The managing director of software as a service firm Konetic is supporting its local paratroopers through free events, offering recruitment advice to those leaving the Parachute Regiment as a result of injuries, redundancy or end of service.
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As part of The Institute of Directors (IoD) in Essex, the events are organised and run by Paul Finch, managing director of Konetic, who helped develop the Pride P programme.
Through the programme, members of the IoD in Essex offer their business expertise in human resources, recruitment and training to help soldiers of the Parachute Regiment make the transition to civilian life.
Each workshop aims to provide soldiers with an insight into what employers are looking for, through help with CV writing, coaching and improving interview skills. The programme also provides mentors who are willing to share their experiences.
At the most recent workshop, held at the Melville Barracks in Colchester, Finch advised the regiment to always research the business you are interviewing with: “Know your audience and the journey you’re going to go on during the interview.
“Employers want the ideal candidate out of nowhere, and the easier you make that for them the better chance you have. This is why I would advise against the machine gun scatter approach of firing off CVs – go for the shotgun approach instead.”
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Roy Norris, principal consultant at White House Consulting, was present to offer a psychometric testing service for personality assessment, team building and succession planning exercises.
As a behavioural scientist, he works with companies such as Xerox, Logica CMG, Comet and Sirius, observing cultural change, customer care, communications, team building and recruitment.
Norris said ex-military candidates have a unique skillset, including willingness to learn, ambition, adaptability, consistency, reliability, teamwork and the ability to work under pressure.
He said the Parachute Regiment, with its motto “Utrinque Paratus”, meaning “Ready for Anything”, makes ex-members perfect for commerce.
“Joining the regiment was a challenge. Leaving is no more than starting another fresh challenge, and you already know how good you are at that,” added Norris.
Sergeant Stuart Dalziel, a past Pride P delegate, said he met his mentor through the programme: “A mentor is not there to dictate, but to bring ideas out of you. They can bolster your own career plan or help create a fall-back plan for you. They find other avenues in case the first plan doesn’t come to fruition.”
James Cracknell of the Colchester Business and Enterprise Agency (COLBEA) advised the soldiers on starting their own business: “The vision of success is different for everyone – the personal image, journey and vision.
“It is important to build a network. I commuted for 26 years and then realised I knew no one in Colchester. Build your network two out and one in. You will be in your office on your own, but you need a network around you.”
Recruiter Manpower was also present to give advice on writing a “killer” CV, which Simon Osborne, business manager at Manpower should be "relevant, simple and precise”.