The U.S. military is facing an unprecedented recruiting shortfall. During the 2023 fiscal year, all military services combined missed their goals for recruiting by 41,000 personnel, with only the Marine Corps and Space Force hitting their targets for new recruits. To address this crisis, innovation is needed to reach and connect with this generation of young Americans. One answer may lie in a next-generation recruiting communication platform that’s proven its value in college sports.

Due to its impact on end strength and force readiness and capability, senior leaders have called the recruiting crisis a national security threat.

In 2022, the Army aimed to bring in 60,000 recruits but only managed 45,000. This 25 percent deficit was “the worst miss on record for the service since the U.S. military became an all-volunteer force nearly 50 years ago,” according to American Military News.

Then in 2023, the Army fell almost 10,000 soldiers short of its 65,000 target. The Air Force only made it to approximately 90% of its aim and came in 30 percent below its projections for the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard. Similarly, the Navy was 7,400 below its enlisted sailor goal and missed all its other recruiting targets.

With several factors driving the recruiting crisis, there are some ways recruiters can become more efficient and effective immediately. One of these is using the latest technology to streamline how they reach, engage, and communicate with prospective recruits.

Over the past few years, attracting talent in college sports has become more competitive than ever.

“If you’re not successfully communicating and building connections in a timely manner, all your other selling points are minimized,” said Matt Dudek, who amassed 18 years of experience recruiting for football programs before joining Teamworks. “You need a system that helps you reach more people in less time and advance relationships quicker.”

Enter Teamworks Recruiting, a consolidated and flexible solution to help recruiting staff efficiently identify and evaluate more prospects and effectively build relationships with the right individuals.

In 2022, college athletic programs that implemented Teamworks Recruiting had 22 of the top 25 recruiting classes. Proof that connecting with young individuals in a meaningful way, on their terms, is both possible and critical to success.

Recruiters can deliver timely, visually captivating, and personalized text messages to recruits at scale. Any recruiter will tell you that the more frequent the touchpoints, the greater the likelihood of signing that recruit.

Dudek noted, “It’s never about the initial contact but what you might learn after 20 interactions. When you gather this information, organize it, and use it for context in how you communicate going forward, you can get to the important things sooner.”

With a complete contact history in front of them, a recruiter can help individuals identify specific career paths and provide more in-depth guidance on what’s required in each. Mapping out a recruit’s future makes it all the more tangible.

The content management feature in the technology enables the military to consolidate all of its potent digital assets in one place. A recruiter can easily access these from their computer or mobile device and distribute them to individual recruits, pools, or as part of a broader campaign to their entire pipeline.

Much like college sports staff do when promoting campus amenities, a military recruiter can include content that showcases a human performance center, new dining facility, or the attractive surroundings of locations like Fort Carson, Colorado or Coronado Island, California. This makes it easier for a recruit to visualize where they will be training, living, and serving.

Another page military recruiters could take from the college sports playbook is varying the voices candidates hear so they don’t tune out their main point of contact. For example, those aiming to become Green Berets could receive a message from a current or former operator. Communications could also come from a commanding officer, including tailored videos and other content that further increase their effectiveness.

“At one program, I was sending out regular, personalized messages from 22 different coaches, without them having to do anything,” Dudek said.

The ability to launch wide-reaching campaigns that are also highly personalized and enriched with captivating content increases the chance of success with each individual. When repeated consistently and at scale, military recruiters are better equipped to meet their targets.

To learn how Teamworks can elevate your recruiting efforts, contact us today.