Veterans employment: the case of Fujitsu

Fujitsu has a long-standing affiliation with the UK armed forces, having supplied ICT products and services to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) for over 50 years. Whilst their Defence & National Security arm is seen as a natural fit for Service leavers with an IT background, they have introduced initiatives throughout the business to ensure that veterans and reservists can transition into and thrive within a commercial environment.

These efforts have been driven by the recognition that Service leavers can bring significant value to the business, as Bridget Ward, Capability Operations Manager (Defence & National Security) explains, “It’s the can do, will do attitude that we want. We need people who are prepared to continuously up skill into what our future business may ask of them. And we find that Service leavers are very flexible and willing to take on that challenge.”

 

 

Helping Service leavers prepare for civilian employment

As part of their commitment to the MOD’s Armed Forces Covenant, which they are aiming to re-sign this year, Fujitsu works closely with the Career Transition Partnership (CTP) to ensure that all their vacancies, from entry-level roles to senior positions, are visible to the ex-Service community. They also host a number of industry days to give Service leavers an understanding of the different career paths available within Fujitsu.

Fujitsu recognises the invaluable contribution these individuals make to our community and our business.

- Duncan Tait,
Senior Vice President for EMEIA

Developing an accessible recruitment and assessment process

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.

“We’ve done a lot of investment in educating managers to look for talent and potential. We are a company that values behaviours highly and we find that the behaviours of ex-Service men, such as leadership and discipline, align very well with our business”, explains Bridget.

Candidates that successfully make it through the initial CV sift are then invited to the Service Leavers Selection Centre, where they are assessed on their outlook, values and potential to develop with the right training. A bespoke practical test has been developed with Service leavers in mind, giving them the opportunity to demonstrate their IT knowledge in a hands-on way. More recently, Fujitsu has invited employees with a Services background to co-interview with commercial managers to ensure there is a good blend of expertise.

Providing a comprehensive reservist policy

As a result of initiatives like these, Fujitsu has built a strong talent pipeline into the business and now employs over 400 ex-Service personnel in a variety of roles, from Project Managers to Security Architects.

But it’s not just their efforts to support former Service personnel that marks them out as an armed-forces friendly employer.

Fujitsu is also fully supportive of the Reservist community – something that is reflected strongly in their HR policy, which includes 10 days paid leave and 10 days extra unpaid leave to attend Reserve Forces training events. Fujitsu also takes steps to support the families of their Reservist employees by ensuring that work benefits, such as a company car, are not suspended whilst Reservists are away on training or deployment.

Fujitsu holds a Gold Award in the Defence Employer Recognition scheme (ERS) and was Business in the Community’s Responsible Business of the Year in 2015.