Hiring military veterans and spouses can add considerable value to your business. They bring desirable skills, qualities, and values that can have a positive impact on the workforce.
However, both military veterans and spouses are often overlooked when it comes to industrial hiring. According to a survey conducted by the Department of Defense, a quarter of military spouses are unemployed. Also, in 2019, almost 284,000 military veterans were unemployed.
When unable to find employment, the US economy pays the price. Per a study by Blue Star Families, the cost of underemployment and unemployment for military spouses is close to $1 billion.
Even though the government is already looking for ways to help the ex-military and military spouses grow their careers, businesses must also come forward and provide opportunities for them to showcase their skills and talents. Here’s how to go about hiring military veterans and spouses.
Why Military Spouses and Veterans Are Overlooked by Hiring Managers
Hiring managers overlook military spouses during recruitment as their resumes comprise multiple job changes and relocations. Some have incomplete certifications and degrees. However, most of the hiring managers do not consider the reason behind different locations and jobs: military spouses are always on the move with their spouses. An average military family moves six to nine times in their children’s school period.
In the case of military veterans, there is a disconnect between them and hiring managers. Veterans leave the military unprepared to showcase themselves as potential candidates for the private sector, and hiring managers are not properly equipped to recruit them. Many hiring managers are unable to read military resumes. They typically have questions, such as:
- Who is an E-6?
- What are the responsibilities of different designations and positions in the military?
Typically, hiring managers look for cultural fit, experience, skills and talent while recruiting employees. Also, each candidate is evaluated on the basis of the value they can bring to the organization. However, in the case of military spouses and veterans, the disconnect serves as a roadblock.
Why Hiring Military Veterans and Spouses Is a Good Idea
Here are a few reasons why industrial companies should hire military spouses and veterans:
They Are Dedicated to a Higher Purpose
Both military spouses and veterans follow the motto “Service Before Self.” Therefore, they are inherently more accountable and responsible than other candidates may be. They do not crave credit or attention; they are committed and loyal to their work.
They Are Used to Handling Pressure and Stress
Pressure and stress come with every job. Nevertheless, both military spouses and veterans are well-trained to handle them. Frequent relocation, staying away from family, adapting to new environments; both military spouses and veterans have faced them all. As a whole, military spouses and veterans are adaptable, flexible, patient and resilient.
They Have Different Skills and Talents That Are Not Mentioned in Their Resumes
Both military spouses and veterans have great emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills, understanding of finances and logistics, and event management abilities. These are qualities that many industrial companies would be glad to see in their employees.
They Can Make Great Leaders and Team Players
Military services create individuals and families who work to earn the respect of their community and peers. They understand how to bring people together, work as a team, and pursue common goals.
They Accept Constructive Criticism
The military relies on after-action reviews (AAR) – debriefings — to analyze what happened in a mission and what can be done to improve future outcomes. This makes members of the military open to ideas and dedicated to the organization as a whole.
How to Make Your Organization Military-Ready
- Develop a program concept and vision for hiring military spouses and veterans
- Request support from senior leadership to implement the military hiring program
- Address organizational misconceptions about military-related candidates
- Pursue employees who understand the value that military spouses and veterans can bring to the organization
- Correlate military jobs to civilian jobs
- Leverage behavioral and situation interview methods for candidates from the military background
Finally, to ensure a warm welcome, invest the time in creating internal awareness about hiring and working with military-connected employees before you launch your program.