24 Aug 2015

Is the ‘social media generation’ harming UK defence?

The rise of social media has been hard to miss in the past decade, and the impact new technologies have had on our lives is unmistakable.

However, there’s one industry where the social media revolution has had a less obvious impact: defence.

Social media and defence

According to recent research, the Armed Forces, in particular the Royal Navy, are struggling to meet recruitment targets since young people are no longer willing to tolerate the isolation of underwater life.

In a world dominated by social media, instant notifications and unlimited information, the prospect of extended periods of time underwater at sea, disconnected from the web, is a significant barrier to new recruits.

As a result of the changes in technology and lifestyle for potential young recruits, organisations looking to hire staff have had to become more flexible to the reality of everyday life.

Modernising the industry

The defence industry is now no different and the Royal Navy, for example, will have to accommodate the expectations of a new generation of recruits if the defence industry is to remain an attractive career prospect.

To combat the declining staffing figures, the MOD will be investing heavily in new marketing campaigns to highlight the benefits of a career in the Armed Forces. A huge PR exercise aimed specifically at attracting the ‘social media generation’ is extremely likely.

In addition, it could be the case that new technologies are necessary to help recruits adjust to life at sea, including expanded wi-fi, internet connectivity, a change to staff schedules and so on.

Next steps

If the next generation of recruits to the Armed Forces are to remain excited about the prospect of joining UK defence, the industry must modernise and innovate in order to remain attractive.

If your firm can innovate and help modernise the industry, it could be time for the social media revolution to be your next defence business opportunity.

To examine the defence industry and the opportunities on offer in full, explore DCI here