Australian Defence Force

Integrating & Including

How the Australian military is gaining ground in a fight for diversity

We believe work is about skills. And that everyone should be able to participate, no matter their gender, ethnicity or cultural background. That’s why we have worked with the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to recruit their brightest and best for more than 14 years through our public-private collaboration called Defence Force Recruiting. Things have changed a lot since our relationship started, but we’ve always been committed to finding new ways of recruiting the skilled Defence talent of today and tomorrow.

When the ADF charged ManpowerGroup with improving the diversity of the workforce, we gladly accepted the challenge. Currently, one in four full time recruits are women. This isn’t about reducing the number of men, it’s about creating equal opportunities for everyone. From personnel officer to supply specialist, from combat soldier to communications leader – there’s no such thing as men or women’s work.

  • 29%
    of Full-Time Recruits are Women
  • 14 Years
    of ManpowerGroup and ADF Finding Solutions Together

It’s not about waiting for someone to come in the door — it’s about going out to find the best talent

Glenn McPhee is in his third year as Director of Defence Force Recruiting (DFR). He’s the person in charge of ManpowerGroup’s efforts to recruit candidates for over 300 roles and 7,000 plus jobs per year for the Australian Navy, Army and Air Force.

“We’re reaching out to people across the country, with some in very remote locations,” says McPhee, referring to their efforts to recruit some of Australia’s nearly 3% population of Aboriginals or Torres Strait Islanders. “And it can be more challenging work, not only because it’s a great distance to go to connect with some candidates face to face, but also because indigenous Australians have such a strong connection with their hometown and extended family. But then again, that’s a strong advantage for the ADF, because once you join, most people build friendships that last a lifetime and in many ways become like a family. I know that because I’ve lived it.” ManpowerGroup helps take DFR’s recruitment efforts to all corners of Australia, literally and virtually, like in social media—where the Defence Jobs Australia Facebook page has over 435K followers. “It definitely has expanded our reach,” says McPhee.

  • 2.8%
    of Australia's Population is Indigenous People
  • 7.1%
    of Recruits Joining the Australian Defence Force are Indigenous

It is about providing every opportunity for all Australians to be considered for a career in Defence

No matter what gender, ethnicity or what language someone speaks at home, the best way to describe the Australian Defence Force is like a family. A place where you feel comfortable because you’re accepted and embraced. And isn’t that what diversity is all about?