Army launches new training program for talent acquisition technicians

By Christopher Hurd, Army News ServiceMay 21, 2024

U.S. Army Talent Acquisition Specialist (420T) candidates completed the first phase of their initial training program at the Adjutant General School on  Fort Jackson, South Carolina. They are accompanied by Chief Warrant Officer 5 Chad Bowen, chief warrant officer of the Adjutant General Corps.
U.S. Army Talent Acquisition Specialist (420T) candidates completed the first phase of their initial training program at the Adjutant General School on Fort Jackson, South Carolina. They are accompanied by Chief Warrant Officer 5 Chad Bowen, chief warrant officer of the Adjutant General Corps. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army courtesy photo) VIEW ORIGINAL

WASHINGTON — The Army’s recruiting transformation is underway as the first group of warrant officers are currently going through the talent acquisition technician training course.

Once they graduate, these Soldiers will provide the Army with a voluntary group of permanent and skilled talent acquisition technicians.

"We see this as a major shift in transforming our future recruiting force by selecting Soldiers that want to do this," said Col. Christine Rice, officer in charge of the Army’s workforce redesign initiative. "If we have a force made up of permanent recruiters, we can focus on training them to the next level to be able to accomplish their duties.”

The class of 25 warrant officers finished the first two weeks of fundamental data analytics training last week at the Adjutant General School on Fort Jackson, South Carolina. They are now at the Recruiting and Retention College at Fort Knox, Kentucky for eight weeks of technical training. There, they’ll learn about recruiting operations, marketing, public affairs and how to use data analytics for recruiting.

Army senior leaders decided to create this new career field, along with an enlisted talent acquisition specialist MOS, when they announced changes to the recruiting enterprise last fall.

Since that time, a team from the U.S. Army Recruiting Command, the Adjutant General School and the Recruiting and Retention College have been working with industry and academic partners to create this unique course.

“It’s been a tremendous undertaking for those training and education developers,” said Zenon Zacharyj, chief of faculty and staff at the Recruiting and Retention College. “It’s [been] a lot of work and a lot of passion. We’ve got an amazing team.”

They built a training program across two locations with over 75 lessons from scratch in just a few months.

The course teaches students how to leverage technology, social media, artificial intelligence and other tools to connect with potential recruits. The first class is scheduled to graduate in July.

These new talent acquisition technicians will go on to various recruiting units to serve as mentors, trainers and technical experts.

"I'm proud of what everybody has done to this point and I'm very honored because the [Army’s] senior leaders have placed this trust into our warrant officers,” said Chief Warrant Officer 5 Chad Bowen, chief warrant officer of the Adjutant General Corps. “A warrant officer in the Army is someone who is specifically trained to perform at the next level and this course is going to help develop that.”

The next two groups of Soldiers to attend the training will follow a slightly different path. They are noncommissioned officers who must first attend warrant officer candidate school before going to the Adjutant General School for four weeks. It will take these Soldiers 17 weeks before they are fully trained talent acquisition technicians.

After the first three classes, developers will analyze feedback and adjust the curriculum.

“[These Soldiers] have a wide range of experience that’s going to be able to provide feedback from different perspectives,” Bowen said. “The skills they gained from previous technical aspects are going to bring huge value to this [course].”

The Army selected these Soldiers based on past performance and attributes they displayed that best fit the talent acquisition career field. The process is like the one used for special forces and was designed through a partnership with the recruiting command, the Army Research Institute and the Office of the Command Psychologist.

The enlisted talent acquisition specialist course is still being developed and the team plans to use what they learned from this course to help shape that curriculum.

These new talent acquisition technicians and specialists will gradually integrate into the recruiting enterprise over the next several years as the Army builds a permanent and specialized talent acquisition workforce.

“We need to empower our leaders with the access and time on the job they need to make an enduring impact,” said Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth.

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