Recruiting Policy - Army Reserve Targets Strength management planning should aim to maintain Reserve formations and units at full strength in trained officers, senior and junior NCOS and members. Reserve strength management should take account of regional requirements. Supernumeraries are most acceptable in Reserve units to increase opportunities to serve and retain valuable skills. Recruiting and strength management should aim to maximise individual and collective capability and readiness. Recruits should be able to attend the recruit course and the trade training course of their choice. Within an overall Reserve national target, there should be no quotas, limits or restrictions imposed on recruiting by individual units or Reserve recruit training. Recruiting policies and achievement should be routinely monitored and reviewed. Means Unit based recruiting within local areas and communities is the key to success. Unit personnel must be involved throughout the recruit and recruit training process. Trained ADF Reserve members are the best recruiters of Reservists. Tri-service recruiting offices should be located on-campus in all major tertiary institutions in Australia in addition to unit-based recruiting. Tertiary and Trade Recruitment Schemes for the Permanent and Reserve Forces should be expanded. Regional and unit financial resources, advertising and promotion should be substantially increased, as this is where recruiting is most effective and even if the expenditure on national television advertising is reduced. A range of specific two unit local advertising formats should be approved for units and units not constrained to a single directed format or style of local advertising. Recruiting teams must be given quality manning and training. Unit teams require online access to the recruiting computer system, materials and financial resources sufficient to do the job. Unit teams should be integrated into recruit computer and processing systems to expedite processing and avoid double handling. A transfer scheme from ADF Cadets should be introduced immediately. Cadets should be encouraged to enlist in the Reserves and their prior training recognised where appropriate and credited in the recruit‟s competency log following enlistment. „Bring a mate‟ programs can be effective and should be encouraged. Particularly with the introduction of unit based recruiting. „Try before you buy‟ programs should be promoted by career advisers in schools and educational institutions. A high level of retention of applicants during the recruiting process is of the utmost importance. Processing must be expedited, streamlined and simplified. Appropriate incentives should be provided for recruiters. Recruit processing should be reduced to a maximum duration of 2 days (as was done in the 1980s). Modern industry recruitment practice should be followed. An average of 9.5 months is completely unacceptable. Applications and provision of documentation should be completed online whether from the applicant‟s computer or unit computer or by fax with only testing to be attendance based. Provisional enlistment should be routinely available in the unusual case where recruit processing is delayed beyond seven days (eg by the need for a specialist report or civil check). Use of contractors in recruiting has not been successful. It should not be retained. Apart from trained Reserve recruiters, there is a general lack of capacity to give accurate guidance to Reserve recruits about the nature and particularities of Reserve service. Whilst contract recruiting remains, performance targets for processing should be imposed by Defence on the contractor by agreement with reduced rewards for delayed recruiting. Retention standards relating to applicants are essential. Induction training should be provided by units or regionally for all recruits awaiting courses or whose processing is delayed beyond seven days. Recruits must be welcomed. Early identification of the recruits regional unit is vital. A buddy system should be introduced in all units as a normal procedure. Priorities of aptitude testing should be trainability, personality and literacy especially for non English speaking applicants. Capacity for training is much more important than English literacy. Prescribed educational standards should be abolished for general enlistment. Sponsorship of ADF units by indigenous and ethnic communities should be encouraged. Recruit training must be available to Reserve recruits at times consistent with employment constraints and study programs particularly over the summer months. Introduction of appropriate conditions of service for Reservists is essential and urgent and will promote recruiting and retention outcomes. Availability of superannuation is a routine question at information sessions. Recruiting of professionals and tradesmen should be streamlined and expedited, and handled by a specialist direct entry section within Army Personnel Agencies. General recruiting staff cannot be expected to understand specialist qualifications. Recognition of civil qualifications should be easily available without delays or bureaucratic processes. Recognition of military skills is also important as a recruiting tool. The reason why Army Reserve Apprenticeship applicants are experiencing difficulty in passing the technical aptitude score should be addressed. Any continuing culture of employer opposition to Reservists must be changed and education provided about protection legislation. Reservists should be encouraged to advise their employer that they are in the Reserve as the vast majority do now. The cost of compliance with recruiting standards of medical fitness should never have to be borne by the applicant including in regard to dental health. Summary Defence 2000 White Paper requires the ADF to sustain a brigade on extended operational deployment while maintaining a battalion group in Reserve at home for other contingences. Without reinforcement and rotation such an expectation of the ADF is not within its capability. So taking into account the relatively small Australian population and the Defence budget, the only viable financial solution to support this concept is a robust Reserve well trained and equipped. To hold this mosaic together, it is vital to address the mental attitude of many in the ARA who view Reservists as second class soldiers. If the Army Reserve is given the support and recognition it desperately needs it will soon silence these critics and the idea of “one army” or “total force” will be a reality.
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