For personal reasons, I stopped in at our town’s Armed Forces recruiting station: No, at 46 years old – despite the fact that the age limit has been raised to 40 – I do not have a future in the military. But I do have strong connection to the military despite my democratic party roots (hey, we’re all flawed, right?). But there was something about the Corporal’s “style” made me think that something special was about to take place.
After quickly dispensing with the real reason for my visit, we began to talk about recruiting – Strategic Planning, Organizational Impact, Processes, Metrics, and Systems. I showed the Cpl. the ERE site and it quickly crystallized in his mind that this was a good place to be. He wanted to know what recruiting was like on the outside – in his early 20’s, he was practically a veteran after four years of service, and had no direct connection to life as a “highly” compensated recruiter. I spoke to him about what we do and how we do it. I could see the wheels turning and leaned forward to catch every word.
What I found was that he works like any great end-to-end recruiter but the “product” he sells is far different than any you have EVER sold. He has targets to hit and metrics that define his success. He uses an ATS that rivals those by the companies we know. He embraces CRM and knows that sometimes 100 plus calls each day are needed to develop relationships ? as are 14 hour days, six days a week. He is out in the community with a smile on his face and unwavering belief that what he is offering is something that not everyone can appreciate. He attends career fairs where some days he leaves with nary a name. He has outside-the-box ideas that more often than not do not pass muster at the highest level.
If you truly believe that the jobs you’re recruiting for are unique and challenging, think about being in his shoes for a day. In fact, I urge you – regardless of your political proclivity – to take a walk down to your local Armed Forces recruiting and talk to the recruiters about recruiting on the outside. Let them know that when their tour is over to look you up (did you know that those honorably leaving the military receive relocation to anywhere in the country for up to one year after discharge?); talk to them about recruiting for a corporation or as a TPR. Ask then if they would mind if you stayed in touch and if so, let them know that they should feel free to bounce ideas off you.
Tell them about the ERE and show them how to sign-up. When they join, introduce them to your network. In the end, it shouldn’t really matter whether you’re for or against the military.
Remember, they’re recruiters just like us…