Your country needs you ...

#1
The army is facing a recruitment crisis, and with 100 British soldiers now dead in Iraq and thousands more heading for the wilds of Afghanistan, things are likely to get worse. John Harris finds out why a chance to see the world isn't quite the draw it once was

http://www.guardian.co.uk/military/story/0,,1700157,00.html

msr
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#2
Good link MSR....as someone who spent time in the recruiting environment ( and later in the Naval equivalent of HQ AG where recruiting AND RETENTION was the TOP item at every Board meeting) this touches a few scars....I liked this bit:

It wouldn't bother me," says Katy. "You've signed up. You know you're going to go somewhere. And if you go to Iraq, you deal with it."

( ex Pad brat !)

To some in the military, such words will have the warm ring of reassurance. Recruitment, after all, is in something of a crisis: though the Ministry of Defence claims the army is on course to meet 85% of its target for 2005-6, last year saw the shortfall in the total number of soldiers rise by more than 300%, to more than 2,000. The army has responded by increasing its marketing budget, from £14m to £25.3m. Thus far, the most visible result has been the "officer qualities" campaign, aimed at addressing a drop in high-end soldiers that has particularly affected the likes of the Royal Engineers and the Signals Corps, although the odd voice has alleged that this approach rather misses the point. "The adverts on TV will feature a woman, leading a platoon of men, doing an interesting logistics task," says Colonel Tim Collins, a sometime company commander in the Royal Irish Regiment who retired from the army in August 2004. "What that doesn't do is attract the knuckle-draggers who you need to defend the country."
Ah the lad has just a silver tongue on him right enough..... :lol:

Lee Shaver
 
#3
#4
however you still come up against the problems of bad management and staff relations .

take our TA centre, relations between us (acf) and them are not good , they see cadets as a nusance and are unwilling to help out or loan equipments and encouragements etc , instead they get shouted at and YET they come to us asking if we have any 17/18 year olds who are interested in joing the TA as they are that desperate for numbers , considering their attitude many cadets is not likley to join then and will join a different unit or not join the army at all altogther and the TA top staff are surprised and gets the hump :roll: arrogant tits.

i have heard of some success stories of good TA/ACF relations in other TACs with both sides benefiting, thats what it should be, both have much to gain.
 
#5
Read the article today, msr; I was waiting to see what people here made of it and the points raised. I thought it was reasonably sympathetic given The Grauniad's normal stance.
 
#6
I think cadets are probably seen as a 'done job' Semper, that is they are already hooked in to joining up.

Though I have no figures to quote, I'm sure a few cadets in a sulk with ruffled feather after having been "Shouted at" won't hurt recruitment figures.

Recruiting teams/careers offices must really warm to, feet stamping, teenagers threatening not to join up!!!

While I know that ACF is single handedly holding the British army together, I think this is probably a bigger issue than you, please reduce self importance immediately

toodlepip
theGimp
 
#7
Great find there MSR.
It's a shame that more people wont read that.
"Relatively speaking," he says, "it's not especially dangerous".
If they could find a way off putting that on the posters I a non "piss take" kind of way then they'd be on to somthing.

T C
 
#8
back on thread, negative sarcasm

Socio-economic factors, long term un-employment, dead end jobs, drugs, crime, in traditional recruiting areas are historically a positive for Service recruiting.

Is the negative Iraq message so strong that it is effecting recruiting so deeply?

Most Iraq information is derived from the media, The media are happy to give the impression that what they say is being taken in. "We said the war was wrong! Now look! Even the lowly, naive unwashed potential recruits are voting with their feet"

Or is the Service life just not very fashionable, and the recruitment/admin of recruitment being handled wrongly.

I have no idea. Answers on a wrinkled bluey, smelling of perfume

toodlepip

TheGimp
 
#9
though the Ministry of Defence claims the army is on course to meet 85% of its target for 2005-6, last year saw the shortfall in the total number of soldiers rise by more than 300%, to more than 2,000. The army has responded by increasing its marketing budget, from £14m to £25.3m.
Marketing: Above average;
Sales technique: poor;
After-sales service: Average.

Even Which? would start taking the psis if we were a public company!
 
#10
barbs said:
Marketing: Above average;
Sales technique: poor;
After-sales service: Average.
Some slight amendments if I may:

Advertising: Awesome - genuinely awesome (Sale of Goods act might be an issue but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it - see After-sales service below)

Marketing: There's a paper on that somewhere.... Weren't you at / Aren't you going to xyz meeting? Marketing? Oh yes we do a lot of adverts, that's marketing isn't it?

Sales Technique: Fleets of recruiting caravans parked up in Bks across the country doing nothing at the weekends because (and I quote) "We haven't recruited in big numbers at the weekends for years." Can't think why :roll:

After-sales service: You shouldn't have joined if you can't take a joke. (Says it all really)
 
#12
I have to say I think the new Inf ads a great, the Para one made me wish I was 20 years younger, I'd join :wink:
 
#13
Not only are we overstretched and under manned, but the Australian Defence Force are quite happily recruiting from our ranks with considerable success, articles in the media have suggested that the big drive started in Jul 05 and their annual intake of foreign servicemen has gone up from 100 per year to 300!

They offer a better package to the soldier with a little experience under his belt and the possibility of settling down in a mighty fine land, I can see the temptation!
 
#14
As I am trying to recruit for the ta at the weekend it was intresting .Personally cant see why anyone wouldn't want to be in the ta
its a fun hobby and they give you money .And considering other options the army is agreat job .
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#15
thegimp said:
back on thread, negative sarcasm

Socio-economic factors, long term un-employment, dead end jobs, drugs, crime, in traditional recruiting areas are historically a positive for Service recruiting.

Is the negative Iraq message so strong that it is effecting recruiting so deeply?

Most Iraq information is derived from the media, The media are happy to give the impression that what they say is being taken in. "We said the war was wrong! Now look! Even the lowly, naive unwashed potential recruits are voting with their feet"
The factors you cite are well known in the recruiter world...in fact there was a well worn phrase for the 'black hole' that exists in the RN at about Killick (now PO) level in some trades... MARILYN.

MARILYN stood for "Manning and Recruitment In the Lean Years of the Nineties".......comparatively high employment in UK coupled with good salaries available to literate, numerate youngsters PLUS ongoing conflicts in NI, Gulf and Bosnia.....

Added to which, MoD in its supreme wisdom was taking the notorious Peace dividend as hard as it could go - Options for Change aka " downsizing" - and was persuaded to turn off the recruiting taps for a year at least....resulting in said "black hole" at, notably LMEM seven years downstream !

The Navy has learned the lesson and will never again completely cease active recruiting.....be interesting to hear how the RAF are CURRENTLY addressing this - because grapevine has it that RAF recruiters are as we speak suggesting to good prospects that they should consider flying careers with either the Navy or the Army - because they cannot place them in the RAF !


Good 'ere innit !

le Chevre
 
#17
Great find MSR. I can completely agree with most of what the author says. The worst thing is that it's all scarily familiar to me. I've seen a lot of my mates doss around doing nothing after leaving school, whilst others have done something with their life and joined the Blackwatch.
 
#18
Agent_Smith said:
Great find MSR. I can completely agree with most of what the author says. The worst thing is that it's all scarily familiar to me. I've seen a lot of my mates doss around doing nothing after leaving school, whilst others have done something with their life and joined the Blackwatch.

Withdraw Income support from 17-25 year olds - manning crisis solved instantly!
 

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