RNR Recruiting - The Propositions & Your Suggestions

Discussion in 'Royal Naval Reserve (RNR)' started by Ninja_Stoker, Sep 24, 2013.

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  1. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    There have been several (dozen) threads on the topic in light of FR20 and the aim of this thread is to try and bring observations and ideas together, unique to the RNR.

    Rather than simply identify problems. What are your "can do" solutions?

    FR 20 proposes the following:


    To start the ball rolling:

    What made you join the RNR instead of the regular RN?
    What makes you continue to serve?
    How do we recruit more like you?

    One of my own thoughts are that the government has fundamentally failed to recognise that the RNR, unlike the RMR and Army Reserve are not currently able to replace or augment their regular service counterparts as they are, in a large part, specialised in niche branches. The solution - train ratings as seagoing matelots in all specialisations (such as ET(ME)'s and ET(WE's), Warfare Specialists, etc), give them skills which transfer to the regular service and civilian jobs.
  2. My main suggestion would be to completely revamp the recruitment system and bring it in house away from the AFCOs. The current system is very broken and I'm sure many decent recruits lose interest or get sidetracked due to the ridiculously long waiting times and constant backing and forthing.

    Personally I think it should happen like this:

    -Potential recruit goes to presentation evening.

    -Recruit is given paperwork to send off.

    -When recruit returns the paperwork, they join a holding class doing some PT and general interest lectures, they get to meet other people in the unit at an early stage and get an idea for what they are getting themselves into. Likewise the staff can assess the recruit's suitability early on, identifying potential ****wits/switched on cookies.

    -Recruit is invited to a regional assessment weekend (held every 3 months so a date can be given immediately.) At the assessment weekend they conduct the medical, eye test, RT, PJFT, interview etc. The weekend is bolstered with some lectures, PLTs and a curry/piss up on the Saturday evening. Again social hand grenades/duty legends can be spotted early on and streamed appropriately. Recruits receive an overall pass or fail, i.e. even if a recruit passes all the required tests (medical,RT,PJFT,interview) the staff can still fail people who they think might not cut the mustard, this is useful for obvious reasons.

    -On successful completion of the weekend, the recruit is processed through Security Clearance and given a joining date no more than 4 weeks later.

    Surely from a manpower perspective it's easier to grab some volunteers from the unit to act as DS for the weekend and get a Doc to come in for a single day and bang out all the medicals in a oner? It works elsewhere in the reserve forces, why can't the RNR do it? Doing this should reduce everyone's workload, all the unit has to do is set aside one weekend every three months to host the assessment weekend, get a Doc in for the day and ping some volunteers to act as DS. They could even share this responsibility with other nearby units - Calliope, Ceres and Eaglet could take it in turns for the North of England, likewise the Jocks could take it in turns with each other.

    From the recruit's perspective, it provides clarity throughout the joining process and greatly speeds things up from initial application to getting in rig.

    Someone make me CNR for ****'s sake.
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  3. Next idea.

    Sack whoever is currently doing PR for the RNR, because it's utterly bonk.

    The average person's knowledge of the RNR is gleaned from the photos, news stories and videos dotted around the bizzares. Looking at the current media put out by the RNR, one could be forgiven for thinking that all the RNR does is a bit of drill, charity fundraising and standing around in rig looking fat/old, do a google image search for Royal Navy Reserve and see the first phot that comes up.

    Firstly we need to look at who we're trying to recruit, I would say the main audience here can be split into 2 categories:

    1. Youngish (under 35) adults with an active lifestyle and the intelligence and pro-activeness to manage being a reservist with their civvy lives.

    2. Ex regular RN.

    To target the first group we need to present the RNR as a fun and active organisation where you get to travel the world, do fantastic AT, shoot guns, do cool stuff like whizz around in fast boats, firefighting, damage control etc. Get rid of the gash phots of ageing fat POs stood around smiling in mixed rig and the constant press articles about another reservist who's just completed the 3 Peaks. Instead show people shooting miniguns and jumping out of Lynxs and bobsleighing. Look at the RM recruitment vids, these are great and very well aimed at the RM's demographic. Everyone knows that as a Royal Marine you don't permanently sit on rigid raiders in the middle of the night covered in cam cream, but by highlighting these cool bits, it gathers interest from the appropriate audience. We're trying to get people to join the Armed Forces here, we travel the world on massive ships covered in guns and f*ck people's sh*t up, embrace it.

