Two Companies Take On Military Spouse Employment Challenges
About the Author

Rebecca Alwine is a freelance writer, army wife, and mother of three. Over the past 10 years, she's discovered she enjoys coffee, running, lifting weights, and most of the menial tasks of motherhood. When she's not writing, she can usually be found hiding behind the sewing machine or with her nose in a book. 

Her writing experience includes military family topics, research pieces, guest blogging, and much more. She's a contributing writer for ARMY Magazine, a regular contributor for several publications including to Homefront United Network, PCSGrades, ESME, and has also been published in Ms. Magazine and The Atlantic. 

You can follow her online at www.whatrebeccathinks.com or on Twitter (@rebecca_alwine) and Instagram (@rebecca_alwine).
 

 

Military spouse and veteran employment is consistently a hot topic in the military community. From certification transferability to transferrable skills, military spouses and veterans face many unique challenges. Over the past year, two military spouse-run companies have stepped forward to help fix some of these problems. Who better to address these issues than those intimately familiar with the problem?  

Hire Served  

Military spouse and former FBI agent Jean South found herself experiencing an identity crisis as she went from making a difference every day to struggling to showcase her skills in the nongovernment world. It was difficult for her to tell corporate America what her skills were and why she wanted to continue to use them. When she started Hire Served, South was hoping to help veterans, former law enforcement personnel, and military spouses discover their passion, and then use it to find a new career path.  

Hire Served takes a holistic approach to job searching. South wants potential applicants to start focusing on their “why” instead of just focusing on a job. Once they’ve established that purpose, South and her team take them through the process, which involves translating skills effectively, understanding available jobs, and identifying opportunities that fit within their lifestyle. Sometimes it takes time to get results, but finding the right job is worth the wait.  

“I’m good at connecting people, but I want to connect them with more than just a job that they are qualified for,” South says. Her team at Hire Served focuses on ensuring job seekers are fulfilled, happy, and satisfying their own purpose when going to work each day. They work for job seekers as well as companies looking to hire military spouses.   

Going into their second year, Hire Served is changing some things to achieve their goals. “We started with a standard executive search model and we are moving to make our services more accessible for smaller businesses,” South explains. “Our coaching program has been very successful, and we’ll be introducing a sponsorship program so those that may not be able to afford our services can still achieve their goals.”   

MadSkills  

Erica McMannes and Liza Rodewald want to see military spouses succeed in their career paths, despite the constant moving and uncertainty of military life. When they launched virtual staffing agency MadSkills a year ago, they took the military spouse world by storm. MadSkills allows military spouses to explore potential jobs and earn a living — in your current location — in  rapidly growing virtual work opportunities.  

“We work in two ways,” McMannes explains. “The DirectHire site subscription access is where employers can post a position and directly engage with military spouse applicants to fill and hire. And we also have the structure and tools in place to offer the remote team management that many companies lack or have no idea where to start.”   

MadSkills has transformed the way military spouses look for remote positions. Their online search allows military spouses to seek jobs based on their requirements, from freelance to full-time. The site lists available positions in project management, marketing, and sales. Spouses with coveted skill sets in technology and IT fields often can find available positions on the MadSkills platform.   

“It’s really exciting to see where we are headed into our second year,” McMannes says. She says a virtual staffing agency is “unique in concept and not a traditional business model, which brings an extra set of challenges. But with the right mentors and legal team, we are making great strides.”  

Both Hire Served and MadSkills are eager to get in front of more potential job seekers, establish relationships and partnerships, and bring on more clients. While things hardly ever follow the straight path of an initial business plan, both of these companies are adjusting fire and proving that military spouses truly are resilient. 

 
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