Cover: Improving Strategic Resource Management in the Air Force Recruiting Enterprise

Improving Strategic Resource Management in the Air Force Recruiting Enterprise

Challenges and Next Steps for Policymakers

Published Sep 17, 2020

by David Schulker, Nelson Lim, David Knapp, Bruce R. Orvis

Download Free Electronic Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.1 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Maintaining enough trained personnel to accomplish the U.S. Air Force's missions begins with the recruiting enterprise. Generating roughly 30,000 new enlistment contracts annually demands significant resourcing; planners must decide how many full-time recruiters are necessary and how much to budget for national advertising, local marketing events or activities, and enlistment incentives. Partly because of the scale of resources at stake, the use of marketing resources by the Air Force and other military services has attracted the attention of auditors and Congress, and planners must be prepared to justify their resource plans based on the expected return on investment. To help Air Force decisionmakers, the authors describe challenges associated with measuring the effect of recruiting resources, identify specific limitations that prevent the Air Force from making data-enabled resource-planning decisions, and offer recommendations for overcoming key obstacles.

Research conducted by

This research was commissioned by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Force Management Integration and conducted within the Manpower, Personnel, and Training Program of RAND RAND Project AIR FORCE.

This commentary is part of the RAND expert insight series. RAND Expert Insights present perspectives on timely policy issues. All RAND Expert Insights undergo peer review to ensure high standards for quality and objectivity.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.