As part of a continuing series focused on military spouses, the Institute for Military Families (IVMF) and Prudential Financial present key findings on the employment challenges facing military spouses and strategies for employers evaluating military spouse applicants.
SYRACUSE, N.Y., November 22, 2016 — Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), in collaboration with Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE:PRU), today launched the second in a series of three research papers as part of an overall study on military spouse employment. The series is funded through a grant by Prudential Financial, Inc.
“Military spouses are an untapped resource in the employment sector,” says Nick Armstrong, Ph.D., Senior Director for Research and Evaluation at the IVMF. “Through this important work with Prudential,” says Armstrong, “we are able to amplify the employment challenges faced by military spouses and, most importantly, offer solutions that can help lead to rewarding careers for the military spouse community while also meeting the hiring needs of employers and decreasing the unemployment rate among this group.”
The paper, The Force Behind the Force: Case profiles of Successful Military Spouses Balancing Employment, Service, and Family, highlights eight successful military spouses currently employed in the corporate workforce. Through the detailed conversations, the reader begins to understand the employment challenges military spouses face (i.e., deployments along with frequent relocation), how these challenges impact their work histories and resumes, and how standard methods of finding and getting a job (through a traditional resume or standard screening process) eliminate many military spouses even before they have had the opportunity to compete. The paper also offers suggestions and simple strategies employers can (1) assess military spouse candidates and (2) help military spouses through training and mentoring, or collaborative efforts like sharing best practices with like-minded employers and supporting nonprofit partners focused on spouse-employment efforts. Using these suggestions, employers can gain talented, motivated, loyal, diverse, and well-educated employees and simultaneously mitigate the negative impacts of the military lifestyle and thus, reduce challenges military spouses face in the workplace.
“Prudential has a long history of supporting military veterans and families, and we understand the tremendous dedication and skill this community brings to the workplace,” says James Beamesderfer, Vice President of Veterans Initiatives at Prudential. “Through this research, we hope to equip military spouses with information and inspiration to pursue their career goals, while also offering hiring decision makers evaluative criteria to identify top candidates who can help their organizations thrive,” says Beamesderfer.
The paper also highlights that, much like their civilian counterparts, military families typically require two incomes to meet household expenses, yet unemployment rates for military spouses are nearly three times greater than their civilian peers. In addition, active duty military spouses earn 38 percent less than their civilian peers, even though the majority are well-educated.
“Military spouses often have to disrupt their careers because they frequently relocate, often live in remote locations, have limited childcare options and more,” says Deborah Bradbard, Ph.D., Senior Research Associate at the IVMF. Bradbard says, although companies are beginning to understand the employment challenges of veterans transitioning to the workplace, they are somewhat less familiar with challenges the spouses of active service military members face.
The IVMF, along with Prudential plan to release the final part of the research series in December. The third installment is expected to include training materials for human resource professionals, hiring managers, and C-Suite executives who wish to learn more about recruiting and hiring military spouses.
Linda R. Euto, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Research and Evaluation
IVMF, Syracuse University
About the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University
The Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) is the first interdisciplinary national institute in higher education focused on the social, economic, education and policy issues impacting veterans and their families post-service. The Institute is supported by a world-class advisory board and public and private partners committed to advancing the post-service lives of America’s service members, veterans and their families. The IVMF and its professional staff deliver class-leading programs in career, vocational and entrepreneurship education and training. The IVMF also conducts actionable research, provides policy analysis and program evaluations, coordinates comprehensive strategies, and works with communities and non-profits to enhance service. Read more at IVMF.
About Prudential Financial, Inc.
Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), a financial services leader with more than $1 trillion of assets under management as of September 30, 2016, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Prudential’s diverse and talented employees are committed to helping individual and institutional customers grow and protect their wealth through a variety of products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds and investment management. In the U.S., Prudential’s iconic Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise and innovation for more than a century. For more information, please visit Prudential Financial, Inc.