Several major employers have recently announced new or increased efforts to hire members of the military community as part of their recruitment initiatives. The military community includes not only active military members but veterans, reservists, guardsmen, and women and their spouses.
In November, Comcast announced it will hire an additional 11,000 veterans, military spouses, and National Guard and Reserve members, bringing its total military hires to 21,000 by the end of 2021. The company had previously set a goal in 2015 to hire 10,000 military community members by the end of 2017, and it exceeded that goal.
Helping Military Members and Their Spouses
Walmart also recently announced its intent to help military families by giving hiring preference to military spouses in a new initiative called the Military Spouse Career Connection.
The retail giant says the new initiative complements an earlier program called the 2013 Veterans Welcome Home commitment which, combined with a 2015 program enhancement, sought to hire 250,000 military veterans by 2020. Walmart says it is on track to surpass that goal in 2019.
These efforts are, in part, a reaction to the difficulties members of the military community have in finding employment, even in a strong job market. Walmart points to the fact that there are more than 500,000 active duty military spouses nationwide, according to data from the Department of Defense Military Spouse Employment Partnership.
“While the U.S. jobless rate hovers at four percent nationally, military spouses face a 26 percent unemployment rate and a 25 percent wage gap compared to their civilian counterparts,” according to this data. “A full 77 percent of these spouses want or need work, yet frequent relocation is often a barrier to finding and maintaining a rewarding career.”
Companies’ military community recruitment efforts can be described as both a true recruitment effort as well as a PR strategy. While those with military backgrounds tend to have a high degree of training and discipline, it also looks good for major corporate giants to be able to demonstrate their support for the military community with massive recruitment statistics. That’s particularly true when, because of their size and hiring power, these companies have the potential to make a staggering impact.
All companies can help, though. What is your organization doing, or what could it do, to better reach out and connect with the military and their families about potential roles within your organization? This is a highly committed and well-trained demographic that has the potential to offer big benefits.