Recruiting and retaining for the Army Reserve - some TTPs

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by Dr_Evil, Jul 6, 2013.

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  1. Given that they have deleted my Squadron from the ORBAT notwithstanding its having reached full manning but we are all still engaged in the mission to grow and integrate the Army Reserve, you guys might as well have the benefit of a few suggestions from me as to how to recruit and retain in collaboration with, but also despite, the wider Army and MOD.

    Click here to download (the PDF is too big to upload to ARRSE due to the lovely pictures):
    Dropbox - 20120801-1-Recruiting Brief to OCs-OC_A_Sqn_RY-U.pdf

    It's aimed at OCs in the Army Reserve but there might be something for you in there too, whatever your rank or persuasion.

    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016
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  2. I see where you got your username!
  3. It was never a tricky one for those who know me to spot, deliberately so. I use an alias only because I am so fed up of adulatory ex-girlfriends tracking me down.
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  4. Fair one! Thanks for the guide though - I'm a reg, but my regiment consists of 4/5 reserve sub-units, so we do a fair bit of work with them, and it may be useful in the future.
  5. Downloaded,

    Many thanks
  6. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator

    Mod Note:

    Some useful, and proven, techniques for improving recruitment and retention. Given that this will be one of the biggest challenges we face during the transition to the new Army Reserve structure I have stickied it.

    Please keep it on topic, and civil.

  7. A snapshot of the past. The new Army Reserve will be driven by paired regular unit training tempo (FORM), MTDs allocated to delivering capability to the regular Army (not Study Days or trips on the mountains), and recruiting is online, managed by RG centrally. Personnel will be compulsorily mobilised at the convenience of the SofS/Army, with a cap on salary matching, whilst dental and optician costs will be borne by the Reservist. Retention will be as much by use of revised AR Regulations and compulsion to train (see RFA 96 and/or the new AR Regs in the autumn), whilst Unit activity will be increasingly focused on mil skills and sp to the paired Unit.
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  8. Copied it to my lasts units RHQ, as expected got no reply. Copied it to the best of the sub units who replied saying excellent piece of work that will go to their recruiters and each officer to get a copy.
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  9. The principles were still being applied successfully at my former Squadron until 4 July 2013. They are still applicable to the Army Reserve.

    I am not sure what relevance that has to the subunit recruiting effort.

    That is not correct. There will be a greater emphasis on adventurous training in the Army Reserve, just as there now is in the regular Army.

    Part of the recruiting process is online but it will still be the Army Reserve subunit's implied task to recruit. If you read the paper properly, you will see that the Army Careers Information Office delivered one recruit to my squadron in a period of 18 months. The new Capita system has delivered one recruit so far this year to it.

    True but not really relevant to the recruiting task, except that these terms and conditions of service will need to be made plain to the potential recruit.

    I would love to hear detail on compulsion to train: when is it coming? How do you perceive it as enhancing retention and on what basis? I am not saying it will not; I just want to know what the evidence is.

    My own guess (and it is no more than that) is that compulsion will initially impact negatively on retention, as those who cannot adapt to it sign off. Those joining the AR will need to be able to work on that compulsory basis. So regardless of whether retention takes a permanent hit, the type of person who joins and remains in the AR will change. Due to incompatibility with civilian employment, on average members of the AR will be less likely to be in paid steady full-time jobs (and so more likely to be unemployed or in erratic employment). The unemployed tend not to join the Reserves, however: there are nearly one million people aged between 18 and 24 who are not in education or employment but they rarely join because they (currently) can earn only £20 a week from the TA before their Jobseekers' Allowance starts being cut. So my guess is that compulsion will have an overall negative impact on both recruitment and retention, unless compulsion makes for much better training.

    If unit activity will increasingly be focused on mil skills and support to the paired unit (presumably meaning less time for recruitment activity), and Capita and RG are not generating recruits because that system is broken, who will be recruiting for the Army Reserve?

    I should also point out that almost all of the recruiting endeavours I describe (eg website, PR activity, active mentoring of recruits as they crawl through the needlessly slow process) were done by those involved for free, not on MTDs - so the formal reallocation of recruiting as a task from units to RG, and the units' greater focus on military training and support to the paired unit, are irrelevant.
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  10. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator

    Capita are so far away from providing the numbers of recruits that units used to generate for themselves (let alone those needed to reach the A2020 target) that it would be hilarious if it wasn't such a catastrophic failure.

    With many units seeing recruit numbers coming through the system in single figures (and very small ones at that), the whole of the Army Reserve manning structure will fall apart if unit and sub unit commanders don't do everything in their power to recruit and retain for their own survival.

    Rely on Capita alone at your peril.
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  11. And we didn't really see that one coming did we.........

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  12. Two years ago, ATU (S) saw about 90 recruits rock up for weekend one. The last weekend one I saw, some 6 months ago, had 19 pax...

    ATU (S) produce about 30% of the Phase 1 trained soldiers for the TA ( the figure may be higher?) If they're seeing a drop off like that, the figures for other ATUs must be even worse.
  13. The total trained strength of the Territorial Army was 19,160 on 1 July 2012. On 1 April 2013 it was 19,230 - an increase of 70. The number of untrained (ie, recruits and those who have completed basic but are still in Phase 2 training) fell from 6,420 to 5,460 (i.e., by 15%) in the same period notwithstanding the recruiting surge, centralising grip provided by RG and Capita's best efforts.

    See page 29 of the report of the Future Reserves Scrutiny Group at
  14. It's worth picking up on this. 6 months ago Capita were not in charge, so this drop off had nothing to do with them. What it does show is that the whole recruiting operation was slowing down even before the new system came in. Any new process then has a period of chaos while everyone gets used to it and this is making things worse.

    I'm not sure Capita was ever going to "recruit for the army", just do the back office stuff and manage the process. All the outreach teams are army, and there are army recruiters in every ACIO. There just are less of them, which was an army decision. Capita do the marketing, but when has an ad campaign ever driven floods of recruits to the door? It has to be backed up by engagement at every level.

    Having seen various models come and go there is one common thread. If the army doesn't recruit for the army, no one else will. That is doubly true for the Territorial Army.