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A Specialist Recruiter's view | Defence and Security with Joanna Hutchings

Posted on July 2021

Specialist recruiter smiling at camera

For over two decades we have supported individuals in their job search by sharing with them the best of our specialist market insight and knowledge.

In the following interview, Joanna Hutchings, Defence and Security recruiter, discusses her experience in this sector and explains how to get ahead.

What are the recent developments in the Defence & Security sector?

Defence budgets were increased this year which meant our clients could do more of the projects they were waiting to do, for example, the MoD is investing more in cyber security and unmanned vessels like drones and unmanned tanks. This is a whole new field that needs development, so it’s creating new jobs in different areas with a variety of new age skill sets.

What are some of the top skills that clients are looking for in those applying to work in Defence & Security?

We’re seeing an increased demand for people working in offensive cyber security, so anyone with a technology background and an interest in cyber security roles should look at attaining accreditations in this field to greatly enhance their opportunities in this sector.

What accreditations would you recommend and are they easy to access?

Accredited courses would be CREST CRT, Tiger Scheme, or the NCSC Cyber Scheme. For access, we are currently partnering with a client to facilitate training for our candidates with the added bonus of a contract at the end. The candidates are sponsored on the course and only have to pay for the final exam, once they pass the client will retain them for projects. (For more information please email

How much detail should be on your CV?

Your CV needs to match the specification. So, if a recruiter is asking you to expand on something, be open to that, because it is important for us to make sure we’re picking out information that really hits on the essential and desirable skills for a client. Much like a face to face meeting a CV has a short period of time to impress.

What would be your top tips for someone who is looking to start their career or progress in the Defence sector?

If you’ve never worked in Defence & Security before, make sure you’re happy to go through a clearance process. They are quite intrusive and time consuming in terms of the information they want, but it will ultimately be something you have to go through to work on these projects. Also, make sure you’ve done as many of the courses as you can afford to do; whether it’s a scripting language course online or a project management qualification. When you’ve got that on your CV, you give yourself a leg up.

What are the rewards that a successful candidate can expect from working in this sector?

Having pride in knowing that the work you’re doing is highly skilled and sought after, knowing not everyone can do that job. We do a lot of work with the police and central government organisations, and our candidates often feel a sense of contribution by working on projects that are ultimately improving the lives and safety of the population.

Why do you recruit for Defence and Security?

It is a really interesting and specialist field; you learn about projects that are going on that have an impact on your daily life, like the communication systems that the MoD is working on, or new satellite projects we’re doing for European space agencies. It is also right on the edge of technological development, so you are always learning and no day is ever the same.

To discuss how we can support your specialist defence & security recruitment needs please contact Joanna Hutchings on