Keolis renews its partnership with Défense mobilité to meet its recruitment needs

26th October 2022

▪ Keolis and Défense mobilité, the career conversion agency of the Ministry of Armed Forces, are renewing their partnership agreement on 24 October 2022. The agreement was initiated in 2009.
▪ The agreement provides personalised support to military and civilian ministry personnel who are changing careers, so they can join the Keolis teams for the second part of their working lives.
▪ For Keolis and its subsidiaries in France, the partnership represents a unique opportunity to recruit quality profiles for driver, maintenance and local management positions.

Bénédicte Le Deley, Managing Director of Défense mobilité, and Clément Michel, Director of Human Resources and Transformation of the Keolis Group, signed the third agreement between Défense mobilité and the Keolis Group on 24 October. Through this partnership, Keolis confirms its policy of recruiting military and civilian personnel who are changing careers, thereby meeting the requirements of its French subsidiaries at a time of strong job market tension. Since 2009, 724 ministry employees have joined the Keolis Group, making Keolis Défense mobilité's third-largest partner in terms of the number of recruitments.

Candidates perfectly matched to Keolis' needs

Because of their experience and skills, the personnel of the Ministry of Armed Forces have the kinds of profiles that Keolis is looking for. Beyond the fact that they sometimes hold a D licence (for transporting more than eight passengers), the soldiers are known for their strong discipline, punctuality, and ability to manage unforeseen situations, essential qualities for carrying out the job of a bus driver. Many mechanics from the military also know how to maintain and repair vehicles with the same technical characteristics as buses. Finally, the officers and NCOs (non-commissioned officers) have the necessary team management skills.

Once they have been recruited, the soldiers and civilians from the Ministry of Armed Forces receive personalised training to help them acquire the additional skills and knowledge required by Keolis.

Local cooperation

Défense mobilité's territorial network aids recruitment, with direct links between the 35 branches of the Ministry of Armed Forces agency and the Keolis subsidiaries based all over France. Keolis recruiters can contact the agency's career advisors when they have vacancies. In turn, the local Défense mobilité teams turn to their Keolis Group counterparts when a candidate has skills that match those sought by Keolis.

Noémi – Driver at Keolis Lyon, former Chief Corporal

“The job of tram driver has a lot in common with my previous work: punctuality, codes of conduct, availability and, above all, the application of procedures when incidents occur."

Freddy – Driver at Keolis Versailles, formerly Adjutant in the army

“My transition from the armed forces to Keolis was very straightforward. After deciding to change careers, I drew up my career conversion plan, conducted an assessment with the help of Pôle mobilité Défense and identified the financing for my training. Today, I see strong similarities between working in the armed forces and at Keolis, such as commitment, availability, strong discipline and a sense of material and human responsibility.”

Jérôme – Operational Director, Keolis Seine-et-Oise Est, former Gendarmerie Captain

“Coming to Keolis and making the transition went very well. There was a great deal of trust from the outset, which meant I was able to take on responsibilities quickly despite not having a typical background. Like the Gendarmerie, public transport is a useful profession, with a direct impact on local life and the inhabitants. In this job, I once again found myself managing large, diverse and dedicated teams.”

Key figures

  • 724 military and civilian personnel recruited by Keolis since 2009, an average of 60 per year

  • 86% of the recruits are drivers

  • 48% troop ranks, 45% NCOs (non-commissioned officers), 4% officers, 3% civilian personnel