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Recruiter Journal
Jeremy Mc
Fresno Battalion Conducts Prospecting Best
Practice Research

By Jeremy McMullen
USAREC, Fresno Battalion ESS
Apr. 05, 2016

U.S. Army Recruiting Command identifies prospecting as a critical first step in recruiting.

Since Fresno Battalion hasn't made its Reserve mission since 2012, I decided to write my dissertation for my doctorate in education on this topic in an effort to provide valuable information to our recruiters concerning prospecting.

In January, I organized a panel of 19 expert Army recruiters to gather information about tried and true best practices on prospecting. Expert panel members were senior noncommissioned officers, force sustainment 79R MOS, who had advanced training and more than five years of recruiting experience. They identified the following best practices for securing an Army interview.

  • Ask open-ended, fact-finding questions. This stimulates conversation helping recruiters understand prospects, producing mutually beneficial ideas. Asking questions can get you better results than telling the prospect the right answers.

  • Identify the prospects goals, needs, and interests. Asking the right questions leads to understanding goals, needs, and interests. Stimulating conversation can produce mutually beneficial ideas and possibilities to the prospect and recruiter.

  • Empathetic listening. Recruiters need to understand what the applicant is communicating in order to address their particular needs and questions. This increases the chances of getting applicants to agree to an appointment.

  • Building rapport. Rapport begins and ends the conversation. In order to have empathy, you need understanding. In order to understand, you have to actively listen. Rapport is associated with emotional intelligence. It requires social awareness and relationship management. Developing rapport is the third most fundamental aspect of prospecting.

  • Engendering a commitment - My research found recruiters close more often if they understand the subject and ask the right closing questions and understand how to analyze the applicant. There are many methods of closing, which should be uniquely adapted to each situation. If recruiters ask open-ended, fact-finding questions and understand their prospects, more sales opportunities will materialize because of heightened empathy, trust, and rapport.


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