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On Recruiting: A Multivariate Analysis of Marine Corps Recruiters and the Market

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Technical Report

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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Changes to recruiting capacity have strategic implications, as the consequences affect national security. Maintaining the correct number and quality of recruiters is paramount. Persistent low unemployment rates and low populations of military-age youth eligible or willing to serve combine as an existential threat to All-Volunteer Force AVF recruiting for the United States Marine Corps USMC. The USMC should anticipate an increasingly difficult recruiting environment through the 2020s. This thesis analyzes the recruiting environment with a focus on the saturation of the market of potential enlistees and recruiters from 2007 to 2017. The data are comprised of 344,469 enlistments in 132 recruiter months and 528 recruiting station years. Three recommendations result from this study. The quantitative recommendation developed in this thesis is to add approximately three missioned canvassing recruiters per Recruiting Station, or 144 total, where the marginal cost of the 1,400 potentially gained contracts is the most economical manpower solution to increase high-quality contracting. The analysis reveals a quantitative and qualitative information gap and drives the second recommendation of creating an assessment tool. This tool affords leaders in the Fleet the ability to identify and flag Marines who display innate sales skills attributes via the recommended Marine On-Line MOL Recruiter Referral R2. The third qualitative and low-cost recommendation is to add enriched as a recruiting duty description across the force. Enriched is a proactive description of the job of a recruiter and should expand the dialogue of recruiting duty as personally and professionally enhancing. This slight change in wording may reinvigorate self-selected and intrinsically motivated recruiting duty volunteers.

Subject Categories:

  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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