Military Spouses

Military Spouses: A Gold Mine of Untapped Talent

As businesses and industries kickstart their recovery following the pandemic, most are encountering one common problem: a significant shortage of talent. This is surprising considering unemployment has reached record highs over the past two years. Regardless, businesses have seen not just an increasing disparity between the demand and supply of talent, but also an increase in competitive hiring practices. Certainly, hiring military veterans for civilian roles does help to meet some key business talent gaps as an alternative to purely civilian talent pools, but businesses could still be overlooking another key talent pool that is closely related to vets: military spouses.

Here’s a look at the skills and value they can potentially bring to the workplace.

Why Military Spouses are an Underrated Talent Pool

The military is structured in such a way that personnel are rotated between postings every few years. This often requires families to move to the new location along with the member of their family being transferred. For many military families, these frequent changes imply diversity in experience and exposure to different places almost equivalent to service members themselves.

Military spouses often have a wide-ranging exposure to different roles in different locations. This can be a handicap for the average candidate as employers typically prefer candidates with consistent experience in the same industry and no resume gaps. However, military spouses are not like the average job-seeker. These talented individuals usually:

  • Possess some form of higher education
  • Are underemployed compared to their level of education
  • Are well-suited for remote work and fast-changing dynamics

The presence of these qualities lends itself to three extremely desirable traits among military spouses that non-military employers can potentially benefit from. They include:

Visible Adaptability

The average military spouse, just like an entrepreneur, has to play multiple roles at the same time. For example, they have to coordinate moving an entire family (and their belongings) to a new location at very short notice. They also have a knack for taking the lead when it comes to their close-knit communities, even among local populations. Others have to plan for important events, like the serving spouse’s promotion or commendation.

In conjunction, most have to learn managing household finances, offer constant physical and emotional support, and still find time to work on careers of their own. Moreover, because the same careers or roles may not be present in each location they move to, they have to make do with whatever is available.

Simply put, military spouses are among the most versatile and adaptable workers any recruiter encounters. Learning to adjust and adapt is rarely a choice, it is usually a way of life. In a civilian workplace, these workers can quickly adjust to a new role, integrate themselves within the workforce, and even learn new processes, just as they did when they had a spouse in active military service.

Enhanced Trainability

For most military spouses, the risk of the serving spouse being killed or injured in action is very real. Even though most military personnel manage their service without either happening, the possibility is still significantly higher than in the average American household. Accordingly, it is fairly common for military spouses to begin pursuing some form of higher education or vocational training. In many ways, it is a way to mitigate the risk of financial/emotional uncertainty in case the worst does happen to the serving spouse.

Whether or not the worst-case scenario comes to pass, there is no denying that, as a group, military spouses have a vast accumulation of both knowledge and real-world skills. And whatever gaps they may have for a particular role, their experience and education usually instill the ability to learn and be trained. Asa result, they are not only highly capable, but they have the ability to quickly learn about and perform in new roles.

Well-Suited to Various Roles

To limit military spouses to entry-level roles is a very shortsighted approach from an employer’s perspective. This is exactly why the talent pool is so underrated and underutilized. Most employers will limit themselves and sparingly hire veterans for key roles. But their spouses can prove an equally valuable addition to the workforce. In particular, they are well-suited for roles involving:

  • Education.
  • Counseling.
  • Communication.
  • Administration.
  • PR and community building.
  • Marketing.
  • Human resource management.
  • Business operations.
  • Business management.
  • Customer service and support.
  • Training and development.
  • Veteran-specific recruitment.

Businesses would do well to recognize the depth of talent the military spouse pool contains. That’s not to mention that it is still an underutilized source of key talent. Proactively engaging with and recruiting from this talent pool can help smart businesses meet key skill gaps before the competition catches up.

Looking for a Job? Great! We Can Help.

Are You a Veteran? Even Better – That’s Our Expertise