Using social media to attract the best service leavers

IF your business is doing something great and actively supporting service leavers, make sure you’re shouting about it.

Using your social media channels and company website to promote your business’s commitment to veterans will help veterans feel confident that they will receive the support they need on joining and settling into a new role.

Practical steps to attract service leavers

Practical steps to take include:

  • Getting in touch with local and national military charities and letting them know about your military programme.
  • Considering advertising your commitment to supporting ex-Service personnel in military magazines and newsletters, such as Pathfinder International and Quest.
  • Publishing case studies of veteran employees on your organisation’s website to highlight roles ex-military personnel have successfully transitioned into within the company.

Veterans comfortable using social media

Veterans are accustomed to using social media to keep in touch with friends and family, especially during deployment or frequent moves, and many use their networks to maintain personal and business contacts and to spread the word about new opportunities.

Using social media to reach a niche audience such as service leavers is an almost risk-free strategy – it’s cheap, quick and easy to test and effective, especially when you move beyond broad generalisations about your target audience.

Jaguar Land Rover - an Armed Forces friendly employer

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), an Armed Forces friendly employer, has a dedicated ex-military careers Facebook page to actively promotes their commitment to ex-military personnel.  It also uses the page to advertise vacancies and publish case studies of successful ex-military employees. Their use of social media to target groups such as service leavers is constantly monitored to ensure it’s meeting the aims of the company and the needs of users.

The company has a long history of supporting the Armed Forces and is committed to helping ex-Service personnel transition into successful civilian careers. These opportunities help people to understand what careers are available outside of the military and are offered to all service leavers and veterans; subject to availability or individual circumstances. Participants can spend time with different teams at JLR, to help identify the right roles for their skill set, while gaining CV and vocational advice.

Jaguar Land Rover also has an Armed Forces Steering Committee, which is comprised of employees from relevant functions, including veterans and HR professionals. It provides advice and support, ensuring the company is focused on its commitment to the Armed Forces family and meeting its covenant commitments.

The car manufacturer recently won the Officers’ Association Excellence in Work Experience Programmes at the BSI Resettlement Awards and was also recognised by the Defence Relationship Management in 2015, receiving a Gold Award under the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme.

The company’s project manager for Armed Forces Engagement, Emma Morton, said a willingness to look at new ways of engaging ex-forces employees was key.

“There is no real template on how you should do this as a business which means we do what we can and see what we can introduce,” she said. “The careers section of the website and the social media channels are invaluable in terms of bringing service leavers into the business and demonstrating our commitment to them.”

More advice on how to attract ex-military talent

More than 15,000 Armed Forces personnel left the UK military from October 2016 to 2017. Find out more about how your business could capitalise on the military talent stream.