loved ones not just across the country, but around the world. This can lead to many short stints in different places which is not something that is conducive to a stable, long-term career. As a result, many people who support loved ones in the armed forces can have gaps in their employment history, seemingly moving from job to job and location to location in a haphazard manner.
Indeed, research published this year entitled 'Military Spouses in the Workplace' by Hiring for Heroes, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, highlighted the issue of unemployment and underemployment for this group. The research found that almost three-quarters (70 percent) of military spouses believe their education or past work experience is not being fully utilized.
What can military spouses and caregivers bring to a business?
Companies hoping to widen their hiring programs and offer inclusive opportunities to job seekers who have given their time to supporting veterans should understand the skills this group can bring to any business. Here are just some of the beneficial qualities they can provide:
Vast life experience: In many cases, military caregivers and spouses will have lived and worked all over the world. When loved ones are out on deployment, these individuals will have moved with them, absorbing a vast amount of knowledge about different countries, cultures and ways of working.
Strategic thinking: Again, the regular need to relocate means these are individuals who are adept at planning. It's not easy to move homes, find new jobs and schools, and generally shift one's life to a new location every few years, often on their own, but that's exactly what military spouses and caregivers are required to do.
Flexibility and resilience: This goes without saying, as this is a group that demonstrates their commitment to supporting others every day. Adapting to the challenges of constant upheaval makes these individuals extremely flexible and understanding to work alongside.
Companies seeking dependable, adaptable and skilled staff should therefore welcome the opportunity to better engage with this community wherever and whenever they can.
At Getting Hired, we are committed to supporting veterans and their loved ones in the pursuit of lasting and fulfilling roles in a diverse array of industries. You can visit our website to find out more about our wide range of resources that are available for all veteran job seekers and their families.
Contributions to this blog were made by Lawrence Wilde, Account Manager at Getting Hired