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Friday, 21 October 2016

Setting up for life after the Army

It is a common misconception that individuals leave the Armed Forces with skill sets that are not easily transferable to other walks of life. But this simply isn’t the case, as many of the skills learned in the armed forces can be put to practical use in a wide range of environments.

The key for ex-forces personal, and for recruiters, revolves around making people aware of the options that exist. This starts with online correspondence, job fairs and any number of other events.

The Careers Transition Partnership (CTP) recruitment event is one such example and Paul Cunningham, Relationship Manager at Capita, attended the most recent event to help showcase the options available.

As a former member of the Armed Forces, he sees the event as a chance to meet people, discuss their needs, and detail the many paths available to them.

He explains that wearing his veteran’s badge helps to break down barriers, enabling him to talk about anything from nuclear roles, to security, health and safety or project management.

The nuclear industry was a particular focus for the CTP event and the team that attended spoke to many individuals about opportunities in deconstructive and project engineering, while encouraging them to sign up to Nuclear Works, which details roles that are currently available.

Building on strong existing skill sets

All of these roles, and many others, can draw on the diverse range of skills developed in the army and can build on the core values that are developed – known as CDRILS.

  • Courage
  • Discipline
  • Respect for others
  • Integrity
  • Loyalty
  • Selfless Commitment

Many of these are applicable to all walks of life and are skills that can fit seamlessly into modern work settings.

Army members can also undertake recruitment and skills courses in order to boost their employability – the former can set up for a career in HR or recruitment, while the latter can plug any skills gaps.

Such training also provides valuable insight for soldiers and officers about job hunting and recruiting processes, some of whom may never have previously searched for employment.

What opportunities exist?

It’s worth remembering the scale that the army operates at; there are hundreds of different roles for soldiers and officers and each requires their own specific set of skills.

It also means that there are individuals from a massively diverse set of backgrounds, but it is still possible to find opportunities for them.

Capita has more than 75,000 staff spread across the UK and has openings that can suit nearly all soldiers or officers, regardless of whether they’ve served for five or 25 years.

For Paul, an injury while with the army saw him retrain as a HR specialist, a role he was involved with for 15 years from 1996.

He reveals that dealing with all levels of individuals (from Private soldiers to Generals) while in the army enabled him to adjust his presentation skills to various audiences.

Paul explains that desk duties that come with the rank of SSgt/ Warrant Officer, or the equivalent when in the military, also mean that individuals do have some exposure to office-based working environment.

Following his time in the forces, he has held roles involving administration for bomb disposal and unexploded ordnance, to site safety supervisor for chemical sites and management in the oil and gas sector.

His role at Capita came somewhat by chance, after he was approached for a role despite initially recommending it to a friend – although his skillset meant he was better suited.

While he says an office environment is not for everyone, the stability that comes with guaranteed working patterns can make it advantageous, while he also praised the office atmosphere as being a comfortable place in which to work.

Maintaining strong military ties

Capita also recruits for positions within the Armed Forces and actively encourages its staff to consider the Volunteer Reserve Forces.

Employees who serve can receive up to 10 days of paid leave for training commitments, as the firm recognises their contribution and the transferable skills that can be developed when serving.

This forms part of an effort to develop a community within the firm of serving Reservists and former military personnel that can support existing work with the military.

Capita is also part of The Armed Forces Corporate Covenant which recognises the value that serving personnel, veterans and military families can contribute to the business.
If you were a member of the Armed Forces and are keen to consider your options, contact Capita as there are a wide range of opportunities that may suit your skill set.

Think you've got what it takes to make a great employee at Capita? Check out our vacancies and apply today! 

Monday, 17 October 2016

Four traits that mean you are destined for a career in management

While some professionals spend years studying in order to make the step up to management, others are born leaders. Though you can always develop skills and work hard at improving your management techniques, there are some traits that make the whole process a great deal easier. Here we take a look at four qualities that may mean you’re destined for a career in management.

Have self-control

Managers need to be self-aware and practice strict self-control if they are to succeed. As a leader, many employees will be looking at you to set an example or for advice and assistance. No matter what your personal feelings, you need to ensure that you have your team’s best interests at heart and can provide them with the help they require. Body language is extremely important in communication and employees can gleam a lot from seemingly insignificant signals, so practicing self-control, putting on that poker face and responding with a professional impartiality is essential.   
Bring the best out in others

Management is all about getting the best from your team. At an entry level, employees only have to concern themselves with completing their work to an adequate standard, but at management level you need to be able to motivate those same employees to give more. If you’re a good motivator and are able to bring out the best in individuals and teams, you’re sure to go far.

Be accountable

It’s important that managers hold themselves accountable in the same way as any other employee. Passing the buck or blaming others is a sure way to lose the respect of your team members and colleagues, so being able to stand up and take responsibility for your actions is an important quality for any manager.

