Royal Navy Recruitment

Agency: e3

e3 has worked with The Royal Navy on its new Career hub. The new development is a major milestone for the Royal Navy’s digital presence, allowing it to better educate and recruit candidates through top-notch user experience and content.


The Brief


Recruitment for the Royal Navy is a complex challenge. The military lifestyle is daunting and unknown for the majority of potential candidates, who only see the tip of the iceberg. Most people aren’t aware, for instance, that there are 101 different roles, from dentists, to officers, to biomedical scientists, and that for many of the roles you don’t need any experience in your desired field when you apply.


The Royal Navy wanted to increase recruitment conversion rates, which can only be achieved through better informed and prepared candidates, in a process that can sometimes take up to two years. To meet this challenge e3 conducted three months of research – the largest user analysis the agency has been involved in – using four mechanisms including 40 face-to-face interviews and a survey, which collected nearly 800 responses. Subjects included individuals who had either recently joined the Royal Navy or Royal Marines, as well as potential candidates – people who met the criteria to join or had considered it, but never got as far as joining.


Results revealed that candidates were often unfamiliar with the Navy’s terminology, with little understanding of what the Royal Navy does, from general goals to day-to-day activities. Many were also uncertain of their eligibility and could not easily find information about the recruitment process. The most influential insight is the fact that young people now look for jobs based on their interests rather than qualifications.


What e3 Did


e3 created an experience map based on the findings, identifying thirteen personas which reflect the audience’s perception of the Navy, from the young school leaver with apprehension about the military, the ambitious officer who wants to feel challenged but prepared, to the determined Marine looking for discipline and direction.

The new Careers section now features improved navigational tools and structures, responsive design patterns and personalised user journeys. e3 enhanced the role finder’s ability to promote certain jobs based on the Royal Navy’s needs and to provide results personalised according to browsing history. They also implemented effective search criteria and an intelligent autocomplete box.


Throughout the build process there was constant engagement with subject matter experts across the Naval service, user testing on prototypes and significant engagement with users to validate the taxonomy and site map.


“We needed a Careers section that allowed us to connect with a wide range of ages, all with competing needs and requirements. Our primary goal is to recruit candidates across the board, as well as increase diversity, and improve the fitness of recruits. e3 proved to be the best partner in this journey,” says Paul Colley, head of marketing, Royal Navy recruitment. “The new consumer journey is particularly impressive – starting with candidates’ personal skills, connecting them to relevant Navy opportunities, and then taking them through the application process.”


As the Royal Navy’s lead digital agency, we play a key role in overcoming what they call ‘Sea Blindness’ – people not knowing what they do or why they’re important. We specialise in creating experiences that put the consumer at the heart of the process and allow brands to stay relevant. Through our user-centred approach we wanted to educate the audience and to create interest and desire to learn more and consider the Royal Navy as a proper vocation,” adds Neil Collard, Managing Director, e3.


The Result


All e3 teams from strategy to UX and tech delivery worked together for six months to create digital content that works across all platforms and allows the Royal Navy to manoeuvre eligible and adequate candidates through relevant and successful applications. Accessible language, interactive recruitment tests and a clear picture of what it means to be part of the Royal Navy create an amazing user journey for all future recruits.