Group of soldiers marching in the snow with back packs, snow shoes and ski poles

Be a veteran-friendly business

1. Designate a veteran champion, a current employee who can take responsibility for leading the ex-military network in your business.

2. Have a clear strategy and purpose for what the business wants to achieve with the internal network, and ensure the strategy is held to account.

3. Feedback progress and activity to senior sponsor and communicate throughout the organisation.

4. Make the network inclusive, don’t just limit it to ex-military personnel, open it up to anyone with an interest in the military and their community.

5. Call on the network to support military recruitment by assessing CVs and applications and supporting hiring managers to spot military skills and experience.

Veteran champion

In Scotland, each local authority, as well as NHS Scotland, Police Scotland and Department for Work and Pensions, have a Veterans’ Champion – a named individual who ensures that policies and procedures do not disadvantage veterans or their families. This individual works internally to educate HR and management personnel on any unseen barriers that exclude veterans from accessing the workplace, and externally to support veterans transition into the local community.

Group of soldiers marching in the snow with back packs, snow shoes and ski poles

How Fujitsu recruits veterans

Fujitsu has spent time reviewing its recruitment process to identify and remove any potential barriers that exclude ex-military talent. This has led to the creation of a capability matrix, which helps hiring managers to match military skills and qualifications with civilian employment opportunities.

Cockpit of RAF plane at night, all the instruments lit up and displaying information

6. Use the network to run a buddying or mentor scheme for ex-military personnel. And create financial incentives for existing employees when they recommend a veteran who passes probations.

7. Engage with other networks within the business, such as the LGBTQIA+ network and acknowledge intersectional characteristics.

8. Secure board-level buy-in/communications team buy-in.

9. Use the network to support fundraising and communications initiatives for military causes. And publicly support and participate in celebrations and contributions of the military e.g. Armed Forces Day.

10. Create veteran friendly policies around annual leave and working patterns, making your business more attractive to ex-military personnel and their families.


Useful terms and language for businesses to know

What is an Armed Forces Network?

Each business with an Armed Forces Network operates slightly differently depending on the culture within that organisation. Ultimately it is about helping new staff settle, building relationships and making sure the business achieves its aims.

What is the Armed Forces Covenant?

The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise by the nation ensuring that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly.

Why you should sign the covenant

Signing the covenant means that you are supporting your employees as reservists and veterans. By becoming a forces friendly employer, you can benefit from the wide range of unique skills and experiences that reservists and veterans can bring to your organisation.

What you can pledge

Employers can choose specific promises or pledges to support their employees within the armed forces community. Local authorities promise to encourage local communities in supporting the armed forces community, including promoting understanding and awareness.


What is the Employer Recognition Scheme?

The Employer Recognition Scheme was launched in 2014, to recognise and reward UK employers for their support and commitment towards the defence community. There are three tiers of awards – Gold, Silver, and Bronze – for employers who pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to the Armed Forces Community in alignment with the Armed Forces Covenant. Taking part in the scheme not only shows that your business is committed to supporting veterans, it can also help make your business more attractive to highly skilled veterans.

Join the ERS LinkedIn group

To me it’s a commercial decision. In my business I require capability to delve into technical detail and analysis and then be able to articulate and communicate that to stakeholders and external parties. That may require two people with different skill sets but I feel a good ex-military hire can cover 75-85% of that spectrum in a single hire.
David Smith, Openreach

Veterans are ready to get to work

Highly trained veterans with a wide range of skills and can-do attitudes are available to employ now. Discover how you can access their skills and recruit them into your business today.

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