Be flexible

Finally, managers need to be flexible and able to adapt themselves to any situation. Leading a team will never be smooth-sailing and you need to be able to react to a variety of different circumstances in a cool and calm manner. This also applies to your relationships with team members. Understanding that employees face a variety of challenges and difficulties in their personal and professional lives and dealing with them in a flexible manner will help you earn the trust and respect of your colleagues.

Think you've got what it takes to make a great employee at Capita? Check out our vacancies and apply today! 

Friday, 14 October 2016

5 HR habits to avoid at all costs

Working in Human Resources can be a job that can challenge the most proficient employee each and every day. There are numerous pitfalls and traps to avoid when managing others, many of which can cause difficulties in the future. In order to help you avoid the worst of these, we’ve compiled a list of the five worst HR habits that you should try and avoid at all costs.

Making public examples of employees

No matter how poorly an employee has performed, public shaming is never a good idea. Not only does it degrade and belittle the employee in question, it suggests to the rest of the team that you’re quite prepared to throw anyone under the bus in order to make an example. Such a situation makes people uncomfortable and concerned about making mistakes, no matter how small, both of which can have an incredibly detrimental effect on team morale.

Not recognising good work

Just as you shouldn’t make an example of bad work, you should never forget to reward good work. If team members feel that they’re undervalued or that there is no real benefit to working hard, they’ll soon begin to let their standards slip. After all, what’s the point in busting a gut if there’s no recognition?

Going back on your word

As a team manager, you’ll have to rely on your word more than once in order to get the results you desire. However, going back or breaking a promise can cause your team to lose trust and confidence in their leaders, breaking a fundamental bond that often holds a team together. The easiest way to avoid this is by making fewer promises and by only giving your word if you’re sure it can be kept.

Stepping beyond work boundaries

There is an important line between work and personal life and a good manager knows how to tread it. Though there are some cases that do require a manager to dip into an employee’s personal life, these are few and far between and you should be careful not to stray into personal territory too often.

Failure to defer to others’ expertise

It’s easy to think that you’re in a position of responsibility because you know more than those in your team. However, this simply isn’t true. Taking advice and knowing when someone has useful expertise to give you is an important part of HR.

Think you've got what it takes to make a great employee at Capita? Check out our HR vacancies and apply today! 

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

5 terms in marketing that you need to know

Though every industry has its fair share of jargon, marketing is one of the worst offenders. To the uninitiated, listening to a marketing expert or reading a marketing report can be incredibly tough and much of the language will be impenetrable. In order to help those that are just getting to know the lexicon, we’ve created a list of five marketing terms that you need to understand.  


Modern businesses collect an extraordinary amount of data on their existing and potential clients, as well as their competitors and the rest of the industry. Analytics is the search for interesting and useful patterns within this data. These patterns and trends then need to be converted into a practical plan of action in order for a business to make use of them.

Bounce rate

Though there are two definitions of bounce rate, here we will talk about website bounce rate. This can be defined as the percentage of people that load a webpage and leave without clicking on anything else or exploring the site. A high bounce rate is bad for business as it means no one is staying on the page for long enough to consume content or make a purchase.


Online communication and social networks have created a vast web in which videos, articles, photos, blogs and podcasts are all shared quickly and easily between millions of users. These pieces of information are referred to as content and are created with the aim of sharing in mind. The speed with which such content spreads and trends has driven demand for more and more content, making original content creation an important part of online marketing.


Though infographics have always been a popular way to display and communicate data, they have really come into their own with the emergence of digital marketing. As most modern internet users aren’t likely to hover on a web page to devour large swathes of text for very long, companies need a quick and easy way to convey information. Infographics do this by visually representing collected data in attractive and interesting ways. 


A lead is a business or individual that has shown interest in a product or service and should be considered a possible customer. They may have declared their interest by signing up to a newsletter, contacting the company directly, filling out a questionnaire or subscribing to a blog, and are normally pursued by marketing and sales teams looking to convert this lead into a customer. However, leads need to be nurtured carefully as there can still be a lot of convincing required before a potential client makes a purchase. 

Think you've got what it takes to make a great employee at Capita? Check out our marketing vacancies and apply today! 

Monday, 10 October 2016

How is the employee benefit landscape changing?

For many years, businesses have provided their employees with perks and benefits that they may otherwise never receive. Some benefits, such as health insurance and pension plans, have become a vital part of the way in which firms take care of their workforce, while others may be less essential but still attract workers to a company. However, times are changing and employee benefits have had to change in order to remain relevant or affordable. Here we take a look at a few ways in which they are changing and what we can expect from the future.

Holistic approach

More than ever before, businesses are taking a more holistic approach to the welfare of their workforce. Influenced by the idea that happy and healthy employees are far more productive, companies have taken an active interest in ensuring they get what they want by providing them with a variety of new benefits. Although these can be as simple as regular health check-ups, remote working solutions or gym memberships, other forward-thinking businesses have begun to offer slightly stranger benefits. For instance, some businesses are offering to freeze female employees’ eggs in an effort to attract a more diverse workforce.  


