12th January 2018

‘Civvy street’ missing out on top hires by misunderstanding military experience, says Barclays

Barclays is challenging the stereotype that military skills only go as far as the battlefield, with bespoke research that shows they are just as valuable in business. The Barclays’ ‘Military Insights Tool’ asked veterans to undertake a series of game-based psychometric tests, which assessed them against key performance traits in the workplace. The findings revealed service leavers are not only armed with the right skills to succeed on ‘civvy street’, in many cases they can out-perform their civilian peers across a number of key areas.

The results follow previous findings from Barclays, which revealed that fewer than half of employers would look favourably at military experience on a CV, with 8% of employers going so far to say they would look unfavourably at a CV that showed previous military experience. A reluctance to hire veterans is already contributing to longer-term issues for this often-overlooked group, with 22 per cent service leavers set to face significant employment challenges in the next five years – with 10 per cent predicted to be out of work indefinitely.

Stuart Tootal, Head of the Barclays Armed Forces Transition, Employment & Resettlement (AFTER) Programme, said: “This research clearly demonstrates the strength and depth of veterans’ skills and helps to debunk the myth that military experience isn’t relevant in the commercial world – a misconception many employers still hold.”

The research also identified emotional stability as a key area of strength, with just 9 per cent of veterans falling within the lower potential range during the assessment, compared with 16 per cent of the civilian workforce. This is significant as previous research from Barclays showed that 33 per cent of veterans feel that perceptions around mental health issues relating to time served in the armed forces, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), are detrimental to their career progression in the civilian job market.

Mr Tootal continued: “A misunderstanding of military experience causes too many employers to write it off as being irrelevant, when it should be seen as a real asset. Through our first-hand experience at Barclays we’ve seen that veterans have exactly the right skills and culture to add real value to our workforce. We want other companies to join our call to arms to make the most of the stream of talent ex-military personnel can offer to business.”