    To aim at the second group, ex RN personnel, the RNR needs to present itself as a decent organisation and a real way of continuing one's service in a reserve capacity. RN lads need to be shown that their previous service and experience will be rewarded and appreciated. The RNR needs to sell itself to the RN with a no bullshit approach. "This is what we do, it's not the same as the RN, but some of the good stuff you did in the RN, can also be found here."

    Currently it just feels like a watered down continuation of the bullshit one had to put up with during regular service. "Look at us, we dress up like you lot, play sailors and do loads of drill." To your average RN JR, the RNR looks like 'all the bullshit without the money,' it should be marketed to them as a way of continuing all the cool stuff like AT, runs ashore, camaraderie, promotion and a challenging job once they leave the RN. Not to mention a tidy financial bonus.

    So to summarise, sex up the recruiting vids and paraphernalia aimed at Joe Civvy off the street and provide a no bullshit real look at the RNR for ex regular RN.
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  4. You'd get my vote for CNR.
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  5. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Like it, there are already RNR personnel who can conduct and mark the recruiting test, conduct the PJFT (PTI's) & carry out the medical examination (RNR Medical Officers). In fact most RNR units already have the facilities required (Treadmills, Sickbay & Classroom).

    The only point I'd say with the selection weekend (been there, done that) is the fact that people could be attending "holding class" for quite some time, be issued kit, not get paid, and then potentially fail the recruiting test, medical, PJFT or interview (Unfortunately a large number do).

    Possibly the answer is to hold quarterly selection weekends as the first step?
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  6. To reiterate my last post, below is the first line of images when you Google 'Royal Navy Reserve.'

    We have the classic phot of unattractive people stood around smiling - the RNR is a happy place.
    We have some random pics of the RNR logo, some rank slides and a map showing unit locations - fair enough.
    We have a tri service phot which appears to have been staged by extras from a mental hospital - serve in the RNR and you can wear your cap on the piss like this PO and be mates with a fat TA bloke and an RAF reservist with terrifying teeth.
    We have a stern looking lady drawing on a whiteboard - the RNR is like school, but the teachers wear uniforms.
    Finally we have the CO of HMS Wildfire - Join the RNR and your boss will look like someone with a court order that prevents him from going near schools.

    Where are the sexy pictures of people shooting guns and jumping speedboats over waves?

    Attached Files:

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  7. Fair point, but it already happens. I've been attending a holding class since April. If the weekends were held every 3 months, you'd only be waiting in holding class for a maximum of 3 months (assuming you pass first time round). You join the holding class on the understanding that it's just for fun until you pass the assessment weekend, you shouldn't be getting issued uniform or anything in the holding class anyway.

    At least then you'd only have one hurdle to jump through, it's a bigger hurdle than before, granted, but it's easier to prepare for one hurdle instead of the ball ache of loads of individual tests. I'd say the heartache of failing your assessment weekend (for whatever reason) would be less than spending months passing the RT, interviews etc. only to fail 4 months later on the medical.
  8. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Following on, could it not be run similarly to how the Police recruit and train Special Constables?

    Once the candidate has submitted their relevant aplication they are invited to attend a welcome presentation, during which they are told what the training will consist of. Clearances and references are checked after which they conduct a competency/scenario-based exam, fitness test and medical.

    Once they have passed those stages, they attend a further presentation, explaining the "Gateway Process", a series of about a dozen classroom-based training modules covering basic legal and policing knowledge, followed by a further exam.

    Once passed, uniforms are issued and the candidate moves on to the "Foundation Training" stage, when they conduct further consolidation classroom modules and specialist training (eg. first aid, public order, search, unarmed defence) and online e-learning modules. Throughout this time, they will also be required to maintain their committal hours (16 hours per month).

    All training is usually conducted at a regional training centre at the weekend of weekday evenings (different Force policies may apply).

    Once these are completed they are attested and attached to a Station, where they gain further experience in order to complete a SCEPAC (task books, effectively). After about a year, they gain independence. Some remain as 'career specials' while others use this as an avenue to joining up as a full-time Officer (the most common way of joining the force these days).

    While there is a support network of staff to advise and assist Specials during their training, the emphasis is on them to attend training and complete their hours; very little hand-holding and spoon-feeding involved.
  9. All of that shit just to direct traffic at football matches and get free travel on the tube?
  10. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    As if! Only the Met, City of London or British Transport Police have that perk... :oops:
  11. I know of at least two HAC special constables who joined purely for that perk. No other reason at all.
  12. So 2 playdough pongoes became unpaid playdough coppers just so they could travel on the underground for free...I think they need to seriously look at their lives!!
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  13. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    S'okay - surely you can qualifiy for a Transport for London (TfL) Veterans Concessionary Travel Scheme (VCTS):

  14. The HAC specials are not ex HAC soldiers, one or two might be, but most are random civvies who just joined up.

    If you live on the outskirts of London, High Wycombe for instance and travel into the City each day for work, you can easily rack up an 8 grand a year train/tube bill. Throw in private journeys too and you can see how scooping up horse shit after the Chelsea match once a month becomes quite an attractive proposition.
  15. Easy - make service at a RNR unit (or CNR) compulsory for eligibility for promotion to PO, WO1 and Cdr RN. Minimum time to be 18 months in post.

