Don’t judge me, judge my output

It is in our nature to make intuitive decisions about other people. We categorise people fairly soon after meeting them based on various criteria such as age, gender, social class, education, even accent. We can’t help it – It is our unconscious judgement and it affects our attitudes and behaviours towards other people.

This is unconscious bias. And it isn’t necessarily a bad thing – it can alert us to potential dangers. But not all unconscious bias allows for workplace environments to evolve and accommodate the changing demographics of those who work.

As military spouses, it is not new news that unconscious bias exists in the workplace. It impacts us in recruitment decisions, in training and development and in progression to senior levels.  Our chosen lifestyle can be categorised as not being a committed employee with frequent moves or career breaks counting against us. We can be seen as not worth training investment or lacking appropriate skills or experience.

To some extent, it is true that some will have to move away from jobs, however changes within the British military means families are more settled than ever before. In reality, military spouses may not move jobs any more than civilian workers*.

It is important that organisations remove bias, whether conscious or unconscious. It is generally accepted that teams with a range of backgrounds, differing experiences and alternative styles will drive innovation, productivity and efficiency as well as improving retention.

Pre-conceptions about military spouses can result in the exclusion of a talented group of people, and employers cannot afford to limit the talent pool in any way*.

Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes – perhaps the development of technology will aid evolution of a more balanced recruitment and selection process and encouraging a culture where everyone is treated as an individual.  But it is up to all of us to acknowledge bias and work to shift mindsets so that we can encourage broader acceptance of the varied experiences, backgrounds, lifestyles or work requirements of a military spouse.

For businesses, this can translate into greater business success and potentially higher revenues. For military spouses, it can mean greater job opportunities, the ability of career development and an elevated feeling of inclusion.

A call to action: if you have suffered or suffering from a form of unconscious bias, Recruit for Spouses would like to hear from you. Email us at enquiries@recruitforspouses.co.ukand tell us about it.

 

*From ‘Employing Military Spouses A guide for employers 2018’by Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion (ENEI) in conjunction with Recruit for Spouses.

 

unconscious bias in recruitment

Happy spouses

RFS was...a platform for spouses who understood my struggles and my challenges. It felt like I came to them in pieces, deflated and very defeated and they (RFS) pieced me back together.

5

Rusila Halofaki

RFS are offering an amazing, unique opportunity in the Liquid Workforce within the recruitment world...so many doors can be opened.

5

Kate Legg

Don't give up, amazing and flexible companies do exist and RFS are 100% the best people to help you find them.

5

Amie Hills Grey

RFS was and is the only platform that exists that really understands the struggles and plight of every Armed Forces spouse.

5

Rusila Halofaki

The competency amongst the military spouse community is unbelievably good and the fact all our candidates were happy with remote working made this ideal for us as a small business.

5

Michael Coates, COMBAT pest control

I found the course to be an excellent refresher of the skills I used in my previous roles, and also a confidence booster to me, proving that I can do it again

5

Melody Davies, Liquid Workforce

Helpful? It has been so much more. It has given me confidence and self-belief as well as motivation and inspiration.

5

B. Barber, Military Spouse

This experience has been more than helpful. It has been, in many ways, life changing.

5

B. Barber, Military Spouse