With remote working becoming the new normal, employers across the country are opening their eyes to a little-known, previously overlooked workforce: the wives, husbands and partners of serving military personnel.

Social enterprise, Recruit for Spouses is dedicated to bringing talent to the workplace through free training, coaching, mentorship and job opportunities, we are now calling for businesses of all sizes to offer remote, agile opportunities in the long-term and incorporate these into their company culture to effect real industry wide change – not just to get through lockdown.

Recruit for Spouses (RFS) has seen a 162% increase in military spouses registering interest in RFS’ services since March 2020 in the hope of finding full and part-time employment. Three in four of the spouses that Recruit for Spouses work with have been unable to find work for more than five years, despite often having successful careers before marrying into the military.

Heledd Kendrick, CEO of Recruit for Spouses, says: “We understand the talent that exists within the community of military spouses and we also understand the requirements of businesses in their pursuit of hiring the best. Military spouses can provide skills, experience, value and diversity that businesses should consider – a CV belies their true skill set and RFS is dedicated to bridging the gap between the military spouse community and progressive employers.”

One employer which has recognised this under-utilised talent pool is Virgin Red, the soon to launch rewards club from the Virgin family, which has been working with Recruit for Spouses since the beginning of 2020. Since then, Virgin Red has filled various roles in the company from copy-writing to customer service and will be actively recruiting through Recruit for Spouses as the rewards club grows over the coming months.

One of these employees is Hannah Barnard, 32 and mum of four, now working flexibly, full time at Virgin Red as a “Rewards Genie”. She says: “Until you get married to someone in the Armed Forces it’s really hard to imagine how it will affect you. Before I married my husband, I had a great role with a bank and naively thought I could retain my career. Then doors kept being slammed in my face. I was lucky if I got an interview. After hundreds of applications, this new role through Recruit for Spouses has been life-changing for me. The Virgin Red team has opened doors for me – utilising all those skills you develop as a military spouse.”

Kelly Best, Chief Marketing Officer at Virgin Red, says: “The Virgin Red Recruit for Spouses team, known as the Reward Genies, are firing on all cylinders and delivering an exceptional service as we prepare to launch our new rewards club. Throughout our build-phase, we are thrilled that Virgin Red was in the position to support Recruit for Spouses and find challenging, interesting and fully flexible work for these incredibly talented people.”

Heledd Kendrick, adds: “Despite the difficult job climate, we have continued to support hundreds of military spouses into employment and urge other companies to throw out their preconceptions and benefit from the skills and experience of these incredible people.”