Wednesday, November 10, 2021

The labor market that is the United States Marine Corps

 Armed forces around the world have some unique labor force problems, since by and large they do no lateral hiring...every senior officer was once a junior officer. (Doctors and lawyers are exceptions in the U.S. services--they can enter at a high rank without having spent years learning when and whom to salute...)  As we start to think about other specialties (e.g. cyber warriors, economic warriors), lateral hiring may become more important.  

A related problem faced by armed forces is retention: if all senior personnel have to be brought up through the system, it's especially costly to lose a (therefore) hard to replace, expensively trained operator.  Intelligent matching of people to positions is important for retention, particularly as they become more senior and have no further military service obligation (i.e. as their private sector opportunities become more salient).

The US Marines are thinking about this, and here's a recent report:

Talent Management 2030 November 2021, Department of the Navy, United States Marine Corps

Here are some highlighted snippets:

"The  core  objectives  of  all  modern  personnel  management  systems  are  to  recruit  individuals  with  the  right  talents,  match  those  talents  to  organizational  needs,  and  incentivize  the  most  talented and high performing individuals to remain with the organization"

"Our modern operational concepts and organizations cannot reach their full warfighting potential without a talent management system that recruits, develops, and retains the right Marines."

"Matching talents to duties maximizes performance."

"Incentives power the system."

"In this current era of heightened global competition, the Marine Corps requires a vehicle for rapidly recruiting mature, seasoned experts. We can no longer afford the cost in time – measured in years, and sometimes decades – to train and educate all our technical leaders, particularly given the extraordinary pace of technological change."

"We should have an open door for exceptionally talented Americans who wish to join the Marine Corps, allowing them to laterally enter at a rank appropriate to their education, experience, and ability."

"For Marines, a talent marketplace will increase available information about billet openings, improve transparency, and provide individuals with far greater influence over their future assignments."

"A talent management system relies on incentives, not coercion. While the needs of the Marine Corps are always paramount, we cannot afford to push the most talented young officers out the door after investing years in their leadership development, education, and training. "


Earlier (including some obstacles to implementing effective talent marketplaces):

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

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