Setting Enlistment Standards and Matching Recruits to Jobs Using Job Performance Criteria

by Richard L. Fernandez, Jeffrey B. Garfinkle

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Every year the military services are faced with the tremendous tasks of choosing 300,000 new recruits from among the larger number who are willing to serve, and of deciding in which specialty each of the 300,000 should be trained. This report describes a study largely concerned with determining whether there is any objective basis for enlistment standards and for matching recruits to jobs. It develops a cost/performance tradeoff model that appears to be a useful tool for setting job standards and for prescribing appropriate service-wide standards, but finds that three questions must be answered before the model can be used objectively. A key element of the model is the "qualified man-month," a single performance measure that combines attrition and job performance information. A related RAND report, Recruit Aptitudes and Army Job Performance: Setting Enlistment Standards for Infantrymen, R-2874, provides useful background to this report.

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