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TA Recruitment Online

I am sure you are all now well aware of the new Army Careers Web Site. This has led to an increase in interest online in the TA. The problem that I have is all my recruiting team are Regulars. I am looking at the option of a TA Soldier on the team in the near future. It would be a great help if my team can benefit from your experience. Any problems you had applying to join the TA, training, continuation/promotion courses, good and bad bits and any problems with balancing your civilian employment with TA commitment. I have visited my local TA unit and seen how they operate, but each Regiment/Corps seems to have different ideas, so I am looking for the best options.


Book Reviewer
Sounds like a good idea but.... as you note, the TA is a pretty widespread and intensely regional (Or of ourse Territorial) thing. My suggestion would be to get someone on an FTRS Contract, who has plenty of widespread TA experience, to do the job for a while.

Otherwise, I would suggest that, whenever anyone asks for anything other than the most basic of facts, that they are transferred (and not left to call back!) to a TAC local to them, regardless of its cap badge. Fundamental questionsof basic training, terms, conditions, etc., are pretty standard.
As it's online, presumably location isn't important.

There are plenty of TA Soldiers and Officers who can spend huge amounts of time on ARRSE (self very much included).

I, for one, would be more than happy to field queries in open or closed forum and I'm sure there are hundreds more like me on this site.

I echo, Old Snowy though - there needs to be a quick and easy link into the closest TAC to the enquirer. That is, the closest TAC with a Permanent Staff willing to burst a gut to get the enquirer to join.
We have been passing contacts to local TA units but it seems a lot just have answer machines and then never return calls. I will get the numbers for the main TAC with permanent staff.

I thought the training system was much the same across the UK but am getting different answers. In my area they conduct training for recruits on the drill night at the centre. One weekend a month over a period of 3 months, then it is wait till the 2 week basic training course. Any other variations?

FTRS post here would be great, as I mentioned I am approaching my OC for a TA soldier on the team.
Careers_Online said:
FTRS post here would be great, as I mentioned I am approaching my OC for a TA soldier on the team.
Maybe good for routine Admin but for recruiting into the TA I have to say that - in my opinion - a FTRS soldier would be a terrible idea. Individuals who sign up for FTRS tend not to be typical TA soldiers/officers, they tend to be people who can't get, or don't want a civvy job &/or (especially Officers) are attracted by the comparatively higher earnings and lower working hours which the typical home service FTRS post offers.

The exception to this is soldiers and officers leaving the Reg Army who transfer into the TA in order to take up an FTRS post. Typically these guys do an excellent job but again not a close match to the average TA soldier.

C_O - check your pm.


Book Reviewer
There is no point in spending extra on raising the number of enquiries if the system is not primed to deal with them.

Last year the ACF did a series of TV adverts which attra cted thousands of applications. The adverts were realistic, well focused and were successful.

Local area units had, however, been given no additional funds or help in habdling these enquiries and so, in my area out of perhaps 60 applications we have only two left due to them being buggered about.

Fix the back end before advertising the front end.
Its easy to say refer them to the local TAC, but age and personal circumstances may make an enquiry more suitable to a specialist TA unit rather than a local independant. In my experience the 2 types of TA person are completely different animals.
You need to make yourself aware of the different training obligations. I have found that the 'younger end' prefer to go to drill nights etc with the greater commitment and the the person with his life and family sorted is happier to attend a specialist unit.
I have spoken to regular army recruiters and even independant soldiers who have never even heard of specialist units TA.
My team are aware of the commitments and types of TA units, but reading it in the book and experiencing it are different things. We know the Regular Army inside out and the problems we face, not so easy for us to get a handle on the TA perspective. In the not to distant future the method of recruiting, selecting soldiers and officers both TA and Regular is going to be merged. In the mean time keep the suggestions coming please.
Careers_Online said:
Any problems you had applying to join the TA, training, continuation/promotion courses, good and bad bits and any problems with balancing your civilian employment with TA commitment.

It would be a very worthwhile exercise to turn up a a number of different TACs, as a 'mystery shopper' and see what sort of reception you get.

