Capita and the British Army – Transforming recruitment in partnership
3 mins read
We’ve been partners with the British Army since 2012 to deliver the end-to-end recruitment of all military personnel.
The 10-year recruitment partnership project embodies an evolving relationship that now represents one of the most successful transformations in our, and the Army’s, partnering history, and one that we are privileged to have played our part in. Our organisation is embedded in the fabric of UK defence, and we’re incredibly proud of our Ministry of Defence footprint and heritage.
We directly manage over 1,400 Capita and Army team members across a central headquarters and 68 army careers centres throughout 6 geographic territories, delivering our services via 4 soldier assessment centres, a dedicated officer selection centre and the Army School of Recruiting which trains all personnel who work in the recruiting operation. In addition to the recruitment and training elements of the project, we also deliver recruiting medical assessments and the recruiting IT system for both the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force.
Our purpose throughout has been single-minded – “To recruit tomorrow’s army today”, and our accomplishments have ensured we’re recognised as one of the global leaders in defence-specific recruitment and training. Much of the transformation success with the recruitment partnership project is as a result of our recognition of the need for genuine Army partnership, epitomised in the Army Personnel Campaign Board (PCB) which brings together recruiting and training pipeline management under common shared governance, jointly chaired by Capita and the Army at 3* level.
The Army Personnel Campaign Board merges eight mutually supportive lines of operation to deliver sustainable and consistent quality and quantity of soldiers across all four streams of British Army recruitment (Regular Officer, Regular Soldier, Reserve Officer, Reserve Soldier). The Board reports into both the Army’s Commander of Home Command and Capita’s Executive Director of People Solutions, and has delivered unprecedented levels of communication, understanding, trust and strategic direction.
Joint statement by the Army’s Chief of General Staff and Jon Lewis, Capita’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “For the Army, this contributes to a fully resourced force, allowing us to meet operational and institutional obligations to the Nation. For Capita, it demonstrates the ability to deliver one of the most complex and demanding recruiting operations in Europe.”
Another key factor in the success of the project has been our commitment to fully understanding the Army’s evolving need for innovative, relevant solutions. For example, to attract a wider profile of candidates to the Army, we jointly took attraction strategy risks that had previously been avoided in order to broaden the Army’s appeal. Not only did our new strategy deliver its applications target 12 months ahead of schedule, but the Army’s campaigns since 2017 have won over 30 marketing industry honours – including gold in the global IPA Effectiveness Awards.
We also advised the Army on how proposed changes to employment terms and conditions would impact the attractiveness of an Army career. By conducting highly detailed audience research and analysis, we provided data that highlighted the potential impact of new pay and conditions, and our collaboration on this project led the Army to increasing the basic pay for a soldier to over £20k per annum.
It’s also significant that we’ve sought to enable a more inclusive and diverse Army via our ‘Inclusive Leadership Program’, which challenges unconscious bias within the recruiting process and drives personal accountability and ownership with every recruiting project team member.
This very successful programme is now being promoted more broadly across the Ministry of Defence and our wider client base to address cultural and inclusivity issues. We’re also implementing the Inclusive Leadership Program across our business as part of our own transformation.
We’re delighted and proud to have played such a pivotal role in transforming and delivering the recruitment programme. Our task has been to recruit the right number of capable and effective soldiers and officers into the British Army, and 2020 was a significant milestone in the project, receiving public acclaim. The personal commitment and passion of the team has set a new standard for global military recruitment, and this has been delivered through ours and the Army’s collaborative leadership, joint partnering and attention to detail in maintaining exceptional standards.