Over the past few years, there’s been a growing awareness that military veterans have a unique skill set to offer potential employers — and that employers have a unique opportunity to support our military by hiring them. Very true. But did it ever occur to you or your HR team that the same goes for hiring military spouses?
Think about it. Military spouses are the ones who pick up the slack so their spouses can serve our country. They fill the roles of both mom and dad for months at a time — and sometimes for over a year. They live a super-mobile lifestyle, yet they manage to create warm, stable homes for their families. But despite their sacrifice and dedication they get no medals, no service ribbons, and no awards.
but that’s not why hiring military spouses is the right thing to do.
Sure, supporting our military — and their spouses — is patriotic. It’s important. It feels like the right thing to do.
But the real reason you should be hiring military spouses isn’t for them.
It’s for you. Because you and your company stand a lot more to gain than you think.
military spouses are highly adaptable
The on-the-move nature of the military lifestyle means that military spouses have become adaptability experts. They know how to pack up and move overseas with less than a month’s notice. They’ve adjusted not only to moving from state to state but often from country to country, as well. Talk about multicultural; many military families have lived everywhere from Boston to Bombay.
All of this results in a level of adaptability you’ll be hard-pressed to find among any other demographic. Do you run a startup in a growing industry? Is yours the type of company where change is the only constant? Military spouses will be your dream employees.
they’re great at handling stress.
Military spouses are master jugglers. This is more than adaptability; it’s about handling all the nitty-gritty details of life with a smile — while your husband is deployed overseas in an enemy country and you never know what the next day will bring. That’s a unique level of 24/7 stress.
Which is another reason why your company stands to gain so much by hiring military spouses. Dealing with angry customers, answering phone calls from multiple lines at once, meeting tight deadlines and working on different projects at the same time — when it comes to multitasking and doing it with aplomb, military spouses have a huge edge over the competition. And the one who benefits is you.
they’re highly educated
Among the civilian population, approximately 33% hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.
When it comes to military spouses, though, that number jumps to 45% — way above the national average.
But it’s not just the formal education. Military spouses tend to have a lot of volunteer training under their belts. Why? One reason is that volunteering is a great way for spouses at new duty stations to get to know the people at the installation, and quickly.
So military spouses get training in areas like education, personnel management, public speaking, financial management and more. When they apply for jobs, they bring all that training with them.
And then they use it to contribute to your team.
military spouses are diverse.
Military spouses are a highly diverse bunch. Not only do they come from all walks of life and all ethnicities; they’ve also experienced a wide variety of cultures, languages and mentalities.
As a result, military spouses tend to have a huge network, much larger than the average American. They know professionals and entrepreneurs from around the world.
Now imagine how much that diversity of experience benefits an international customer service team. Or the positive influence it could have in a remote team with members who are spread across multiple continents. Having an employee with those networking capabilities and that degree of exposure to other cultures and lifestyles is a huge asset in today’s global economy.
hiring military spouses can save you money
Oh, come on, you say. Really.
Yes, really. That’s because military spouses receive benefits like medical and dental insurance through the military — and at prices no employer could possible compete with. So if you’re onboarding a military spouse for a full-time position, that’s a lot of money saved right there.
On the other hand, military spouses tend not to shy away from part-time positions — again, because they’re already getting most of the benefits that propel civilian job-seekers toward full-time jobs. That’s a win-win for your business.
so are you ready to start hiring military spouses?
We hope so. But if not, maybe this will help push you over the fence. Here’s a list of some of the companies that actively recruit military spouses:
- CVS Health
- Southwest Airlines
- Home Depot
They all realized that they have so much to gain from hiring military spouses. Much more than they thought.
Now what about you?