The on-going inane battle between corporate (in-house) and third party (out-house) recruiters continues on the ERE, various yahoo groups, and even on calls I make (from a TPR who went “dark side” and is wondering what they can do to smooth the transition). This argument is a big crock of…
All this energy is misplaced; grey matter is being wasted; we’re missing the chance to use our collective intelligence on far more important issues. Yes, I’ll start explaining.
My friend Gerry Crispin has time and again given the Army’s website the only five-star listing among career websites – and I wholeheartedly agree. You think your workload is tough? Try being an Army or Marine recruiter (not to slight Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard recruiters but recruiting for ground fighters is just a notch above in difficulty; and to those wondering, no, I have never been a soldier – want to be one – but I have been a COI for several years). “Why yes, Ma’am, your son/daughter will most likely see combat and the bullets will be real. Yes Sir, the casualty figures are real as are the number of soldiers who return from war disabled.” And you’re complaining about your open workload of 42 positions…or HR managers who don’t return your calls. Please.
So here we have our country spending BILLIONS on soldiers, equipment and warfare to put out the best fighting force ever (sure it’s debatable but not here; and for the record, I’m against the conflagration in Iraq but will do anything possible to support those fighting) and how do we repay those who come back missing arms, legs, and significant parts of their sanity?
Behind the door of Army Spec. Jeremy Duncan’s room, part of the wall is torn and hangs in the air, weighted down with black mold. When the wounded combat engineer stands in his shower and looks up, he can see the bathtub on the floor above through a rotted hole. The entire building, constructed between the world wars, often smells like greasy carry-out. Signs of neglect are everywhere: mouse droppings, belly-up cockroaches, stained carpets, cheap mattresses.
This is the world of Building 18, not the kind of place where Duncan expected to recover when he was evacuated to Walter Reed Army Medical Center from Iraq last February with a broken neck and a shredded left ear, nearly dead from blood loss. But the old lodge, just outside the gates of the hospital and five miles up the road from the White House, has housed hundreds of maimed soldiers recuperating from injuries suffered in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It was only after Dana Priest and Anne Hull wrote this story in the Washington Post on February 17 that the DoD took notice and began to make changes. Priest noted that, “the Army said they were unprepared for the large numbers but that’s been four years now.”
“When we came to them with these problems, they laid out a number of improvements that they had made, including hiring more staff, to bring down the case manager-to-patient or -outpatient ratio, and those sorts of things.”
“I think they need more training. The soldiers complained often, and this was very surprising, about being rudely treated by people at Walter Reed, obviously not everybody. There are a lot of people who care up there and work very hard. But often they got treated, they thought, in a not very compassionate way.”
It’s all rosy when we recruit but once a person becomes staff they are more frequently treated in a substantially different way. Your employment brand is more than what recruiters do – and I’m talking in-house and out-house recruiters. Yet as a profession we talk about brand as if it’s something that is owned solely by recruiters yet most organizations don’t give recruiting sufficient resources and span of control to do something about it.
Bottom line: Any recruiter who doesn’t at least attempt to ameliorate less than ideal working conditions after hiring a person should be ashamed of themselves.