Attrition: Volunteer Recruiters Deliver


March 21, 2007: The U.S. Army has had continued success with the Army Referral Bonus program, so it is being expanded once more. Now, civilians working for the army can collect a $2,000 bonus if they bring in a new recruit (whosuccessfully completes basic and advanced training.) Under the original program, which began in January, 2006, active and reserve soldiers could earn a $1,000 bonus for bringing in new recruits. That was increased to $2,000 last Fall, and retired soldiers were eligible to make referrals.

Existing soldiers have long been a primary source of new recruits, and this became an even more productive source once the bonus became available. In effect, the troops were now willing to go the extra mile with friends and acquaintances they knew were interested, but needed additional information or encouragement before they were ready to sign up.The volunteer recruiters get $1,000 when their candidate enters basic training, and the other $1,000 when the soldier finishes their advanced training (usually within a year of entering the army).

In 2006, 24,472 referrals were made, which resulted in 3,378 recruits (joining active duty or reserve service). That's about two percent of all recruits last year. The cost of the bonus is much less than what it costs to get recruits using traditional methods (advertising and more recruiters.)


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