Go, Army! Go! Virtual!
The Army has scheduled its first nationwide virtual hiring campaign June 30 to July 2 to encourage eligible Americans to consider military service. During the three-day event, Army leaders and recruiters will lead a full court press to recruit 10,000 new Soldiers to fill military vacancies in 150 different occupations.
Army National Hiring Days will be much more widespread with every recruiting battalion slated to conduct media engagements to get the word out, many incorporating Army leaders from operational units, according to Maj. Gen. Frank Muth, commander of the U.S. Army Recruiting Command, based at Ft. Knox, Kentucky.
Army National Hiring Days is an all-Army outreach effort to tap into recruiting pools across the country using virtual engagements. All Army personnel, including veterans, are being requested to inspire individuals to “be all they can be” as they explore career paths and benefits the Army has to offer.
“It’s a big deal,” said Maj. Gen. Muth. “It’s a great opportunity and we’re really excited. The Army has never done this before.”
The Army’s bid to leverage its digital space and shift its focus to virtual communications comes as Army Command has been forced to reduce its use of brick-and-mortar recruiting facilities to comply with Corona Virus guidelines and restrictions.
Before the pandemic, the command had spent about months trying to digitize efforts in reaching Generation Z youth. Building on previous work, recruiters were still able to conduct 50% to 60% of their normal production until stations reopened in late May, he said.
“The last three months have challenged America, and our Army has been part of the team working to fight this pandemic together,” said Maj. Gen. Muth. “We are adapting our recruiting efforts to the current environment to ensure we can continue to protect and support our nation in the future.”
Before the pandemic, the command had actually spent about 20 months trying to digitize efforts in reaching Generation Z youth. Building on previous work, recruiters were still able to conduct 50% to 60% of their normal production until stations reopened in late May, he said.
“We have to put force protection above mission,” Muth said in a discussion for the Association of the U.S. Army’s Noon Report series. “We have to make sure our recruiters and their families know that we care.”
The general said his command got the idea from a 2011 one-day hiring event conducted by fast-food chain McDonald’s, which was designed to boost its employment by 7% by hiring 50,000 people. While the Army cannot be compared to a fast-food chain, the general reiterated that the concept can still generate high-quality applicants.
Just before the Army’s birthday on June 14, recruiters held Operation 245, a smaller two-day virtual hiring event that had about 10,000 people commit to speaking with a recruiter, according to Maj. Gen. Muth.
The Army typically receives large numbers of applicants from the “crooked smile” — a line that stretches from Richmond, Virginia, to Phoenix and everything south of it, he said, citing the command’s ongoing focus on 22 cities, where there has been more outreach after past recruiting efforts did not perform well. Now, northern Democratic strongholds are being tapped to ensure diversity within the organization.
He notes that while his command has not seen any significant dips in recruiting due to the recent protests of racial injustice, potential recruits are reminded that the Army has zero tolerance for racism or discrimination.
By the end of this fiscal year, he expects the Army to sign between 63,000 to 66,000 new recruits. More importantly, he said, is the service’s end-strength goal of 485,000, which also accounts for retention that has been “very high” as more Soldiers decide to stay in longer amid an uncertain civilian job market.
During Army National Hiring Days, people who are interested can visit www.goarmy.com/hiringdays to see if they meet the qualifications, learn about job opportunities and associated hiring incentives, and connect with a recruiter in their area.
Army National Guard recruiters, who operate separately from USAREC, will also be participating in the total force event. “At the end of the day, it’s one Army,” he said.