Everyone Is a Recruiter

BALTIMORE, Md. (Dec. 10, 2016) Rear Adm. Jeffrey W. Hughes, Commander, Navy Recruiting Command, swears in 20 Future Sailors from Navy Recruiting District Philadelphia into the Navy during the Army Navy college football game. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Felicito Rustique Jr. (Released) If you had asked me about recruiting several years ago, I would have said that it’s obviously effective and made some casual comments about “them” (recruiters) succeeding in attracting the best and brightest to serve in the Navy. I recognized that it was an important mission, but, in my mind, it just happened. I didn’t think about or appreciate the people, processes, resources and dedication that it took to compete for talent and source the fleet. Operations Specialist 1st Class Ian Roberts, assigned to Navy Recruiting Station Poway, speaks with an applicant about opportunities and benefits of joining the Navy. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Anastasia Puscian/Released) Now that I’ve been the commander of Navy Recruiting Command for almost two years, I have a much different perspective. Previous assumptions and a recognized lack of awareness are now facts, and I want to share with you the realities of the Navy Recruiting mission and tell you about the phenomenal recruiters and support staff that make it happen.

Navy recruiters go out into communities across the country and even abroad, get to know the people, then actively seek out the very finest our country has to offer to inform them, influence them, inspire them and ultimately hire them to serve in our Navy.

Many of us are asked to engage in outreach events from time to time. We explain the greatness of our Navy, proudly describe the contribution we make for the nation and share our Navy experiences. As we finish the engagement, we feel pretty good about ourselves and get back to our jobs. Navy Recruiters are always doing outreach, each and every day. The big difference is that they have to routinely affect monumental outcomes, closing life-changing deals for thousands of future Sailors. They are the face of the Navy. BATON ROUGE, La. (Nov. 3, 2016) Petty Officer Second Class Ernest Sanchez, a recruiter at Naval Recruiting District New Orleans, answers questions at an information booth setup during Baton Rouge Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Grant P. Ammon/Released) Navy recruiters work autonomously in remote territories and highly concentrated urban areas, prospecting for new recruits and then guiding them through the process to successfully deliver them to the fleet. They each have hard objective goals – yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly, even daily. Rarely do any of us at the individual level in the Navy have to consistently meet a measurable goal like this. We place a great deal of responsibility and accountability on our recruiters – and they deliver.

While recruiting can be exhilarating, ask any of them about their first contract, it can also be uncomfortable, lonely and demanding. While they are out in their communities, maintaining and […]