How One Employer Handles Its Talent Shortage

By Deb Perelman  |  Posted 2007-05-04

On May 1, the U.S. Army became the newest winner of a Webby Award—often considered the "Oscars of the Internet"—in the recruitment category.

What does this have to do with the technology workplace? The U.S. Army is no stranger to talent shortages. In the thick of a four-year war with lukewarm public reception and a high body count, there have been easier times in history recruiting the prime candidates.

Yet, its recruitment Web site doesn't tell a story of tough times or uphill battles; it tells you about strength, ethics, and belonging to something bigger and bolder than yourself. It doesn't talk about the injury statistics; it introduces you to Verdo Jackson, the Blackhawk Pilot; Jeffrey Kiki, the family practice physician; Shawn Helmstadter, a light-wheel vehicle mechanic; and Nick Anderson, the JAG corps attorney. If you think that "going Army" is all about strapping on the combat boots and having no control over when and where you'll be called into action, this Web site is a breath of fresh air and inspiration.

And it's little wonder why it won a Webby. But above and beyond the vaulted award, the U.S. Army's recruitment site stands to teach other fields with notorious talent shortages a lot: Bring the human component to the center of job seekers' attention. Home in on all the ways the workplace can adapt to fit the needs and interests of individuals. Focus on all the places that past employees have ended up.

Or, risk missing out on the best and brightest technology professionals when they Go Army instead.

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