RAND: Online Tools Can Boost Recruiting

RAND: Online Tools Can Boost Recruiting

Photo by: U.S. Army

As the Army pushes ahead with new and different ways to recruit and grow the force, the service should capitalize on analytics, artificial intelligence and online tools to better reach prospective soldiers, according to a new report from the RAND Corp.

The report, “Leveraging Big Data Analytics to Improve Military Recruiting,” also found that recruiters want more-modern systems, including customized one-on-one messaging, to better do their jobs.

The Army has struggled with recruiting in recent years as the unemployment rate has declined along with the number of young people who are qualified and interested in serving. The Army missed its recruiting goals in 2018 but bounced back in 2019 after a series of changes that included adding more recruiters and a new, updated marketing campaign.

RAND found that “the availability of big data, advancement in AI, development of expansive information technology (IT) infrastructure, and increased computing power can be leveraged to transform outreach and prospective recruit management strategies.” 

This includes using that information to develop strategic recruiting plans and messaging strategies and pinpoint outreach locations, all with the goal of helping recruiters achieve their mission.

U.S. Army Recruiting Command already uses analytics to inform its activities and priorities with the goal of producing qualified and high-quality recruits, but recruiters reported lacking the advanced tools needed to maximize success. 

The Army also uses analytics to choose marketing venues—for example, a particular school or competition, or the Super Bowl versus a baseball game—and plan recruiting activities and identify priorities.

RAND also found the Army and the other services want to make greater use of cloud technology to store and share information, including between components. “The more information that the services can collect and use, the better they are able to use data analytics to develop more targeted and tailored outreach and recruiting strategies,” according to the report.

Read the full report here

For the latest on the Army’s recruiting efforts, the Association of the U.S. Army’s Institute of Land Warfare will host an Army Accessions Forum on Nov. 6. For details, click here.