Arrowforth – how it started
For our first blog, I thought I would set out the genesis of Arrowforth, what we represent and why we exist.
I left the regular army in 2007 after serving nine years with the King’s Own Scottish Borderers. I had served both at Regimental duty in Scotland, Kenya, Cyprus & Jordan and as OC of a Cadet Training Team and Ground Liaison Officer with the RAF. I had deployed to Northern Ireland (Op BANNER) with the battalion and to Kuwait for the invasion of Iraq (Op TELIC).
I had decided to leave as I knew I was never destined for command and my wife’s career in the police was looking to show more promise than mine. I left the regulars in Dec 2006 and didn’t fully leave till May 2007. I did not have a plan on post-military life; not the greatest start to my new life. I did not have a clue what I was going to do.
In May 2007, a friend who was 2IC of my TA regiment asked me to help out on a two week course – this led to another two years in uniform as a full time reservist. I worked at the Land Warfare Centre and again as a GLO and travelled to Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Indonesia & Chile with the LWC and deployed to Afghanistan with the RAF (Op HERRICK).
None of this was allowing me to transition into civilian life until I received a call from a friend from the LWC, offering me the opportunity to apply for a role at the Defence Academy. I applied, interviewed and then was accepted into a job working at the Command & Control Battle Laboratory (C2BL). There, I helped write staff procedures for capabilities that the MoD already owned for use in supporting operations in Afghanistan.
I also became involved with setting up an interoperability project which supported the connecting of various mission networks together in Afghanistan. The provision of the UK side of the programme was to be provided by commercial partners, so along with a couple of friends, we founded a company, bid for the work and won!
Over the next ten years we built upon the foundations of the anchor contract to develop a specialist technical consultancy with a government focus. I was tasked to set up a dedicated talent function in 2016/17 alongside the consultancy’s pivot to grow a commercial fraction of the business.
In 2021 I exited the consultancy amicably with a desire to develop my talent acquisition strategy with a dedicated company – Arrowforth.
I founded Arrowforth as I love connecting with people and could see there was a gap in the market for a specialised agency connecting exceptional people with outstanding companies.
Amazingly, one in three employees do not pass their six month probation (at an average cost of £24,000). All companies, SMEs especially, can ill afford that level of turnover. Approximately 15,000 people leave the military annually. Knowing these two statistics became the genesis of Arrowforth.
There are several agencies supporting service leavers but none seemed to focus exclusively on the high-quality technical leavers and their in-demand skills. Arrowforth aims to work with this cohort of skilled leavers looking for their next challenge and connect them to discerning companies that see the benefits of such hires and gain competitive advantage.
Arrowforth emerged after dissatisfaction with traditional recruiters which rarely, if ever had consultants with any military experience. As a service leaver and looking through the optic of a business owner searching to secure quality talent using channels which were ill suited to gaining the people desired, Arrowforth was founded to ensure that both leavers and employers would be considered equally.
Leaving the military can be a time of uncertainty so Arrowforth ensures that all engagement is with those who have already taken that journey before. Honesty and credibility are extremely important and we pride ourselves on offering objective and impartial advice to all.
Arrowforth wishes to enter into strategic long-term partnerships with companies and work with them to create value and ensure that anyone that they hire is onboarded correctly and we will support both the individual and company going forward – Arrowforth commits to those it works with.
Our approach is to be agnostic of service, rank, cap badge or branch. We will always strive to match the right person for the right job and will focus on the individual’s potential to develop and thrive in their new role. We will never place someone to fill a gap without ensuring that the role is the right fit – both sides need to benefit from any hire.
Arrowforth act as Performance Catalysts – focused on getting the right people in the right role to ensure that all parties benefit. Short-term solutions are not our forte – we wish to grow with our partners and act as a conduit for quality people who are looking for a new challenge outside of the military. We focus on quality and not quantity.
Our aim is to create a thriving network of people and companies that can work together to use the power of the combined networks to ensure when either an associate of Arrowforth or a company is looking for a new opportunity or needs to fill a role, we will be able to offer the very best people to fill amazing roles. We are happy for the networks’ successes and also know that not all roles will be fulfilled by us – that does not matter, as we act strategically and are happy to work with people and companies when the conditions allow.