From Resettlement to Recruitment – with JN Bentley

From Resettlement to Recruitment – with JN Bentley

Off By Ed Hanna

Former Gunner, Billy Hogan, is now a recruiter for JN Bentley.

What’s your Military background? 
I joined the RAF Regiment as a Gunner straight from school when I was 16 years old and did my first tour of Afghanistan when I was 18. I left the RAF after six years, having completed my second tour.

How was resettlement?
Looking back, it wasn’t a great experience. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do and felt like guidance was lacking in terms of how my skills and experience could transfer to civilian life or what courses might be useful.

I think it is really hard to know what you want to do next, especially when you have only ever known Military life.

Did you take up any courses during resettlement?
Unfortunately, I didn’t do any courses at the time as I wasn’t sure about my options or what would have been helpful. Now, I wish I had made use of my learning credits.

How did you come to work with JN Bentley?
After leaving the Military, I followed a few different careers paths to find what I wanted to do. I had been working in recruitment for a while when I saw a role was available at JN Bentley. I knew they were supportive of candidates who come from the Military, so I wanted to find out more.

Through my interview, and as a new starter, it was obvious that there was a focus on my potential and transferable skills. There is huge importance put on developing people and progression. I was also really impressed by the wellbeing package they offer and that was a factor in my decision to join.

What’s your current role?
I am a recruiter, so I look for candidates to fill roles across the business. This involves meeting hiring managers from different teams and understanding what they need and what the various roles entail and then finding the right people to do it.

Another area I work in is ex-Military recruitment, which involves working with specialist organisations like  BuildForce, CTP and the British Forces Resettlement Services, attending Military recruitment fairs and speaking with potential candidates about how their skills transfer to industry.

I love making the phone calls to let the candidate know we want to offer them a job. One recent example of this was with a candidate who was in the last stage of their resettlement; they were brilliant, probably unaware of how good they were, and calling them to say ‘you’ve got the job’ was a great feeling.

What do Veterans bring to the roles at JN Bentley?
We truly believe that those who have Served in the Military can develop and thrive in all parts of JN Bentley. We know this is the case because we have Veterans in so many roles from director to site manager, skilled operative to engineer and recruiter.

What Military acquired skills or attributes do you find yourself using?
Working well in a team; being able to focus on the overall goal and  ensure we achieve it. 

What do you miss from the Armed Forces?
There is nothing else like the camaraderie you experience in the Military.

What do you most appreciate in your current role?
I like that every day is different and that the hiring managers I work with are open-minded. There are times when certain qualifications are essential but generally, hiring managers are open to conversations about candidates who may have come from a different background or have transferable skills.

I’m also really enjoying my work on the ex-Military side of recruitment. Working with candidates that might not understand what their skills mean in industry and doing what I can to support their transition is hugely satisfying.

What’s your best advice for Service-leavers?
Don’t underestimate the value of your skills, they are hugely transferable, even if you’re not sure exactly where. Reach out to companies in the industries you want to work in to see if they have a Military programme. Many, like JN Bentley, offer support for those who are in their resettlement and Veterans.

Get in touch with me, I am more than happy to talk to anyone about your next steps.