Army Getting Creative With Recruiting; New Report Examines Reserve Call-ups

By Staff Report

May. 17, 2005

With the Army failing to meet its recruiting goals, U.S. Army Secretary Francis Harvey says, “I’ve challenged our human resources people to get as innovative as they can.”

With that, the Army is aiming its new ads more at parents than potential soldiers, according to the Army Times. One spot shows a son trying to convince his dad that the Army is a good idea, saying, “I’m going to be part of something that’s important.” Another, in Spanish, shows a young man telling his father, “With the training and experience I get, this is going to change my life.” The ads are running on major networks and smaller channels such as the Food Network.

The Army is also suspending its recruiting efforts May 20 to train recruiters in which tactics are–or are not–appropriate to entice young men and women to join the military. The action comes after reports of recruiting abuses, including the enlistment of a mentally ill man, and reports of a recruiter instructing a student in how to fake a high school diploma.

Meanwhile, according to the Classified Intelligence Report, “CareerBuilder has seen a 40 percent jump in military postings since the first of the year” and the Army will spend about $17.8 million this year on online recruiting.

The reserves
Meanwhile, on the reservist front, the Congressional Budget Office last week released a report discussing the effect that the call-ups of reserves have had on businesses.

The evidence at this point is very limited, partly because only a small minority of businesses employ reserves, and there is little data on how many reserves have highly specialized skills or who are key employees. The CBO relied on a limited set of interviews with employers who employ reservists.

The CBO found that smaller employers are more affected than large ones by reserve call-ups, and that some very small businesses actually shut down during the mobilizations. The adjustment was more difficult when companies received little warning–sometimes less than three days’ notice–that an employee was being called up.

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