In 2012, Bureau Veritas implemented a dedicated ex-military recruitment programme, which has since been recognised by the Ministry of Defence in its Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS)…

Steve Dutson, Strategic Resourcing Manager North West Europe at Bureau Veritas explains the rationale behind the Joint Forces recruitment scheme and how it has been a key driver in sourcing talent.

“As global leaders in testing, inspection and certification (TIC), our people are our main asset and we aim to only recruit the best. As such, we are always on the lookout for outstanding candidates with discipline, leadership skills and plenty of experience of working in a fast-paced technical environment – but I started to realise that we were potentially missing out on a relatively untapped pool of talent.

“A few years ago myself and a colleague carried out an exercise to ask ‘what does good look like?’ By listing the qualities of our top performers, a pattern emerged with a number of them sharing an historic HM Forces involvement.

“As an ex-cadet, I’m familiar with the culture of the armed forces. The military is so much more than a job – it’s a family, a community and a lifestyle. These values have a synergy with our ethos at Bureau Veritas. We understand that not every military CV may be fantastically well written, that some people who joined up when they were 18 might not have had an interview for 25 years and that the military encourages a team culture where you don’t celebrate or shout about your achievements – and so sometimes you have to tease that information out and acknowledge the raw talent.

“Through this understanding, the business is able to provide help, support and advice to ex-forces personnel and more specifically offers assistance in the form of existing ex-services employees who have already been through the transition process and who can personally help and advise new service leaders.

“Key to our approach is the identification of a strategic talent pipeline, and this comes from ensuring that there is a continuous flow of talent coming into the business. It’s not as simple as ‘we have a role today, how can we fill it?’, but more ‘what will we need in two, three or four years’ time?’ What kinds of skills and people will we need and where are those individuals going to come from?”

“As such, Bureau Veritas seeks out those potential future leaders who can grow into technical specialists or area managers, not just someone who can fill a role today.

“It is this approach to sourcing and developing good personnel that makes the business’ ex-military recruitment programme work. Personal Development Plans for all Bureau Veritas employees ensure that an individual’s career goals fit within the long term strategic goals of the business. So a career here can take you to many different places and stages. We can say to someone quite genuinely, ‘you can join us here today but where you are in three years may be very different – it’s up to you’. “It’s uplifting to be able to hand employees that empowerment.

"Upwards of 200 people per year are currently recruited by Bureau Veritas and an estimated 8-10 per cent of those are ex-forces who join through our ex-military recruitment programme, Joint Forces. Just recently we welcomed our 100th employee as part of the programme and we look forward to continuing to offer support to the ex-forces well into the future.

Bureau Veritas has been recognised by the top Employers Institute for the fourth year running, gaining Top Employers UK 2015 certification late last year.

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