    The RNR is the RN's repository for bottom half Officers and SRs who are serving out their time until retirement. The staffwork, capacity and drive shown by the RNR directly reflect that.
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  16. Is that what the RN wants? I thought they specifically didn't want the RNR to be a pool of seagoing matelots they can use as ship's company.
  17. It's true that good PSIs make a massive difference to a unit.

    Because life onboard is generally hard work and if truth be told, pretty shite, most of the RN's attitude towards any shoreside draft away from a big base tends to be "Woohoo! Tabs out! Cheers easy!" We're all guilty of it.

    During my harmony time I briefly did a stint helping the PSIs at an RNR unit, I won't mention which unit. Their attitude was "I'm sorted shippers, look at the swanky riverside pad I'm living in with my subsistence allowance and check out all the early knock offs I get." They truly couldn't give a f*ck about the unit or the RNR lads. It was merely a cushy draft to get some downtime and an easy life before returning to their shitty job onboard in a couple of years time. I'm not saying everyone is like that, but these guys were. They did the bare minimum of work required in order to get their workload weighed off and have an easy life.

    By comparison every TA PSI I've met from a variety of units was dedicated and seemed to want the best for the lads under their charge. They seemed to genuinely want to pass on their knowledge and saw it as a privilege and honour to be given a fairly responsible and autonomous job away from their parent unit. Save for one underwhelming training captain from the Paras, who'd been sent to us as his last posting before going outside, all of the PSIs seemed to be in a competition with one another to prove who was the most awesome. This was clearly a massive benefit to us, having great PSIs who all wanted to be brilliant at their jobs.

    In turn, these PSIs went back to their respective units and told everyone about us, as such our unit was then offered places on ops with them, the result being a massive range of different jobs and deployments opening up with a variety of different units.
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  18. While that maybe true, the fact is most people join the Navy (reserve or otherwise) for the chance to serve on a ship at some point. I'd wager that most people who are initially attracted to the RNR have some interest in ships or going to sea. It's only further down the line after research that they end up becoming loggies or whatever.

    No one joins the RNR to sit in a warehouse counting steaming bats, they get pushed into it later on.

    From a recruiting perspective (which is what this thread is about) the RNR needs to push it's number 1 asset, which is ships/submarines/helicopters. In order to do this the RNR does need some sea going branches, if the RNR was merely a shoreside support unit of the RN, few people would join.

    Recruitment leaflets with phots of blokes sat in front of computer screens in Northwood don't quite have the same impact as the leaflets with phots of lads fast roping onto the decks of drug laden cargo ships.
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  19. As an alternative the TA image search brings back:

    Smiling female in CS95s holding a rifle and clearly on exercise. It also appears you need to worry less about photogenic people when they are cammo'd up
    Soldiers with rifles, wearing shades obviously somewhere hot and sunny
    Army logo
    Solider with rifle looking dangerous
    Soldiers, mix of ages / fitness, in front of a massive JCB and with tools. Look you can learn a trade.
    Smiling soldiers meeting Prince Charles
    Medics doing something

    Most of those come from the Telegraph and Daily Mail. So they are clearly getting some good phots when writing TA stories.

    We're also supposed to have information and media operations experts.

    PS. The TfL Veterans Oyster card is for those in receipt of payments from the War Pension Scheme or Armed Forces Compensation Scheme. So you could get one rather than becoming a Met Special Constable but might find yourself regretting it...

    PPS. Police Special Constable recruitment is incredibly inefficient and makes the RNR look positively enlightened.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2013
  20. I was interested in joining the local fire service as a retained firefighter, and after popping into the station was given some info and literature about the next recruitment evening and also invited to the next drill night to see what typically went on. I think they ran several a year of the competancy tests and then the fitness etc was done at station level. I didn't sign on in the end as i got a rubbish job working rubbish shift patterns and wouldn't have been able to commit to the time required. Nonetheless the 'openess' of the recruitment process and the involvement with the team from the first spark of interest i think helped, i guess keeping people interested to see it through is one of the challenges.
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