Recruiters lose out on top talent by overlooking military skills

Recruiters lose out on top talent by overlooking military skills

Recruiters can miss out on worthy candidates by not taking advantage of the transferrable skills possessed by military veterans’, or knowing what to look for. The result is that almost half of former soldiers feel that they are forced to take a step backwards in their careers on joining the civilian workforce.

That is according to new research conducted by the newly launched Veterans Employment Transition Support (VETS) programme. The scheme is a partnership between a mix of companies and military charities. Barclays is one of the companies behind the new programme.

Stuart Tootal is the Head of Barclays Armed Forces Transition Employment and Resettlement (AFTER) programme. He tells Executive Grapevine that ex-military personnel have a vast range of transferrable skills, but that recruiters tend to overlook those skills on a CV.

Tootal explains: “At the recruitment process itself, one of the major hurdles that we find our veterans face is positioning their CVs in a way that makes sense to a civilian employer.

“Through the AFTER programme we try and make sure that veteran CVs are considered by someone with a background in the military, in order to put them on an even playing field with other candidates.

“This has ensured that we do not miss out on top talent because valuable military skills have been overlooked on their CV.”

Whilst this lack of understanding of the skills former military personnel have may result in employers losing out on valuable talent, it also means that the ex-soldiers don’t feel appreciated.

VETS has surveyed 782 veterans about how it was for them to join the military service. 42% of former soldiers feel that they are taking a step backwards when they joined the civilian workforce.

“It is concerning to see that so many of the veterans that took part in our survey felt that by entering the civilian workforce they took a step backwards in their careers,” Tootal says.

Rupert Stevens is a former Captain in the Grenadier Guards. He is now a Senior Product Manager at Barclays Premier UK and International. Stevens tells Executive Grapevine that even though he himself had to take a pay cut when he joined the civilian workforce, veterans shouldn’t be disgruntled if they end up in a similar position.

Stevens says: “However, I understand now that you’ve got to be prepared to do that. With the right support, if you take the initial hit, you can then really accelerate. You need to go back to basics to learn things and create that new foundation, but once you do, you have the opportunity to do so much.”

However, the companies behind VETS are not alone in seeing the benefits of recruiting former soldiers, something HR Grapevine discussed in its latest issue.

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