Contemporary issues in compensation with respect to recruiting and retention: questions and opportunities for the U.S. military
Trainor, Braden T.
Kim, David S.
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We examined relevant literature on military compensation, recruitment, and retention to explore how best the Department of Defense (DOD) could improve its talent management. How can we provide qualified personnel for the world's leading military when we are faced with the need for a U.S. military force capable of meeting the complex assignments and challenges of the future? Findings include that (1) the DOD needs proactive conversations regarding compensation that feature military members, (2) the DOD may consider including pay incentives and compensation as a force-shaping tool to recruit more experienced enlistees and those with specialized training, as well as successfully competing with the private sector, and (3) overall, the DOD could rethink its definition of the ideal soldier to meet tomorrow's potential military needs. The literature, including articles based on personnel economics, also revealed the need to craft more long-term military leaders and highlighted nine main areas in which to potentially do so. Theses main areas are: using compensation as a tool to retain the best qualified personnel, adjusting the pyramid structure to include more long-term leaders, increasing attention and resources toward retention, considering the X-factor, paying careful attention to military families, avoiding service member over-generalization, compensating job design, implementing qualitative measures of effectiveness, and training leaders toward diplomatic aplomb.
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