Air Force leverages big data for better face-to-face recruiting

The Air Force plans to hire 1,400 cyber and 2,000 acquisition personnel over the next year.  To do that, it’s taking a fresh approach to how it recruits.

Jeff Mayo, the deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for force management integration, said filling the open billets is a high priority.

“The really compelling thing in this market is the government has always been challenged with being able to pay and incentivize at the pure paycheck level with industry, but there’s a lot of benefits for Air Force civilians on the non-tangible,” said Air Force Deputy Chief Information Officer Bill Marion, who joined Mayo during an interview on the Human Capital Management Insights show. “Whether it’s health, vacation, whatever the case … what really sells it is when we have the mission flavor and the mission focus that we can deliver.”

Marion said part of that is showing potential recruits how cyber jobs support flight-ops or how cyber-ops are critical to defeating ISIS. They even talk with potential recruits about the kinds of projects that he or she might become involved in.

“That’s really what’s going to bring them in … not necessarily the paycheck per se, it’s all the other value and service that they can provide to the United States,” said Marion. 

He said they aren’t waiting for the talent to come find them.

“I think the key is we’re sending people out to where the talent resides, whether it’s colleges, universities, other communities where there’s a technical base that they can reach out to,” said Mayo.

“We’ve got a cell down at our personnel center in San Antonio that reaches out to engineers, program managers, contractors,” he said. “Our primary mechanism for reaching civilians is USAjobs, but what we try to do is reach out to them and help make those connections with that.”

One area where they’ve had success on the acquisition side is job fairs and hiring events. Mayo said they want to pattern…

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