Though businesses may be offering a more well-rounded and less traditional selection of perks to employees, there is always the constant threat of cut-backs. When the economy faces a down-turn, profits drop or forecasts look bad, these perks and benefits are usually the first thing to go. In a time of great economic volatility, this can be worrying for employees. While employee benefits may be an attractive proposition for workers, they can be an expensive burden on struggling businesses, many of which will avoid putting such benefits in employee contracts so that they can quickly retract offers if things begin going badly.

Long-term trends

In recent years there has been a growing sense that businesses need to do more to attract talent and look after their existing workforce. However, the long-term trends may not be so positive. While the biggest businesses in the world will continue to attract talent by offering superb benefits, smaller companies may be squeezed out of being able to afford them. As much of the western world deals with the problem of ageing populations, it may become impossible to provide benefits if people live and work for longer. If this is case, we are sure to see another radical shift in the way businesses think about employee benefits.

Think you've got what it takes to make a great employee at Capita? Check out our vacancies and apply today! 

Friday, 7 October 2016

Four ways you can show your character traits through your CV

It’s often a challenge to portray your true character in an accurate and interesting manner using only a side or two of A4. Unfortunately, that’s how most recruiters make initial judgements concerning your suitability for a role. Nearly all modern businesses request a CV from applicants, so job seekers need to know how and what to write. They also need to think about ways they can show their best character traits in an original and engaging manner. With this in mind, we give you our four top tips on how to dazzle recruiters and future employers by writing about your most important skills and qualities.

Concrete examples

The most important way to show off your best character traits in a CV is by linking them to your professional history. Every time you write about one of your qualities or skills, demonstrate how you’ve applied it in the past. If you’re talking about your ability to lead, make sure you include an example of how you’ve organised, managed or lead a team in the past. Without providing concrete examples, your CV will appear vague and vapid and recruiters will have no reason to believe your claims.


It’s not just the words you use that create an impression, it’s your whole CV. For instance, if your CV is disorganised, badly formatted or uses different fonts, recruiters are going to think this is a reflection of your personality. This means that if you’re trying to demonstrate that you’re an organised, professional employee, you need to prove it with the layout of your CV.

Talk about your character traits

If you want to give a recruiter a better understanding of your personality, the best way is to talk openly about it. This means applying your key character traits to your future goals in a way that demonstrates they are beneficial to the company and will assist you in your work. For instance, rather than simply stating that ‘I hope to progress to a managerial position where I am able to motivate and organise a small team,’ you could write that ‘I hope to progress to a managerial position where I would use my sociable and outgoing personality, team building skills and ability to communicate clearly to motivate and organise a small team’.

Let social networks do some of the work

When applying for jobs, you should assume that employers are going through your social media profiles to ensure you are who you say you are. It is now common practice in many businesses. This means that you’ll need to clean up your profiles, removing anything you wouldn’t want them to see, but also allowing you to use them to your advantage. If you’re extroverted and sociable online, providing potential employers with your social media profiles may prove a good move. Not only will they be able to see that you’re interested in the industry and are a good communicator, it shows that you’re confident and have nothing to hide.

Think you've got what it takes to make a great employee at Capita? Check out our vacancies and apply today!

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

How to tell if a workplace is right for you

Considering how much of our time we devote to our jobs, it’s not surprising that more and more professionals are making career decisions based on whether they believe a business’ work culture is right for them. There’s nothing worse than being stuck in an office that is unfulfilling, combative and makes you unhappy, so it’s often a good idea to think about what a company will be like to work for before you jump in and take a job. With this in mind, we take a look at four ways you can tell if a workplace is right for you.  

Use the company’s own resources

If you’re trying to discover a bit more about a company’s work place culture, a good place to start is by using their own online resources. Go through their website and see if they talk about workplace culture at all. You can also explore their social media profiles and try and get a feel for how they share information with the public. Whilst this method may not be fool-proof, the impression made by their online presence can tell you a lot about how you’ll fit into a business.

Investigate through review sites

Considering the growing desire to work in businesses that share a common culture or way of doing things, it’s no surprise that a number of websites dedicated to reviewing these aspects of a company have popped up in recent years. Pages like Glassdoor offer peer reviews and accounts of what it’s like to work for a business and, though they should be regarded with healthy scepticism (the internet isn’t always the most rational or honest of places), they are a good source of frontline information.

Ask about work culture

When it comes to interview time, it’s often a good idea to ask a recruiter about the working culture at a business. Not only is this a good response when the interviewer inevitably asks whether you have any questions for them, but it allows you to get and in-depth account of what it’s really like to work for a company. Don’t be afraid to raise more specific issues, such as questions relating to remote working or a business’ attitude towards career progression, if you require more specific answers.

Think you've got what it takes to make a great employee at Capita? Check out our vacancies and apply today!