M15 goes online to attract recruits

MI5 has started using online recruitment to attract a wider variety of job
applicants, as a result of the greater demands it faces post-September 11.

The agency, which only officially began recruiting in 1999, is using jobsite
milkround.co.uk as part of its efforts to increase recruits from diverse
backgrounds, particularly Muslims and Arabic speakers.

Mike Nolan, who runs the MI5 account for recruitment solutions provider
Bartlett Scott Edgar, said online recruitment has further reach because
virtually all graduates now use the internet to gather information on
prospective employers.

"People think all MI5 recruits are Oxbridge graduates, or people who
get a tap on the shoulder, but that’s not true," he said.

Once shortlisted, applicants are invited to attend an assessment centre and
have to undergo tests to see if they are suitable.

Nolan said there is no shortage of recruits for the service, which bears
little resemblance to BBC drama Spooks.

Last year there were 6,500 applicants for 75 jobs, but many were ineligible
due to strict nationality requirements, past financial problems or other
background checks.

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