U.S. Army General, James McConville, made a statement on Monday saying the service needs to find new ways of attracting, managing and diversifying their ranks – which currently consist of individuals from military families.
To start, they plan on changing the way they’re managing their current force. “We are doing a lot in talent management,” McConville said. “We are actually changing our personnel system to a talent management system.”
According to McConville, the Army currently has an industrial-age system that manages people by two variables: captain of infantry or sergeant of engineers. The Army also has three different personnel systems for National Guard, for Reserve and for the Active force, so their talent management strategies are a bit skewed.
“We recognize that and, as we go into the future, we want a system that is going to manage each person’s individual talents. Rather than you be defined by two variables, we are going to define you by 25 variables,” McConville said.
Talent management can be seen as a business strategy that is integrated within all of the workforce related processes of the organization – like attracting and retaining talented individuals. In the Army’s case, talent management systems can identify and manage each recruiters skills and capabilities, and help them by creating an effective succession plan that makes sure individuals are properly trained and ready to assume the next position in their career path.
Right now, 79 percent of people that come into the Army have a family member that served in the military, according to McConville. They want to revolutionize this by exposing the Army to more people and in a more influential way. “We don’t want to become isolated. I think it is very, very important that we represent the total diversity of the United States of America,” McConville added.
He stressed that “only 29 percent of American youth are qualified to come into the military” because they fail to meet certain physical, mental and moral standards required for service. Not only that, but the Army has other service competitors they have to beat in order to gain more recruits, like the Navy or Airforce.
“We need to expose the Army more to people. There is a reason why kids of military officers and NCOs go into the Army, because they know it,” McConville said. “I grew up in Boston. There was very little military around. We had a few kids in the neighborhood go in the service, mainly because their dads were enlisted during the Korean War or during World War II so we are trying to open up the aperture,” he said. “We don’t want to be a family business or a military business because we want to give everyone the opportunity to serve.”
Read his full statement here.
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