RFEA – The Forces Employment Charity, which is currently celebrating its 135th birthday, is launching Military Women,...
The perfect fit for Forces families
Recruit for Spouses is an independent social enterprise that is dedicated to supporting, championing and finding gainful employment for spouses and partners of members of our Armed Forces – and getting talent back into the workforce
Recruit for Spouses (RfS) was established in 2011 by Heledd Kendrick, herself a military spouse, who during her maternity leave took stock of the idea that surrounding her was a group of intelligent, hardworking, ambitious women who were kicking their heels looking for something to challenge and excite their professional selves. Heledd recognised a need to provide an opportunity for spouses to get back into the workplace, and change the perception that military spouses are reluctant to work or lacking in necessary skills.
Being married to a member of the Armed Forces is certainly something to be proud of, but it doesn’t always allow for career progression or job stability. Frequent house moves, being the principal parent and long-term absences do not lend themselves to this group maintaining and growing their careers. But military spouses have skills beyond work experience. They offer adaptability, resilience, excellent communication skills and are unfazed by fast-paced changeable environments. They are a huge asset for businesses that value hard work, commitment and productivity among their employees.
This experience has been more than helpful – it has been life-changing
Heledd took action. She established RfS in order to provide this group of inspiring people with an outlet to grow in confidence, network with likeminded people, upskill and learn how to get back into the job market. RfS works tirelessly with external stakeholders to positively reinforce the benefits of employing military spouses into organisations, ensuring they recognise how beneficial it is to recruit from this talent pool.
Helping the spouse
RfS provides a supportive community for spouses, preparing them for their journey back to gainful employment. As well as a collaborative, supportive private Facebook forum, we offer CV webinars, free coaching and mentoring with blue-chip professionals, and are a referral partner for free styling sessions to ensure spouses are interview-ready, in addition to interview coaching.
As well as supporting people back into work, RfS works with businesses to offer part-time, flexible, permanent or fixed-term contract work that complements the military lifestyle, while providing said businesses with a dynamic, motivated and agile workforce.
An intrinsic part of RfS is the ‘Liquid Workforce’. This is a team of agile, flexible military spouses who have been trained by RfS and Alexander Mann Solutions to provide a workforce ready to work for businesses that require project outsourcing or support for their teams. The spouses work from home, with working hours to suit them. This provides the perfect solution for the balance of work/family/military. Going forward, RfS is making plans to expand its Liquid Workforce, working with more military spouses to offer a broad range of workable solutions to businesses.
Coaching and mentoring
One story of permanent work
RfS was contacted by ex-veteran entrepreneur Michael Coates. He wanted an executive assistant to take control of all administration and organisation of the back room of his company, COMBAT Pest Control. Within 24 hours, he was considering CVs from three incredible spouses and, within a week, he was agreeing terms and conditions with Amie Hills Gray. Amie has continued to work with Michael for a number of military moves and has become an integral part of the company.
Amie says, ‘I wanted to continue to be challenged in my career and work for a company that understood the military lifestyle. I knew I was facing at least three short postings in the next couple of years and wanted a role I could do from home. Having this role gives me daily challenges and my own identity. Sometimes I find being an Army spouse quite suffocating.’
The best advice Amie would give to a fellow military spouse looking to get back into employment is: ‘Don’t give up. Amazing and flexible companies do exist, and RfS is 100% the best way to find them.’
A progressive outlook
RfS continues to look forward to the future and is planning many exciting developments to aid military spouses back into work. Its existing free-to-access support will be expanded to include a comprehensive career academy for every military spouse looking to get back into the workplace. And the company will continue to develop its partnerships with businesses looking to grow their workforces in the most progressive way – through agile, flexible working.
If you are considering a move back into employment, but aren’t sure where to start, or maybe you are considering a change of career or looking to make that brave leap into setting up your own business, RfS can help. Visit our website to register, or find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and start your journey back into employment with the support of people who know exactly what you are facing …
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