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The Effects of Leadership Style on Recruiting

Autor:   •  February 5, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  2,815 Words (12 Pages)  •  1,029 Views

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THE EFFECTS OF LEADERSHIP STYLE ON RECRUITING

Abstract: Recruiting, in its core competency, is a sales job. Army recruiters "sell" terms of service in the Army to qualified young Americans willing to exchange a specified period of time in their lives for a benefit to be derived by service to their country. In performing this mission for the Army, recruiters are (for the most part) selected without regard for their suitableness to the task; they are selected because they excelled at their last job, be it military police, medic, clerk, or tanker. While the institutional Army puts a lot of faith in its training to modify behaviors, it is oftentimes difficult to overcome the vagaries of personality and motivation when it comes to the requisite skills of Army recruiting.

Current difficulties in military recruiting have been laid at the doorstep of our excellent economy. That is, there are a lot of competing opportunities in the marketplace today for America's quality youth, those who are medically, morally, and mentally qualified to enlist in the United States Army. A good number of analysts at USAREC headquarters are trying to figure out why those opportunities and options that have worked for us so well in the past are suddenly ineffective. While there has been a demonstrable decline in the propensity to enlist, there has also been a corresponding and keenly perceived dissatisfaction with the job of recruiting. As one veteran cadre recruiter told me, "This job used to be fun!" This same recruiter is thinking about early retirement. What is it about recruiting that has caused so many recruiters to lose heart? What can restore that heart?

While all reports demonstrate that the U.S. Army Recruiting and Retention School at Fort Jackson, S.C., does an excellent job of training new recruiters in the basic procedures and techniques of their detailed MOS, I postulate that leadership plays a critical role in providing the motivation necessary for soldiers to become excellent recruiters. Additionally, it is my contention that transformational leadership at every level, as opposed to transactional leadership, is key to the future success of the U.S. Army Recruiting Command (USAREC).

I will provide a brief description of the two leadership styles, transformational vs. transactional, and then extrapolate from recruiting research and leadership theory how one style may be more effective than the other for USAREC's leadership. Based on the definitions of the two styles and the distribution of leadership at the various layers of USAREC, I will draw conclusions about the nature of the business and why the transformational style is more effective in recruiting than transactional leadership.

The Effects of Leadership Style on Recruiting

Throughout history, there have been great military leaders such

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