Army turns to TV to boost recruitment

The
Army has revamped its recruitment advertising in an effort to meet targets.

Commander
of the recruiting unit, Brigadier Simon Young, said the Army needs 15,000 new
recruits each year, but has only managed 13,500 for the past two years.

"We
are trying to recruit a huge volume of people. Very few organisations require
the numbers we do," he said.

With
143 trades and 1,400 career paths, marketing specific roles was difficult. So,
Brigadier Young said, it was decided to separate jobs into nine categories and
market them as groups.

Four
different TV advertisements will be screened on both terrestrial and Sky
television, and recruiting videos and DVDs will be sent to interested people.

"With
young people, we need to talk with them in a language that they understand – we
think this a far more effective way. Young people today are more sophisticated,
more discerning. They ask ‘what is in it for me?’."

Brigadier
Young said the advertisements needed to show there is more to the Army than
being a soldier.

"We
needed to show that the Army can give transferable skills and personable
development."

He
said recruiting is more difficult now due to low unemployment and more young
people going into higher education.

The
Army needs 106,000 people. Currently it has 100,000 staff, but Brigadier Young
believes it can be at full strength by 2005.

Retention
is difficult as people are lured away by higher paying jobs in the private
sector, but as living conditions improve, retention gets easier, he said.

The
Army has been meeting its ethnic minority recruiting targets – 5 per cent a
year – but, Brigadier Young said, more work is needed to make it representative
of society.

"We
are pleased with how it is going. We are moving in the right direction but we
still have a long way to go before we are truly representative."

www.armyjobs.co.uk

By Quentin Reade

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