Ex-military employment in corporate roles

#1
I have been asked to write a paper for the senior leadership of a global bank on what benefits to the business employing ex-military will bring. Anyone got any ideas?

Specifically areas such as:

Commercially relevant strengths and weaknesses
Training requirements
Relevant transferable skills
Ideas for how to recruit, train, employ and retain ex-military in a way that benefits the business
Areas of banking that ex-military will be particularly suited to

In order to capitalise on current traction, the angle will specifically be from the bank's interest, although the feeling from the top is that we should be seen to be 'doing our bit' as well.

Because of the need for brevity and the fact I have one week to do it I am going to have to focus exclusively on regular officers, although I am happy to hear comments about other ranks and reservists.


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skid2

LE
Book Reviewer
#3
Just bad timing. Now if you were threatening a TV doc on the sex life of the disabled.............

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#6
Just out of interest, did you have a rank/age group in mind? Are we talking post short service commission Lt/Capts, senior Capts, post IPP Majors/Lt Cols, etc. In my opinion each of those represents significantly different strengths/weaknessess and aspirations.
 
#7
Be honest with yourself and them. Ex-military officers per se bring no unique skills, especially valuable experience or guarantee of quality. No firm, global or British, owes us anything.

That said, I think many large organisations would benefit from taking on skilled professionals looking at a career change, and in that context would do well to view most ex-officers as a broad equivalent to their civilian peers in blue chip firms.

Before the slagging begins, yes I do know many ex-officers who are tough, motivated, adaptable leaders and managers who would be an asset to most employers & quickly prove their quality & potential.

But I also know a great many journeymen and - more importantly - a large number of guys who took a couple of years to work out what they wanted from their life outside the Army. If I were looking for good, fast-stream like guys to recruit I would actively seek to recruit the first group and keep a watching brief for those who, after a year or two in their wilderness career wise, show they belong to the first & demonstrate a commitment to their chosen field. This means getting relevant qualifications, and displaying potential in relatively junior roles - not banging on about how making minor tweaks to a training regime or tangentially running a budget already makes them a senior manager.

While going through resettlement I came into contact with a few well intentioned organisations such as ForceSelect & AddVantage seeking to pitch ex-forces officers as the equivalent of professional athletes & MBAs. They don't seem to be getting a good reception - I don't know anyone whose got a good job through them. Perhaps this is due to poor recruiters, or the economy but in large part its because its sadly not true.

My advice - for what its worth - is for both ex-officers & employers to ignore any idea of generic qualities of ex-military candidates and simply concentrate on what that person can demonstrate on their own merits. For many employers, simply not ignoring CVs from ex-officers would be a great step forward - which is why simply finding a contact to circumvent the usual channels seems to the best means of getting a good job on the outside.

The above aside, civvy managers are weakling cnuts who should step aside for broad shouldered, square jawed, medalled, war proven commanders who could do their jobs in body armour with half the paperwork and still find time to play mess rugby in the CEO's meeting room. Cheers. :)
 
#9
Thanks, yes-those are useful. Google is indeed my friend-I want to clarify that posting on Arrse is not my only source of research; I just want to get a wide range of views!


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#10
Just out of interest, did you have a rank/age group in mind? Are we talking post short service commission Lt/Capts, senior Capts, post IPP Majors/Lt Cols, etc. In my opinion each of those represents significantly different strengths/weaknessess and aspirations.
Yup, in my mind I had segmented the recruitment pool into subalterns and junior Captains; senior Captains; and Majors. I don't know enough about the more senior ranks to comment effectively.


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#12
MPP - I seem to remember an ex BW officer working for RBC running a related campaign in Canada. The name doesn't come to mind but do a quick google and you might find a kindred spirit.
 
#13
Have a look at LinkedIn there are screeds of stuff on there regarding officers in Corporate roles. As to people to ask, there are two ex Queens Own Highlanders on there, one is very involved in search and selection for the Finacial services sector who has been in that sector since he left in the early 80s.
 
#14
Use the headings for the OJAR as a template, converting that into the phraseology and terms used in banking.

Also consider using values and standards of the British Army, being banking though you might have to explain a few - integrity, selfless commitment ;-)

Don't dismiss ORs in your considerations, there are some very switched on people out there.
 
#15
Use the headings for the OJAR as a template, converting that into the phraseology and terms used in banking.

Also consider using values and standards of the British Army, being banking though you might have to explain a few - integrity, selfless commitment ;-)

Don't dismiss ORs in your considerations, there are some very switched on people out there.

Oi! Watch it! ;-)

Yep, agree ref OR Dingerr-unfortunately I have one opportunity to potentially get my ideas noticed by 'them on high' and if it's longer than two sides of A4 and takes longer than a week to draft it just won't get read. Hopefully though, this initial piece of work will highlight the broader agenda.

Incidentally, I have encountered an ex ACC Cpl and ex RLC driver in banking-neither in "Wall St" type roles but both making seriously good money (£60k+ pa?) considering how far they've come.


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FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#16
I'm struggling to think of any aspect of skills or training which would give an Army Officer an extra edge in banking per se and there seems a danger of making unsustainable claims which will be shot down and/or offend a civilian audience, including your boss.
 
#17
I'm struggling to think of any aspect of skills or training which would give an Army Officer an extra edge in banking per se and there seems a danger of making unsustainable claims which will be shot down and/or offend a civilian audience, including your boss.
That presupposes a desire to provide an unrealistically positive view of ex-officers! I left the bluff behind when I left the regulars-I've been entrusted with providing clear, objective advice to the best of my ability.




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#18
Press Ups,

Sun Tsu quote to preface, intro, selected principles of war as a framework. Weave in mission command, values and standards and don't forget "serve to lead" - in fact that could be your title. Pop insome contemporary quotes from business/banking leaders (google) that support the argument. Conclusion and a Clausewitz quote to close...jobs a good 'un!

A bit of SWOT on each principle should balance the argument nicely.

Talk about transferable quals that some have - MBAs, PM quals etc as well as the fairly standard blend of confidence, ability to perform under pressure in complex and uncertain environments and well trained and developed leadership qualities (which we have in spades incomparison to many civilian corporate types).

In current corporate and political climate the moral and ethical strengths may well be quite persuasive.

Anyway,don't want write it for you!

Commission in swiss franks to my usual offshore account please!

uqfegd

pp
 
#19
I've hired a few, mostly younger guys who have done well but decided to change direction. They've been typically well suited to managing assets or businesses with complex logistics. Typically they're crap at strategy, math, complex conceptualisation and negotiation (the exception being that one of our senior quants on the trading floor is ex Oz Commando, then did a PhD in financial mathematics......uber fit too, but he's the exception).

I've also seen many 3-5 years served do as well as anybody. No special skills other than a good work ethic.
 
#20
If you were to looker at a Junior Officer and compare him to other applicants for the majority graduate positions you would be able to find elements which would make him a better candidate for a role. However the comparison between him and your typical candidate for a banking role (oxbridge/durham/bristol/exeter etc.) I think you'll find that RMAS etc will not give him that x factor on applied intelligence. Possibly the main pro would be that you have a candiate who has experience of working under extreme pressure and time constraints so would probably guarantee they won't crack under the work load. However when you then compare a Major/Lt Col for a role compared to his peers I imagine you'll tend to find the experience he has gained will trump that of his peers.

If you look at your typical OR and compare him to the vast majority of his peer group, I believe that he would stand out a lot more and would be a lot more employable.
 

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