Liza Rodewald and Erica McMannes noticed a pattern throughout their time as active-duty military spouses. They were experienced, qualified, and willing to work — but with each permanent change of station, they struggled to find meaningful employment in their career fields as options for remote jobs for military spouses were often extremely limited.
They weren’t alone. The military spouse unemployment rate is 5x higher than the national average. Frequent moves, increased home demands, and locations of military installations can make finding a “normal” 9-5 job nearly impossible for military-connected professionals. It’s one of the many reasons remote jobs for military spouses are so important.
Erica was a child development specialist turned consultant in Silicon Valley. As she worked with various accelerator groups, she realized that companies weren’t utilizing military spouses and were unfamiliar with their versatility, skill sets, and unique professional and life experiences.
In 2016, Erica contacted Liza, asking for feedback on a remote hiring model to create and fill remote jobs for military spouses. Erica and Liza had crossed paths at a previous duty station and connected through their shared passion for entrepreneurship and the military community.
Liza had extensive software development and contracting experience but had pivoted to project management and business development. Erica pitched Liza (virtually, of course), who loved the concept. They immediately started a business plan to help get military spouses remote jobs they could take with them when they relocate. In short order, Hire MadSkills was born.
Supporting the Force
Behind the Force
With MadSkills, military spouses could create accounts to search for remote jobs, while companies used the skills-based hiring model to select highly qualified candidates. Early investors included The Founder Institute, Squadra Ventures, Frontier Venture Capital, Right Side Capital Management, and Tiger Global.
In January 2019, MadSkills rebranded to become Instant Teams. The new name better aligned with Liza and Erica’s goal: to quickly and efficiently build teams of military spouses ready for remote work.
Today, Instant Teams has provided thousands of remote jobs, opportunities to upskill, and improved the financial stability of military and veteran families. Instant Teams has been recognized by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, RemoteTech Breakthrough, Inc. Magazine, Blue Star Families, and Hiring our Heroes.
Our commitment to skills-based hiring, career continuation, and remote work is making a difference in the military community.
Fighting For Change
Instant Teams is proud to advocate for military spouses, participating in Congressional roundtables, National Defense Authorizations Act reports, Department of Defense pilot programs, and policy and advocacy work around military spouse hiring and entrepreneurship.
We’re proud supporters of the Military Spouse Hiring Act, a bipartisan effort to encourage businesses to hire military spouses through tax incentives. (Watch this story to see Senator Kaine (D-VA) and Instant Teams Founder and Chief People & Community Officer Erica McMannes talk about the bill and why it matters for military families.)
Meet Twelve Million Plus
Twelve Million Plus – powered by Instant Teams – is the first and only (free!) verified community app exclusively for military spouses.
12M+ enables and encourages military spouses to gather, connect, and share their knowledge and experiences. You can access resources that support military families, personal and professional development, employment opportunities, financial wellness, and more – bringing together our global community like never before.
As part of Twelve Million Plus, we’ve partnered with Grow with Google and Spouse-ly to give military spouses additional opportunities to upskill and grow as entrepreneurs.
We constantly strive to ensure that a military spouse’s talent and expertise are recognized – regardless of where they are stationed.