CATALYST Issue 1 - Page 43

Talent Centric lessons learned along the way, Walker is keen to demonstrate LUCY WOOD, the positive potential of ex-military personnel and Insight days for veterans are also arranged. GLOBAL CLIENT the variety of skills they “We’ve held these with Deloitte to encourage ex- ENGAGEMENT, may possess. servicemen and women to see what a career there ALEXANDER This echoes the Royal British looks like and we’ve done the same at Zurich and Legion’s report, in reference to Santander,” Wood explains. MANN SOLUTIONS “We’ve also done a number of networking the Armed Forces Covenant, events for our HR community to understand why which is a promise, by the n 2016, following three years working with we believe so passionately that ex-servicemen nation, that those who have Deloitte as part of its Military Transition and and women are great talent to have within served in the armed forces, and Talent Programme, Alexander Mann Solutions organisations,” she adds. their families, are treated fairly. Partnering with military charity Walking With The signed the Armed Forces Covenant, pledging to Organisations can sign up to be support ex-servicemen and women into civilian Wounded, Alexander Mann Solutions recently ran a ‘forces-friendly employer’, employment. As CEO Rosaleen Blair commented: a skills workshop with veterans, sending in a deciding for themselves how “Our experience shows that the biggest team to talk to them about interviewing and CV they want to frame their challenge for many service leaders when seeking skills. This followed participation in a fundraising support through the wording employment is in marketing themselves and their event in December known as “walking home for of their covenant promise. Christmas”, where staff walked with veterans from transferable skills.” For example, companies Helping to coordinate the company’s initiatives their offices to Chelsea Pensioners. may offer guaranteed “We picked up all the people that work on site is Head of Client Services, Lucy Wood (pictured), interviews to veterans if they a former officer in the Royal Artillery. From her at our different accounts and walked as a band of meet the selection criteria experience running an ex-services recruitment 120-plus people for mince pies and carols with laid out in a job advert, or company, she notes that “the people who struggle the Chelsea Pensioners,” says Wood. “We raised recognise military skills most are those who’ve been in the services more a lot of money for the charity. I thoroughly and qualifications when recommend anyone to take part in that event than 20 years. interviewing for new positions. “Its also those who leave within three years, who again next year. While the Legion sees the To anyone considering hiring veterans, perhaps have been infantry soldiers; the perception is that they haven’t gained any skills,” she adds. “But Wood is keen to emphasise the significant return Covenant as a positive initiative, actually, they’ve learned discipline, a work ethic and on investment. it warns that “it is vital that all “Once you hire an ex-serviceperson, in the how to operate within a large organisation.” sectors of society do all that they To help address the former issue, Alexander right role, you will end up with a loyal, engaged can to ensure veterans are not Mann Solutions plans to conduct research into employee, a person with a strong work ethnic seen as a liability, or ‘damaged hiring ex-servicepeople who are over the age of 50. and strong discipline, able to move through goods’ in need of charity by Meanwhile, working with colleagues, including Sir the business.” potential employers”. David Walker (see main article) and Client Services lucy.wood@alexmann.com Alexander Mann Solutions Manager and Royal Navy Reservist Oliver Holland, oliver.holland@alexmann.com signed up to the Covenant in Wood helps “send out a message to hire and look For more about Walking With The Wounded 2016, and is developing its own visit: www.walkingwiththewounded.org.uk after the ex-military, internally and with clients”. initiatives (see box, right). “All organisations, private or public, was director of personal plans for the air Ultimately, he argues, there’s a need to be alive to the needs of servicemen,” says Walker. “But it isn’t force, I was our diversity champion,” he significant business case around social a zero-sum game. If you’re prepared to adds, explaining why he believes inclusion mobility – as well as a moral and legislative case – so whether or not organisations embrace ex-servicepeople, you’re going is more important than diversity. “While any healthy organisation feel inclined to give back to society, they to get a lot of rewards for it. “Where we can really help is should be properly represented in terms will need to embrace social mobility to supporting clients to fulfil what they of the make-up of society, it’s ‘cognitive attract talent. “It’s made more acute by Brexit,” want to do around the Covenant. diversity’ that’s really important,” he says. Social mobility is “engineered into he concludes. “We need a talented We’re in a good position to extract best practice from the organisations the DNA of the RAF”, he believes, workforce and we know productivity we’re serving, so we hope to stating that “how you got on would in the UK is less than some of our share that, within our client base or be determined by your contribution European counterparts, and that there to the organisation and by your is disparity in productivity around more broadly.” the UK. So as a nation, we need to All this feeds into Walker’s overall personal qualities”. But elsewhere, he feels social mobility remove the postcode lotteries around emphasis on workplace inclusion, and his education and social mobility.” strong belief in social mobility. “When I is “a late arrival in the D&I agenda”. I Issue 1 - 2017 43