Recent Recruiting Trends and Their Implications

Preliminary Analysis and Recommendations

by Beth J. Asch, Bruce R. Orvis

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Because of its extensive background in recruiting research, RAND was asked by the Army and the Office of the Secretary of Defense to evaluate recent recruiting trends. The request comes as a result of mixed indications of the recruiting market, which raised some concerns, particularly for the longer term. This report provides the results of a preliminary analysis of recent trends in enlistment propensity and in the levels of specific supply and demand factors, and their implications for recruiting. The authors found there should be an adequate supply of potential enlistees, and, thus, that reported recruiting difficulties most likely result from factors yet to be analyzed fully, including changes in demand factors such as recruiting practices and resource management or possible changes in the attitudes of key influencers such as parents toward the military. A hedging strategy is needed to ensure resources are in place to meet the increases in the accession mission in FY95-96. The authors suggest an increase in advertising and the removal of ceilings on the number of recruiters. These resources are highly cost-effective and will provide required flexibility.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

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