Attracting Ex-Military Staff: A Comprehensive Guide for Employers

Written by Nicola Wylie
Last updated September 6, 2023

Attracting ex-military staff can be a game-changer for businesses. The unique training and experiences provided by the military equip individuals with a diverse set of transferable skills. This makes them a valuable talent pool for employers across various industries. 

Despite this, many employers still shy away from ex-military recruitment. A Deloitte report revealed that of the 20,000 personnel who leave the UK Armed Forces each year, only around 4% find employment in the public sector and just 2% in the private sector. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the range of benefits that employing ex-military personnel has to offer and delve into actionable advice on how to attract, hire, and retain these exceptional individuals.

Benefits Of Employing Ex-Military Personnel

The UK military provides personnel with exceptional training and experience that, with the right support, can translate into a wide range of civilian job positions.

We look at some of the key transferable skills former armed forces personnel bring to the table:

1. Leadership 

During their time in the military, many personnel undergo extensive leadership training to give them the tools to lead teams in high-pressure situations, identify problems, and make quick decisions. This is a difficult skill set to train as an employer, making ex-military a particularly valuable talent pool for leadership roles.

2. Discipline 

There’s no doubt that the military teaches its personnel the art of discipline. Former military officers can bring this high level of discipline, commitment, and self-management to any civilian role, making them extremely hard-working and loyal employees.

3. Technical skills

Most ex-military have undergone extensive training to build technical skills in IT, engineering, logistics, and mechanics. These skills can answer many of the skill shortages UK businesses are currently experiencing.

4. Adaptability & Resilience

According to a recent LinkedIn report, resilience is the most important workplace skill. And it makes sense. As businesses deal with constant change, a workforce that can adapt and weather storms has a significant competitive advantage. Ex-military workers have these skills in spades, having to adapt to new environments and situations at break-neck speed. 

5. Teamwork

As part of their training, ex-force personnel learn how to effectively work as a team. With so many businesses placing a high priority on teamwork and collaboration, this skill set translates into any workplace environment. 

Plus, military personnel come from diverse backgrounds and life experiences, helping to diversify your workforce and bring fresh perspectives.

Bonus read 👉🏾 Benefits of Employing Ex-military

How To Attract Ex-Military

As an employer, you may need to tweak your recruitment approach when it comes to attracting, hiring, and retaining ex-military personnel. But the benefits are worth it.

Here is some actionable advice on attracting ex-military staff.

1. Attend military job fairs

Attending military job fairs is an excellent way to attract more ex-military personnel to your organisation. Not only do you have a chance to reach a wider talent pool, but you can connect with potential candidates on a more personal level. 

Check the Career Transition Partnership website for a list of the latest military job fairs and events.

2. Use specialist ex-military recruitment agencies or job boards

Enlisting the support of a military recruitment agency can help your organisation connect with former military officers looking to change careers. Since these agencies specialise in helping former armed forces jobseekers find work, they can offer employers advice and support on attracting ex-military staff. 

Specialist job boards are another great way to advertise career opportunities to ex-military job seekers. For instance, Refreshing a Career’s unique ex-military job board is packed with opportunities for former military personnel looking to start a new chapter. 

We work with leading UK employers to match the best ex-military talent with the right career path.

You can find job opportunities, such as maritime security jobs for ex-military, part-time jobs for veterans and post-military jobs for officers.

3. Focus on values

The military instils strong values in its personnel, such as loyalty, discipline, and teamwork. So, companies that share those values are more likely to attract top ex-military talent. Make sure you highlight your company values on your website, employer branding literature, and job descriptions, as well as during the interview process. That way, you’ll make candidates that share those values feel right at home.

The same goes when you’re screening CVs from potential candidates. Focusing more on the values that the candidate demonstrates (rather than direct experience in a similar role) opens the door for a more diverse talent pool. 

4. Provide training and development 

Providing ex-military personnel training and development opportunities will help them learn how to harness their existing skills and transfer them to new challenges. In the process, they’ll gain confidence and become more engaged and motivated in their work. As a result, they’re likely to stay in your business for longer.

5. Offer support

Naturally, transitioning from military to civilian life can be a challenging process. Employers that offer support, mentoring, and patience can make the transition easier. As a result, they empower ex-military personnel to adapt and settle into their new roles. 

Examples include offering mental health support, training, counselling, or flexible working options. Fostering an inclusive work environment and a comprehensive onboarding programme can also make it easier for candidates to feel at home.

How We Can Support Employers With Ex-Military Recruitment

Attracting ex-military staff can answer many of the recruitment challenges UK employers are facing. This largely untapped talent pool has a lot to offer. However, candidates may need some support from employers as they make the transition back to civilian life.

With the right support and resources, ex-military personnel can significantly impact the UK workforce, applying their skills and discipline to solve common business problems.

Are you an ex-military-friendly employer? Our experts can help you attract (and retain) former military staff to your organisation. Here are just some of the services we offer:

Call 03458724501 or email to learn more about our bespoke packages. 

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Last Updated: Wednesday March 27 2024
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