Hiring initiative getting military spouses into workforce
Stephanie Nishimori, Area North Civilian Personnel Advisory Center Far East Region, speaks to a prospective employee during a job fair put on by U.S. Army Garrison-Humphreys Army Community Service Oct. 10. Nishimori and the Area III CPAC and Army Civ... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Human resources professionals throughout the peninsula are answering the challenge to increase the speed and efficiency of hiring military spouses.

The Army Civilian Personnel Advisory Center and Civilian Human Resources Agency at U.S. Army Garrison-Humphreys, South Korea, have implemented Military Spouse Hiring Initiative measures this summer to help those seeking jobs with the overall process of finding employment.

The ultimate goal is to find qualified military spouses jobs faster.

"We have placed already about 15 spouses through the (direct hiring authority)," said Stephanie Nishimori, Area North CPAC Far East Region, human resources assistant. "One that I think is really great is we had somebody come in one week and we were able to get them a tentative job offer a week later."

The Military Spouse Hiring Initiative allows military spouses to meet one-on-one with a local human resources representative like Nishimori to review their qualifications and receive feedback and career guidance.

Challenges facing those spouses in the hunt for jobs include not meeting specific federal requirements, lengthy hiring procedures and perceptions that hiring managers do not want to hire spouses. These obstacles can discourage military spouses from applying or successfully attaining a job, according to personnel managers.

"I meet with them one-on-one either in person or through a phone call to help them understand how to apply for an opportunity on (www.USAJOBS.gov) as well as work with them to understand why they might not be getting referred, but I also help them on the back end by looking for different opportunities on their behalf," Nishimori said.

Army CHRA at U.S. Army Garrison-Humphreys has created a resume repository where spouses can submit resumes for future employment consideration. Upon receipt, candidates will receive a direct response from one of the local human resources specialists and afforded the opportunity to meet one-on-one to review qualifications and help guide spouses through the federal hiring and employment process.

The Military Spouse Employment Initiative started at the highest levels of the Army, said Jose Villarreal, Eighth Army Ready and Resilient program manager.

"Many spouses have expressed frustrations with the hiring process and the Eighth Army command is passionate about addressing these issues," Villarreal said.

Spouses interested in employment in Korea should continue to apply for jobs online, which is the preferred method. The best way for spouses to apply for jobs is still at www.USAJOBS.gov. Spouses can build their resumes, attach documents and also use settings to build automated job referrals. Once a search is built the system will automatically send candidates matches via email. One reason why USAJOBS is recommended is because spouses seeking jobs can maintain that resume and make updates even after they rotate from the overseas area back to continental United States.

Military spouses can call DSN 757-2020 with questions about employment opportunities here in South Korea and they can also email their resumes or inquiries to usarmy.humphreys.chra-fe.list.military-spousehiring@mail.mil.