AHEAD of Armed Forces Day (29th June), the Halfords Group announces through signing the Armed Forces Covenant, it has filled nearly a quarter of its vacancies.
Since February when Halfords signed up to the covenant, the UK’s leading bikes and car parts retailer has interviewed 320 ex-services personnel and reservists, through its Guaranteed Interviews pledge, and employed 43 new colleagues in roles in its Shops, Autocentres and Cycle Republic stores all over the UK.
When it signed the covenant, Halfords made a number of pledges to support service leavers and veterans, helping them access training and careers across Halfords retail shops, Autocentres and in the support centre. One of these pledges was to offer ex-forces personnel and reservists a guaranteed interview for any Halfords Group role, provided they met the minimum job requirements.
The initiative, launched jointly with the Ministry of Defence four months ago, has resulted in ex-armed forces personnel and reservists filling nearly a quarter of the 200 full and part time vacancies in the business.
John Lightfoot, a colleague at Halfords in Hull, joined the Army aged 17 and then moved to the Royal Marines. John saw active service in Afghanistan in 2004 and fought in Helmand province, before leaving the forces in 2005.
Re-joining life in the civilian world was tough for John, for a number of years he took on labouring jobs but struggled to find a job he liked and never staying in a role for long.
John joined Halfords in 2015 and says:
“When I came out into the world I thought, what do I do now? But working for Halfords has been good for me, I’m making progress in the company and the only barrier to my success is me - I’ve never been happier.
“I think it's absolutely brilliant Halfords is offering guaranteed interviews to service leavers’, he added, ‘It will make applying much less daunting which will give confidence to people, some of whom have never known anything other than the forces.”
Graham Stapleton CEO for Halfords Group said; “We are really proud to have signed the Armed Forces Covenant to help people leaving the services find new careers and gain training with Halfords Retail and Autocentres. As a result of our Guaranteed Interviews pledge, these new colleagues have landed jobs in our stores, Autocentres and Cycle Republic shops all over the UK, so this initiative has made a real difference to their lives. We have also found that those with a forces background have some great attributes such as discipline, teamwork and problem solving, so I’m very proud that our scheme has had a positive impact so quickly.”
Minister for Defence, People and Veterans Tobias Ellwood said: “This is a great success story. The impact that Halfords’ guaranteed interviews scheme has had, shows how signing the Armed Forces Covenant can make a real positive difference for both employers and former forces personnel. We would strongly encourage other employers to partner with defence.
As part of the Covenant, Halfords Group offers guaranteed interviews to service leavers for all roles (pending that candidates meet the minimum requirements for the role) to help with what can be a difficult transition to civilian life. Halfords Group also supports service leavers by recruiting Halfords roles through the Career Transition Partnership (CTP), offering guaranteed placement into the interview process, offering 10 days additional unpaid leave for reservists and offering a range of offers for those serving in the armed forces.
Halfords is a Sunday Times Best Big Company to Work For, employing over 10,000 colleagues across 400 Halfords stores and at more than 300 Halfords Autocentres. There are currently more than 600 full and part time career opportunities across Halfords Group, for more information visit https://www.halfordsautocentres.com/advice/news/halfords-group-signs-military-covenant.