The British Army recruitment website has now been nonfunctional for two months and has now, temporarily, been replaced by a post on a jobs website.
That’s correct, the British Army’s £113m Capita-run recruitment website has been offline for two months and has been replaced by a single post on a job listing website. The cost to post one job advert on Totaljobs, by the way, is £169.
An Army applicant contacted me in April to let me know that the recruitment system was still nonfunctional, weeks after log-in information was comprised forcing a temporary closure. I was told:
“The whole recruitment system is down. This means that applications cannot be made or moved forward. Candidates are also unable to receive updates on how far their application is through the pipeline. This could cause serious issues to recruitment as one, it could create a massive backlog, and two, interest could be lost due to time constraints.”
My source also told me that he’s currently stuck at the medical stage, as he is in the process of moving from regular to reserve. medical.
“All I need to do is redo my medical. However, I have been unable to move through the medical process because the staff at the recruitment centre cannot access the system.”
When doing so, he and thousands of others were met with the message:
“WE ARE CURRENTLY EXPERIENCING SOME TECHNICAL ISSUES WITH THE ARMY RECRUITMENT SYSTEM. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS SURROUNDING YOUR APPLICATION OR PROGRESSION THROUGH THE RECRUITING PIPELINE PLEASE CALL THIS NUMBER 0345 600 8080 OR CONTACT YOUR RECRUITER.”
That message was recently replaced with:
“We are currently experiencing some technical issues with the Army Recruitment system; however we are still accepting applications. To apply as a regular (full-time) soldier, please apply via our partner site, Total Jobs. Once you’ve submitted your details on the site, one of our team will contact you for more information and to start your Army application.”
The users are then offered a link to the job listing. You can find that here.
Another user contacted me this morning to tell me the following:
“I joined the Army in 1995. Applied on Thursday and started training on Sunday! My son applied for it through Capita and a year later he was no further forward with a start date and gave up for another job. I applied for the reserves over 6 months ago and heard nothing once the website went down.
Only now have they sent a letter apologising and telling me to pay for an eye test before they progress my application! I worked on a Regimental recruiting team for a year before Capita took over and we could get someone from application to start date within 2 months.”
The Register reported in March that the Ministry of Defence suspended online application and support services for the British Army’s Capita-run Defence Recruitment System after concerns over a potential data breach.
However, it is understood that the recruitment system itself was not breached. A spokesperson for Capita told me today:
“The recent compromise of recruit data was the subject of a detailed investigation commissioned by Defence Digital from an approved specialist contractor, which determined there had been no breach of the DRS system. The compromised data is thought to be linked to log-in information stolen from candidates.”
The website was shut down on the 14th of March and remains closed today. If you want to learn more about the compromised data, you can read more on the compromise of recruit data that caused the shutdown in this article from April by Dan Sabbagh at the Guardian here.