Awareness, attraction and retention of the Reserve Forces

In 2014, IES collaborated with Cranfield University School of Management, Aberdeen University, Ipsos Mori and Oxford Brookes University to conduct research on behalf of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the UK Armed Forces.

The project aimed to understand the levels of awareness of the Reserve Forces in the potential volunteer population; what attracts or deters individuals to the Reserve Forces; and how Reservists can be nurtured and retained over time.

This two-year research project involved stakeholder interviews, a review of literature from the UK and overseas, a large survey of almost 2,500 members of the general public, and in-depth interviews with Reservists and Reserves recruiters.

Our work directed national- and strategic-level engagement efforts by the MoD and provided guidance on where immediate focus should be directed. The client has commented that our research has had direct relevance to its recruitment process - who it targets and how it goes about its marketing processes. It has been suggested that our research may feed into an action plan at a later date.