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How can employers support the Canadian Armed Forces?

Tap into the pool of talented military family members

Published on

November 10, 2023


For many Canadians, Remembrance Day is a solemn time to come together, honour the sacrifices of Canadian military personnel and reflect on the service and dedication of those who have defended our country, including those in active service today. As we reflect and remember, it's also important to recognize those whose support means the most to our troops - their families.

The wellbeing of a military family can directly impact a Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) member’s time in the service. One of the major reasons many choose to leave the CAF is the growing difficulty for a family to prosper on a single income, a situation that is often a reality for military families in 2023. Meaningful employment of military spouses gives them a stable economic foundation, fosters resilience, reduces isolation, empowers family members to face the unique challenges of military life, and helps support the retention of Canadian troops.  

Altis Recruitment shows our appreciation for military families across Canada by actively supporting their access to employment opportunities. That’s why we’re proud to partner with the Military Spousal Employment Network, an online hub that connects national business partners with more than 6,200 Canadian military spouses and family members seeking meaningful employment. The organization facilitates this through a job bank, virtual and in-person career fairs, employment development, and career training.

“The MSEN was stood up to help mitigate the under-employment and career challenges facing military spouses, and indirectly supports retention of Canadian Armed Forces members,” says Augustina Charles, Employment and Entrepreneurship Program Manager of Military Family Services for the Canadian Forces Morale & Welfare Services. “It’s a low-cost intervention that helps mitigate the underemployment challenges for military spouses. There are currently 26 employer partners who are interested in this unique talent pool, and we are hoping to grow to 100 by 2025.”

Are you an employer looking for a tangible way to support the Canadian Armed Forces, or want to contribute to the MSEN’s employer partner target? We’d love to act as your conduit to this capable cohort of candidates! Click here to learn how you can get involved today.

A Diverse and Skilled Talent Pool

Here at Altis Recruitment, we view the employment of military spouses and partners as a strategic advantage for our clients because of the specific and valuable qualities and experiences they bring to a team. We were proud to be part of a recent MSEN virtual job fair, where one of our Account Executives, Andrew Tyrrell had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with some of these qualified and credentialed candidates.

“These are professionals from across the gamut – from fullstack developers to finance, project admins, museum workers, and more,” says Andrew. “These are some of the are the warmest people to meet, they’re experienced in creating relationships in new settings, and in joining new teams, communities, and groups. They're all excited, hardworking individuals who are trying to make things happen. We are always on the lookout for employers who'd be interested in hiring military spouses and partners. It's a creative way of finding new talent, and there's a multitude of qualified applicants within the demographic.”

We encourage employers seeking a diverse and capable talent pool to consider hiring military spouses and partners, who are often highly adaptable, resilient, and loyal. They’re often tenacious problem-solvers who respond effectively to change, have strong time management skills, and are great communicators – even in a room full of strangers. Altis sees these inherent traits reflected in our core values, and we are thrilled that our work with MSEN connects us to a pool of professional candidates who promote diversity, value inclusion, and strive to contribute to a supportive, inclusive workplace.

When you hire a military spouse, you are likely gaining an employee with a strong sense of dedication. Their lifestyles have also gifted many with an affinity for both leadership roles and group collaboration. Whether it's leading a project or working alongside other colleagues, military spouses and partners can be effective team players, contributing to a productive work environment.  

“We try to encourage employers to check their biases,” says Andrew. “Can we find you candidates who fit your business needs, while also giving someone qualified and eager a chance, versus making them fit to your organization’s structure? Our technology is strong, robust, and dependable – our candidates can work anywhere in Canada!”

Augustina agrees, and stresses the importance of remote work options for these candidates. “If you have a work model where there isn’t a need for the person to be physically located in the office – why not get the best candidate for the job?”

Unique Employment Challenges

The reality of military life means that a CAF member’s new postings or relocations can often result in career disruptions for their spouse or partner. This can affect job progression, create gaps in a resume, interrupt education and training, and ultimately lead some employers to question the long-term employability of these candidates. Through accommodation of their unique situations and an understanding of their career histories, employers can help provide military spouses with a sense of purpose and accomplishment.

A stable career also supports overall mental wellbeing – not only as individuals, but as a family unit. Social isolation is an issue many cope with daily, and meaningful employment can serve as a vital source of interaction, providing a sense of community and a support network. For a military spouse, professional achievements can positively impact mental health, self-esteem, self-worth, and overall life satisfaction. It can also foster a more balanced family dynamic within Canadian military families.  

When employers hire military spouses and partners, they not only provide financial stability, reduce isolation, and help support the retention of Canadian troops – they also gain skilled, loyal, and dedicated team members. We encourage all employers to dive into this deep pool of qualified talent. Visit MSEN to learn more, or speak with us today about supporting this meaningful initiative and finding the right talent for your team.

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