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4 Ways to Accelerate Your Impact Sourcing Strategy

Published April 17, 2020

Written by: Cindy Gallagher
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Cindy Gallagher

Cindy Gallagher joined Liberty Source in 2018 as the company’s Chief Executive Officer. As a Navy spouse, she was one of the Company’s pioneers in 2014, establishing the onshore Business Process Outsourcing model as a competitive alternative to captive and offshore shared service centers. Prior to joining Liberty Source, she served as the SVP, Global Business Services Controller for Discovery Communications, and as the Deputy Controller and Assistant Treasurer for AOL.
 
Cindy was responsible for building, scaling and transforming the finance operations at both Discovery and AOL to meet the ever-expanding needs of the global marketplace. Most notably during her time at Discovery, the organization earned a designation among the top 20 most admired shared service organizations globally in 2017.
 
She has served as an advisor and partner to various senior executives, helping to identify new revenue generating business opportunities, streamline and scale global processes, implement talent development initiatives and maintain financial statement integrity.
 
Cindy began her career with SC&H Consulting providing best practice thought leadership and implementing process improvement initiatives for Fortune 100 clients. She is a licensed CPA, and is an active member of the advisory boards for both the SSOW North America and SSOW Europe. She has served as the Finance Chairman for a Virginia based non-profit, and holds a Master’s Degree in accounting from the University of Maine. Follow Liberty Source on Twitter: @LibertySourceUS.
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Across all industries, talent is our single most important resource. Our corporate strategies rise and fall in line with the experience, commitment, and uniqueness of our talent pool. One can often point to economic circumstances, seasonality of your business or other external factors affecting your market position, however even in times of an economic downturn, your talent makes you stand out above your competitors and helps you overcome the downturns faster than others.

Executing on your talent strategy is the most important lever you have in achieving your corporate goals. However, many leaders take their talent strategy for granted. They believe that the same recruiting and hiring initiatives they put in place years ago still apply today. These initiatives likely involve standard job descriptions with industry-specific acronyms, and recruiting efforts focused on employees with specific technical backgrounds or a specific pedigree of university education.

There’s no doubt those factors remain important, but to be honest, they’re often used in isolation, which is an approach I’ve seen fail all too often. 

Instead of focusing on the very technical aspects of a role, what would happen if you focused on the human characteristics needed to be successful in a given role. Characteristics like adaptability, diversity, resilience, sense of community, hunger to learn and passion. 

These characteristics are prolific across many impact sourcing strategies, specifically those focused on military spouse employment.

Why Military Spouses?

You have most likely heard the many benefits your company can reap when hiring veterans, you may even have a veteran sourcing strategy, but perhaps you haven’t yet considered the value of employing military spouses.

Military spouses are often overlooked, yet bring a vast range of skills to the table. You may be surprised to learn that military spouses are twice as likely to be unemployed than the veteran workforce. A recent Blue Star Families research report noted that 48% of active-duty military spouses cite employment as the number-one challenge to military life. Also, for at least the second year in a row, military spouse employment topped “spouse’s time away from family” as the number-one challenge to military life. Certainly, we all face challenges in life, but our military families shouldn’t have to worry about employment more than they worry about the safety of their service member.

As a business leader, I understand hiring challenges. To a typical hiring manager, a military spouse resume looks like someone who jumps from job to job. However, what isn’t realized is that the military spouse behind that resume had to move with their service member every few years due to military commitments, often without the ability to take their job with them.

When we look at the business benefits of utilizing an impact sourcing strategy through employing military spouses, we begin to uncover a high-quality, yet untapped talent pool.

Here’s why you should consider adding military spouses to your impact sourcing strategy.

Military Spouses Are Adaptable-to-Change

Change is constant for a military family. They may be preparing for a relocation to California and at the last minute, there is a change in military orders taking them to Japan. The military family has no other option but to comply and make the most of this change. This happens frequently for the nearly 800,000 military families. With a dynamic and evolving economy, business leaders must also evolve and make the necessary shifts in strategy to allow for innovation and growth. With that, having a workforce that is adaptable to change is a must. Adapting to a changing marketplace, with confidence that your employee base will be able to adapt alongside you, gives your organization a competitive advantage. 

Military Spouses Have Diverse Skill Sets

Different duty stations and the inability to find “the right job” often leave military spouses to re-invent their careers. This results in a vast array of skillsets and a determination to succeed. Not only do military spouses hold many technical capabilities, but they also possess interpersonal skills, the ability to work with many different personalities, are agile, love to learn, and embrace the diversity of thought and perspective. Military spouses bring a wealth of diversity to the table. Becoming an organization that embraces the diversity of thought and perspective will better position you for long-term growth.

Military Spouses Are Resilient

It is normal for military spouses to be under pressure and deal with stressful situations such as combat deployments and being the sole caretaker in the household. They’ve learned to work well under pressure and do so with grace and poise. They have the ability to bounce back from unfavorable outcomes and thrive wherever they are placed. As an organizational leader, you must have employees you can count on to get the job done right under tight deadlines and stressful circumstances. Military spouses will deliver for you time and time again.

Military Spouses Are Educated

84% of all military spouses have some college, 24% hold a bachelor’s degree and 10% hold a master’s degree.  However, even with education, many hiring managers cannot get past the sometimes spotty resumes. The fortunate news is there are many educated military spouses ready and willing to do what it takes to be part of your team. 

As a military spouse, I have seen firsthand how detail-oriented, flexible and organized a military spouse needs to be in their personal life. As a business leader, I have found these same strengths are essential in growing and scaling a successful business.

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