Alpharetta, GA (PRWEB) November 15, 2013
For the past 4 decades, the military branches services have been constantly developing new strategies for their respective recruiting programs. Each service contracts a national advertising agency to research and study national recruiting trends in order to develop the ultimate marketing campaign to end all marketing campaigns. You remember the really effective ones like the US Army’s, “Be all you can be”, and the Marine Corp’s, “We’re looking for a few good men”. Every year, the pentagon budgets and spends millions of dollars to attract military prospects in order to assist the individual service recruiters to do just one thing, put people in boots!
These campaigns do work. The only problem is that almost 75% of all these age, citizenship & education (‘ACE’ leads) are no longer qualified prospects for military service as they were just a few years ago. Now the million dollar question: “How do we weed through the 75% of unqualified prospects to get to the 25% (mostly) qualified prospects, and do it quickly?”
Any recruiter can tell you that being on ‘mission’ (reaching ‘quota’) is more than challenging and that the pressure to prospect and process applicants is a never ending quest.
To assist recruiters on the ground, each military branch commands their respected advertising agencies to purchase bulk leads from service oriented websites or national call-in centers who minimally “qualify” a lead before passing it on to the recruiter that covers that prospect’s zip code. They then forward these leads to the commands for distribution to the field.
I recruited for the National Guard for the past 18 years and when I saw one of these “national leads” texted or e-mailed to my phone, I just rolled my eyes and followed-up with it at my convenience (sometimes never). Maybe 1 out of 15 resulted in a trip to the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS). Maybe one.
Two options to increase quality military prospects without sacrificing meeting quotas: What if veteran military recruiters, or even better, retired service recruiters answered online prospect phone calls and e-mails at these call-in centers and web sites? Military service recruiters can easily pre-screen prospects over the phone and uncover all show stopping disqualifications before they waste everyone’s time in an interview.
In the Army National Guard, for example, we were taught a screening process called APPLE-MD. This screening covered Age, Prior Service, Physical and Medical issues, Law violations, Education, Marital status, and Dependents. When pre-screening an applicant, a veteran recruiter just instinctively knows which additional follow-up questions to ask in every category to uncover the pertinent information needed.
Here’s the second option: Use the USMilitary.com APPLE-MD registration smart form for all registration lead processing. In other words, this smart form will prompt and require prospects all the necessary questions that a recruiter may ask on their initial prescreening call. Then only APPLE-MD qualified prospects will be forwarded to the selected branch recruiter.
According to Larry Fowler, Editor of USMilitary.com, “each military branch requires unique prospect profile information and that’s okay since our form is a ‘smart’ form and will prompt online prospects different questions based upon the branch that they are requesting information. Not only that, but the form will adjust as necessary whenever additional details are required, like arrests. We never disqualify anyone; we just want to pass along as much quality information to the recruiter as possible. Ultimately, saving tax payer dollars and recruiter frustrations by performing all the ‘prequalification’ tasks online.”
Better quality leads enhance the odds for a smoother and quicker enlistment process, which results in increased productivity for the recruiters. At the end of the day, these are the only beans that really count.
Written By Jim Richardson (Retired Master Sergeant, US Army)
Mr. Richardson served as a field recruiter for the National Guard for 8 years, the Virginia National Guard Recruiting & Retention headquarters as operations support NCO for two years as well as recruiting marketing director for another two years and finally served as a Senior Guidance Counselor at MEPS (Medical Entrance Processing Station) in Fort Lee.