Will New Hiring Policy Benefit Military Spouses?

As a veteran and military spouse, I have experienced both sides of the job search coin. On one hand, you are excited that there are hiring preferences in place if you identify as a veteran or spouse. On the other hand, you’re concerned because you have to identify as a veteran or military spouse.  

Should I apply for this job using the military spouse employment preference?

Is there a stigma against hiring military spouses or veterans?

These are questions that have undoubtedly crossed your mind when choosing to apply a veterans’ or spouses’ preference. 

More Flexible Job Opportunities for Military Spouses

According to the Federal Register, new hiring policies at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) will give government agencies greater flexibility when recruiting military spouses.

This new policy allows agencies to appoint military spouses to positions within some federal agencies. These opportunities can range from temporary, term, or permanent positions in the civil service.

“The intent of this hiring authority is to enhance the recruitment and noncompetitive appointment of certain military spouses for permanent Federal positions in the competitive service.

These new policies effectively waive certain eligibility requirements when hiring military spouses.

Military Spouse Eligibility

To be eligible for noncompetitive appointment, you must be “a spouse of a member of the armed forces serving on active duty, a spouse of a 100 percent disabled service member injured while on active duty, or the un-remarried widow or widower of a service member who was killed while performing active duty.”

For the purposes of this hiring policy, “active duty” refers to those service members in the active services, but it can also mean full-time National Guard duty. For Reserve Component members, “active duty” does NOT include training duties or attendance of service schools.

Limitations of the Hiring Policy

These policy requirements will remain in effect until August 13, 2023, after which additional criteria will have to be met for appointment to the Federal service.

For example, from now until August 12, 2023, a military spouse may have unlimited noncompetitive appointment to permanent positions. However, beginning August 13, 2023, a military spouse is limited to one noncompetitive appointment for every permanent change of station (PCS) made by their active duty spouse.

There are other limitations that will take effect in 2023, most of them related to providing documentation proving eligibility.

Military Spouses, Go Get Hired!

I get it, as military spouses we are frequently bogged down with managing our families and households while our Heroes and Heroines stand on the front line of Freedom.

We often feel overlooked and prejudged when applying for jobs. I know I’ve faced that personally as a military spouse. I walked away feeling that identifying as an active-duty spouse may have hindered me from getting hired.

Even so, there are positive steps being taken to facilitate the careers that military spouses desperately want and need. The new OPM rule is one such step. 

So, if you’re looking for Federal employment within numerous government agencies, head over to USA Jobs, to begin searching for your next career. You can filter your results by those positions open to military spouses and veterans.

Good luck!

(Image courtesy of Flamingo Images via Shutterstock)