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Talent Acquisition Specialist Mavis talks about her experience joining DE&S from a military environment, her ambitions for development and what she loves most about her job.

“My pre-perception was that an organisation that supports the armed forces might have a military environment where people would communicate with each other in a similar manner to the military rank system. However, at DE&S you can speak to anyone and everyone regardless of hierarchy.”

Talent Acquisition Specialist Mavis, stading facing camera in gold dress with hand on hip

Talent Acquisition Specialist Mavis

What does your role entail?

I work as a Talent Acquisition Specialist within the HR Internal Promotions team. On a daily basis, I manage promotion campaigns for some of our functions. I engage with stakeholders to agree recruitment plans and ensure there is consistency across the board. I also deliver training on how to write CVs and how to sift and interview candidates.

What is your background and how did you get into this role?

I previously worked for the MOD British Forces Social Work Services based in Germany. I was a coordinator for the Labour Support Unit which created jobs within armed forces camps and recruited spouses specifically for these roles. During my time there, I started my CIPD qualification. I then moved to the UK and joined DE&S as an HR Assistant within the HR Business Partner (HRBP) team for the Ships domain, before helping to establish the HR Hub. I continued studying for my CIPD qualification and, due to the variety of modules involved, this enabled me to speak to lots of different people across HR. This included shadowing someone in the Talent Acquisition team and that was when I decided I wanted to pursue my career in this area. Then I was promoted and moved into the Internal Promotions team within Talent Acquisition.

What initially attracted you to DE&S?

Having worked for the MOD in Germany, I could relate to the values and culture at DE&S. It felt like a familiar space because I was still working to support our armed forces, however DE&S had the additional factor of working with civilian personnel too. Giving back to our armed forces has a personal connection to me which is important and why I enjoy working at DE&S.

What does a typical day look like in your role?

I do a lot of sourcing and recruiting to fill internal promotion campaigns which is slightly different to our external recruitment, as we focus on internal employees. I liaise with the functions I manage and, at the beginning of the year, we construct a plan of the roles that people within the cohort are ready for promotion into, and schedule a strategy for recruitment campaigns based on that.

What’s the greatest achievement in your role to date and how did it make you feel?

In the last year I’ve redesigned ‘How to write a CV’ training as an e-learning package because of the pandemic, to a tight deadline. By running these workshops, we were able to stress the importance of tailoring CVs to the role being applied for. We received really positive feedback and it was so rewarding helping people succeed and get to where they wanted to be. It makes me feel proud to be able to give back to DE&S.

What do you most enjoy about your job?

I most enjoy engaging with my stakeholders to tackle challenges and ensure that we deliver to plan. I have an amazing and supportive team, which makes me look forward to going to work every day and performing at my best knowing that they are always there to support me.

What do you find most rewarding about your role?

Knowing that we’ve got the right talent working for DE&S, which will ultimately increase performance. That makes me happy and is such key thing for me. Getting people into their new roles, making sure they know about all the benefits of working here, and that they feel happy in their job, is rewarding for me.

How has DE&S helped you achieve your goals and what has that meant to you personally and professionally?

From a personal perspective, everyone is supportive and willing to help. Flexibility of working has also really helped me in providing work/life balance – tailoring your hours around other needs outside of work really accommodates everyone’s personal lifestyle.

From a professional perspective, the redeployment opportunities within DE&S have given me the freedom to get involved in other projects, gain more exposure and enhance my knowledge in other areas across HR. It’s a really good system DE&S has on offer to employees.

How are you empowered to shape your own unique career path and how have you led your own way?

Everyone who joins the business is allocated a line manager and a Functional Development Officer (FDO) who is there to help support your career and help you to create a career development plan. My line manager and FDO have been very supportive in guiding me and signposting me to relevant material and courses. That said, as an individual, you need to proactively own your development in order to shape your way, for example the work I have been doing to complete my CIPD.

In my team, I feel empowered to own my work and I’m encouraged to set objectives to understand what my responsibilities are and how to achieve them. I’m supported by my line manager and can approach team leaders who will work with me to come up with solutions when needed. The freedom and responsibility I’ve been given to own my work and to express and influence ideas has really helped me develop and grow on a personal level.

What makes DE&S stand apart from other organisations?

The flexibility merged with everything from the culture, redeployment opportunities, networks and more importantly, the people. Everyone is so friendly, helpful and welcoming. Based on my previous experience, my pre-perception was that joining an organisation focused on supporting the armed forces might bring that military environment where there would be a clear hierarchy and people would communicate with each other in a similar manner to the military rank system. However, at DE&S you can speak to anyone and everyone regardless of hierarchy due to the merged civilian and military environment.

Tell us about your professional ambitions!

I’m really passionate about HR, so really it would be to gain further experience within this area. I’d potentially like to work in the HRBP space; however our Talent Acquisition team is also expanding so I feel there are still development opportunities for me to experience within this area. I will look to gain leadership and management experience to move up the ladder of my progression path, which my FDO will support me with.

Out of everything that DE&S offers, what do you value the most?

The investment in my development. It is standard practice within DE&S to have a system in place to facilitate progression. It’s not just about organisational goals but investing in your future too by providing plenty of development opportunities.

Are you part of any networks?

I’m part of the Women’s Inclusive Network, the Race and Culture Network, and the Change Advocate Network. I piloted the CV writing course with the Race and Culture Network, and some people I later spoke to said they’d gained a promotion following this course, which was really great. I’ve made some close friends from being part of these networks and it’s helped to build friendships in the wider organisation as well as within my own team.

Would you recommend DE&S to others as a great place to work?

Without hesitation and for lots of reasons. An important one for me is that the Senior Leadership team have always worked to action any concerns of employees from the results of the annual staff survey, meaning that everyone has a voice and everyone’s voice is heard.

How do you build a successful career at DE&S?

The foundation to building a successful career at DE&S is attitude, right mindset and willingness to learn. A combination of constructive feedback from colleagues, managers and self-evaluations helps highlight development needs. A successful career, in my opinion, is where my contributions add value to my immediate team and DE&S as a whole.

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By |2022-01-11T13:28:05+00:00August 18th, 2021|
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