“There can be a tendency for organisations to pigeonhole ex-military into certain roles”

“There can be a tendency for organisations to pigeonhole ex-military into certain roles”

Posted Jul 14th, 2015 by Expedite | 0 comments

Human Resource Director

PwC’s HR Director Nigel Hutchinson discusses how ex-military personnel can add huge value to organisations, if the right support and training is in place.

There is nothing particularly new about businesses employing ex-military, but within the last decade there has been a growing awareness among the public, regarding the diversity of roles performed by people within the Services.

Organisations such as PwC have become far more attuned to the variety of skills ex-military can offer. This has encouraged them to not only recruit and retain this ‘talent’, but also take the opportunity to ‘do the right thing’ and give back to those who have served.

Nigel Hutchinson started the Military Network within PwC to ensure that enough support is given for people transitioning from the Services and that their wide spectrum of ‘soft and technical skills’ are utilised effectively. Firms particularly value the leadership ethos that’s so evident within the Services, as well as the ability of individuals to develop resilience – a necessity when under pressure in extreme circumstances when serving.

Nigel says: “There is a mindset of continual self development that’s cultivated in the Services, which translates very well into organisations.”

In particular, Nigel would like to address perceptions concerning the roles ex-military are suitable for.

“There is a tendency to pigeonhole ex-military into certain roles like security, rather than look at what’s available within the whole organisation and the person’s skill set. We start from the premise that if they’re good enough, they can do a number of roles.”

Within PwC there are ten partners, six directors, 45 senior managers/managers and associates with an ex-military background, which ‘speaks volumes’ about the success they have experienced within the organisation.  These roles include partners, consultants, HR, resourcing, auditors and accountants.

No different to anyone joining an organisation, support through an induction program will help a service leaver settle successfully.  Nigel advises organisations use mentors to guide and support ex-military – ideally someone who has left the Services too and can help with the adjustment.

Nigel says: “However, I have seen a manager make an assumption that because someone from the Services was struggling to integrate, it meant they  were suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The reality was that the person just didn’t fit the organisation and the manager was making an extreme assumption, which hindered their ability to find out what was really going on”.

Nigel believes ex-military can thrive and add real value to any firm when there is simple support in place, an open dialogue and a willingness from organisations to view the full skill set of Service leavers.

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