Published on in Responsible Business

A career in the Armed Forces offers a range of experiences that are unmatched in any other profession.

From the leadership and teamwork skills gained from leading a team in a demanding in-theatre environment, through to managing the complex supply chains of an entire unit, military experience imbues professionalism and organisational skills that are valuable to any employer.

As a business with a large Defence and National Security presence, we find service leavers have a tremendous wealth of talent that is often overlooked in industry.

Importantly, their skills are transferable across our entire business, meaning that whilst many service leavers may work for our Defence division, they also perform valuable roles across our 12,000 strong UK workforce.

Service leavers offer a wide range of skills and talent that we rely upon.

They bring a dynamism and ‘can do’ attitude that enables them to surmount difficult problems, as well as a focus and efficiency that is valuable to any employer.

Tim Gibson, who leads Fujitsu’s Defence and National Security business, champions the employment of service leavers across industry.

He vouches that “individuals previously employed by the Armed Forces can contribute a wealth of transferable skills and expertise that can benefit the individual, business and the wider community.”

Broadening the recruitment process to tap into service leaver skills

Service leavers can find it difficult to transition their career upon leaving the Armed Forces.

Civilian life can be vastly different from that in the military, often with a flatter, more unstructured hierarchy and more of a focus on individual achievements. It may not be immediately clear to them how their military experience can transfer to civilian life.

It can also initially be difficult for service leavers to find a job outside of the Armed Forces as they are often not used to the application and interview processes that businesses use. For example, an emphasis on teamwork in the military may lead them to overlook their individual achievements at interview stage.

Businesses that are keen to explore the opportunities that employing service leavers deliver can find a range of support available.

Fujitsu works with the Career Transition Partnership, a recruitment partner of the MOD, to promote the vacancies we have with the ex-forces community and facilitate a recruitment process that recognises Armed Forces skills and qualifications.

By developing an accessible recruitment process, we are able to work with service leavers to understand where their skills lie and how to best capitalise on these as part of their move into civilian life.

Supporting the See Potential campaign can also help you tap into military veterans’ talents and become more inclusive.

Service leavers at Fujitsu: a fantastic success story

We find that service leavers quickly integrate into working life, finding a new freedom and taking advantage of the opportunity to broaden their skill sets.

One of Fujitsu’s recent ex-forces joiners said that one of the biggest challenges upon transitioning into Fujitsu was: “Not knowing where you fit in the food chain. The military is easy as people wear their rank. I have found lots of people use the title manager but this may not make them senior; people tend to work fairly openly and not worry about who is the lead. People talk to you as a human being and not at your rank, making for a great working environment.”

Employing service leavers has been a fantastic success story for Fujitsu.

We currently have over 450 ex-Forces members within our business and are continually expanding on this number.

They bring crucial skills into our business and contribute positively to a professional working environment.

In 2015, we were proud to be awarded a Gold award in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS), recognizing us as one of the best employers demonstrating advocacy for reservists, Armed Forces veterans (including wounded, injured and sick), military spouses/partners and military charities.

We are committed to continuing to support the Armed Forces community in the future and would encourage all employers to take advantage of the skills that service leavers can contribute.

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