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Armed Forces Day should serve as a great reminder of the veteran talent pool

By Lee Holloway, Chief Executive, the Officers’ Association

Last weekend around 100,000 people gathered in Llandudno to celebrate Armed Forces Day. A further 300 events were held in the UK and around the globe to recognise and celebrate the contribution and sacrifice made by that those who serve and have served in our military. 

Recruiters have an opportunity to celebrate and benefit from the experience and skills honed during military service every single day of the year. Tapping into the talent pool of military veterans can ensure that Britain’s businesses can make full use of the training that has been invested in those have served in the military.

Many recruitment professionals now recognise the benefits of interviewing and engaging with candidates with a military background.  Former officers for example, have gone through one of the toughest recruitment and training programmes in the world. As a result, they are well equipped to tackle the management and leadership challenges faced in today’s economy.

The Officers’ Association research: Veterans work, which was published with Deloitte, indicates that veterans are loyal employees, have a lower sickness rate, perform well in a team and can work under pressure. They are also problem-solvers and often task focussed, which is an asset in many roles. 90 percent of businesses who employ veterans say that they perform well in strategic management and the management and motivation of staff.

However, it can sometimes be a struggle for veterans to get started on a civilian career. Our research has found that whilst 71% of employers say they would consider employing veterans, only 39% would employ someone with no industry experience. This means that organisations can sometimes overlook the abundance of soft skills and positive behaviours that Service leavers bring to the workplace, skills that are often hard to find.

Armed Forces Day serves as a great reminder that there are some hugely talented people returning to civilian life who will continue to serve Britain but in a different way,  in new roles, for many more years to come.