Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas —
COVID-19 has changed the world and placed unforeseen obstacles in the way business is conducted. Job searchers are seeking stability in an unstable workforce while talent acquisition consultants face new challenges.
The Air Force Civilian Service has also adapted to this new environment and in ways different than others. While some companies and organizations are navigating layoffs, reassigning workloads, and downsizing, AFCS is hiring.
“Our TA consultants are as vital as ever as they work to fill open positions,” said Mike Brosnan, AFCS Talent Acquisition division chief. “While there have been unforeseen challenges we’ve created a seamless recruiting experience for hiring managers to use and for job seekers to explore their next opportunity.”
Moving Online & Going Live
Virtual recruiting has become AFCS’s go-to method to keep hiring systems moving forward while protecting the health of recruiters and candidates, while also saving money.
“We’ve moved our in-person, brick-and-mortar recruitment events, which cost anywhere from $85,000 to $165,000, to the digital realm,” said Jesse I. Diaz, marketing and branding. “Each event is targeted toward different occupations, hosted by different bases, and allows attendees to have one-on-one conversations with TA consultants, similar to what their experience would be at an in-person career fair.”
AFCS is using a new method of hiring called Digital Hiring Projects that exists solely in the digital space and includes initiatives like Live Q&A chats on Facebook. These options provide candidates a number of advantages including real-time discussion with a TA consultant, the ability to set reminders, invite friends through a link, and the ease of tuning in with personal devices.
In addition to providing job candidates a productive experience, digital hiring events are approximately 1/10th the cost of traditional in-person events and are promoted using AFCS’s existing social media platforms. The costs savings has enabled AFCS to conduct more digital events where candidates submit their resumes directly to the hiring authority–several per month, if needed–instead of one or two third-party vendor hosted virtual events per year.
“We’ve been promoting job openings across Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, keeping our job opportunities at the forefront for those following our pages, and making posts shareable with just a click of a button. To kickoff 2021, our job opportunities are now accessible on the AFCS website under the ‘Find a Job’ heading and visible in one place,” Diaz said. “The Department of the Air Force also offers qualified applicants opportunities to be hired for certain occupations covered by direct hire authorities. The use of DHA is a method of hiring applicants from the general public who have no prior federal service employment so we can help fill critical hiring needs.”
The Benefits of Digital
Although AFCS has had a digital presence for a while, transitioning the recruitment efforts to the digital space has tremendous promise for attracting enthusiastic candidates to serve the Air Force and Space Force in many different career specialties, Brosnan added.
These digital events spark interest from thousands of possible candidates and have high participation from diverse audiences. Accessibility and visibility have increased ways to connect through social media, Zoom, and Webex. Engagement has also increased across AFCS’s social media platforms and email campaigns have attracted a larger target audience.
“These digital projects and hiring event collaborations with organizations, such as Air Force Materiel Command, US Cyber Command, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Space and Missile Center, and 16th Air Force have produced successes in our recruitment efforts, benchmarks and overall growth,” Brosnan said. “We’ve taken these challenges from COVID and turned them into opportunities to be agile, innovative, and responsive…continuing to fuel the fight.”