For the first time since its inception in the 18th century, the US Army has introduced an advertising campaign to recruit officers. Overcome with young recruits – due in part to the economic downturn and the damaged job market – they have found themselves short on officers to lead them. The force has expanded by more than 50,000 troops since 2005, only 83 percent of which in 2008 held a high school diploma, coming up just short of the Army’s goal of 90 percent for the third consecutive year. So while it is meeting, and exceeding, its goal for total number of recruits, it is not finding enough men and women qualified to lead them.
The new ads do not stray far from the style of their typical recruitment efforts depicting soldiers in fatigues marching to patriotic music. But they have been altered to appeal to more ambitious and higher-educated young Americans, those who may not normally consider the Army as a positive step toward their career objectives. They have created four television commercials as the nucleus of the campaign, featuring stories of high-ranking corporate executives who began their careers as Army officers or showing pictures of notorious generals from George Washington to Colin Powell. The goal is not only to find officers for the Army now, but also to do an overall better job of marketing that position within the force. As Lt. Gen. Benjamin C. Freakley, head of the Army Accessions Command, which oversees recruiting told NY Times reporter Douglas Quenqua, “If you think about it as brand or product management, we have this product within our brand that gets no notoriety. For those who just graduated college, now is the time to become aware they can come to officer candidate school. We think the timing is right to get the notion out.”
Is your company looking to recruit new hires? While you may not have the budget to permit a national television ad campaign, there are many other less costly ways by which to find the right candidates to help build your business. The job market is beginning to heat up again, and especially the demand for entry-level employees. One way to acquire new recruits is by offering promotional products, especially if the candidate is not actively pursuing a position with your company. Promotional products can help lure people to your booth at job fairs and career shows, and help them remember your company after the event too. You could choose something of use to them at the time of the event like promotional jotters to take notes about the companies they meet or even offer bottles of water with labels customized with your company name and logo. Another idea to support your recruiting process is to offer promotional gifts as incentives for employees who bring in prospects. Browse our online selections of gifts and giveaways for some more promotional marketing ideas.
Here is one of the new Army Officership Recruiting Commercials:
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