Very interesting idea. I kind of did that a while back, my wife decided she wanted to join the TA as she was missing out on all the fun. (She is ex navy) So when she was invited for a recruiting briefing I went along and sat in (Did not mention that I was Regular Army and a recruiter.) Got to walk around and see what the unit got up to. The recruiting effort was good for that night. My wife joined along with about 8 others, 5 girls and 3 guys. The down side was all the girls quit including my wife when some of the training staff could not take no for an answer on the first training weekend, sure you can work that one out. I then made a point of introducing myself when I went to collect her.

On a positive note that unit had a major shake up and has improved not only is recruiting but its retention.
You need to shorten the length of time it takes from getting an initial enquiry, to getting someone in. This especially applies with ex regulars, as Glasgow has to send off to get your service records. I am bursting to get on but have waited eight weeks so far. I have attended every drill night but cannot partake as I am not covered by insurance. If I was not as keen and commited as I am, I would have reconsidered my decision to join. Actually, it is maybe a test to see how commited you are..........mmmmmm.
Says it all doesn't it?

Different people with different experiences, different opinions and different direction.

The whole issue of recruiting in the TA is in a shambles. Priorities vary from one unit to the next, thus reception and training vary as does the quality of the administration and advice. There is everything present from one end of a very long pole to the other.

This is the whole point. Until there is a standard approach with proper funding and training of the recruiters (I prefer to call them retainers as retention starts the moment the recruit walks through that door for the first time) then it will continue to stumble along and being relatively ineffective.

The real danger is that individually, we try to do something about it - O-C included. No offence, but nothing will change by you applying a few good ideas in your local area. We need to almost let the system grind to a halt so that the MOD/RFCAs/Regional Bdes et al, get their corporate heads together and do something positive. It might be that the merging of the the Regular and TA systems does this but in the meantime anything we/you do to try an alleviate the problems will only confuse the issue more.

As for stories about female recruits being psychologically molested on their first weekend.... I despair.
NAP6W said:
You need to shorten the length of time it takes from getting an initial enquiry, to getting someone in. .......waited eight weeks so far.)

I experienced the Glascow time delay as well, it took from September to the following March before I was finally attested (but in my case I did have a spec med in that time too). Be prepared for the old hurry up and wait NAP6W!

After a stint in a comms troop, I've since moved into the recruit training team in my Regiment and have discovered from my predecessor that a lot of the ex-Regs who have come in get frustrated with the wait time and sack it altogether. A waste of potential experience for the unit and time doing paperwork that only ends up gathering dust in a filing cabinet.

This maybe a bone question but is there a TA recruiters cse? (paperwork, interview skills etc)
abacus said:
Scam12_Jedi said:
This maybe a bone question but is there a TA recruiters cse? (paperwork, interview skills etc)
Yes but they only run during the week. You couldn't make it up could you?
Thanks, I'll look into it. Already making it up but luckily when I get stuck my predessor/PSAO/Civ Admin Staff/other RRTT members on hand to point me in right direction.
msr said:
NAP6W said:
but cannot partake as I am not covered by insurance.
I believe whoever told you that was talking out of their arse, as the MOD is self insuring.
Oh they might be, but they can choose who they compensate and right now no army number == no compensation. Glasgow is quite speciifc on the point; if the individual is not getting paid they are not covered. Everyone else can be covered under the RFCA's "Look at Life" insurance, but that does not cover what could be considered as "normal" training.

This is a particular problem for our unit where we do attract ex-regulars, last chance to get wings up, who want to do a little more soldiering but in a different sort of unit. Their first experience of the TA is an admin clusterf*ck so quite a few vote with their feet. Even if they do get a number they might not get paid, the current record is completing CIC before getting a penny which is some sort of dedication!
GoodIdeaAtTheTime - As already stated, I am bursting with enthusiasm, which is taking a knock every week that goes buy. They are starting to look at me strangely as I arrive at the TAC earlier than everyone else every week and sit in the PSAO office all night. I cannot do PT, I cannot handle weapons, and as I move round the TAC asking various personnel questions, some are busy and others take the time to help. I don't wish to start my TA career as "that guy who bugged us for 3 months".

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