Workforce Development Division

Recent Engagements

Comprehensive Human Capital Services for the Air Force

Since 2009, MarCom Group, Inc. has worked to supply custom human resources solutions to enable the U.S. Air Force to attract, retain, and manage a top-quality civilian workforce to meet the Air Force's critical mission requirements. Our work with the Air Force has covered a broad spectrum of services and the development of a vast array of tools and products to aid in the Human Resources mission of the Air Force Personnel Center (AFPC).

Evaluation and Research – Our engagement began with 16 focus groups with managers and incumbents at Air Force bases across the country, a series of executive interviews with managers and recruiters, and a survey of employees in highly-specialized hard to fill positions. Findings from this initial study helped to identify the key media and messages for influencing prospective employees, as well as the tools, support, and consultative services required by recruiters. In addition, our research helped uncover a variety of issues that were hampering the performance of AFPC's human resources functions and initial insights into how to address them.

Our research efforts continued with focus group testing of recruitment concepts with prospective employees. This study enabled MarCom Group to fine tune the various messages and communication tools that would ultimately be deployed on behalf of the Air Force. Further evaluation and research has been an ongoing part of this relationship.

Employment Value Proposition (EVP) – Many of the findings from the initial research study informed the crafting of an EVP for Air Force civilian employees. MarCom Group explored the pros and cons of civilian employment with the Air Force among current employees and paired these findings with primary and secondary research into the wants and needs of prospects in targeted demographics and career paths. This work led to the creation of an EVP that not only attracts prospective employees and provides them with a realistic set of expectations regarding civilian careers with the Air Force, but also serves as a reminder to management and leadership of the kind of employer that the Air Force strives to be.

Recruitment Marketing Strategy – To support the Air Force's civilian recruiting objectives, MarCom Group has recommended and implemented a variety of recruitment marketing efforts. As existing recruitment tools were limited and inconsistent, it was incumbent upon MarCom Group to develop a comprehensive strategy to present the Air Force as the major employer of civilian workers that it is. Following is a sampling of the strategies and tactics developed by MarCom Group.

MarCom Group's work on the AFCS website led to our being tasked with developing sites for the Air Force STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) program and the Air Force Research Laboratory.

Targeted Advertising/Recruitment Marketing – To drive traffic to the new website, MarCom Group designed advertising and provided media recommendations to AFCS. The theme of the initial campaign was "It's time you knew." addressing the fact that the enormous opportunity presented by AFCS had gone unrecognized for far too long. This line was replaced by "Forces. Joined." signifying the union between the civilian and military sides of the Air Force and connoting that the combined team is a force to be reckoned with.

We developed media recommendations to address the top hiring priorities for AFCS: diversity and hard-to-fill positions. The Air Force commitment to diversity also led to an additional assignment for MarCom Group that required the creation of a marketing campaign for the USAF Diversity Operations Division. Other key audiences include students and mid-career professionals in the STEM professions, security forces and medical specialties.

Flexible Event Display – While the military side of the Air Force has long maintained an impressive variety of exhibit displays, the civilian side has been severely lacking. To ensure that AFCS would attract more than its share of interested prospects, MarCom Group developed a visually-arresting, interactive, and flexible exhibit display.

The AFCS exhibit captures attention from hundreds of feet away with its soaring blue arcs, reminiscent of the contrails that inspired the Air Force Memorial and the AFCS logo. The display's free-standing elements can be combined in various ways to create 10’x10’, 20’x20’, or 30’x30’ exhibits for a variety of events, including a center stage for live presentations.

Visitors to the exhibit encounter a dazzling, two-sided holographic display featuring 3-D representations of various Air Force technology and aircraft with motion and sound effects. They also enjoy 22 interactive learning modules on five multimedia touchscreen kiosks, including one that is disabled-accessible. The kiosks allow users to take a self-guided tour through a variety of AFCS and STEM initiatives and enjoy a variety of animations, videos, and games.

The variable configuration of the exhibit allows other Air Force components—such as Active Duty, Reserve, ROTC, the US Air Force Academy, STEM, and others—to bring their individual exhibits under a common "umbrella" look, reinforcing the theme of "Forces. Joined."

Event Management Services – In addition to designing and coordinating construction of the display, MarCom Group has also been actively involved in identifying event opportunities and coordinating attendance by AFCS personnel. We secure space at events, oversee delivery, setup, and teardown of the exhibit; and work with AFCS personnel to maximize their impact at events including ROI tracking mechanisms.

Applicant Tracking System – MarCom Group also developed an Applicant Tracking System combining automated online systems with reengineered and revised business processes to allow us to track prospects as they move through the hiring process. This enables continual evaluation and improvement of our recruitment efforts.

Web-based tools – A section of the new AFCS Web site provides Air Force management and leadership with a one-stop resource for all their human capital management and hiring needs. Access to this information was identified as an area for improvement, so MarCom Group developed a Managers' Resource Center to provide information related to specific options and processes for fulfilling critical HR responsibilities in hiring and retention. The Center is updated regularly by MarCom Group Federal HR experts in consultation with Air Force HR Managers and includes such features as a Student and Recent Graduates component based on the new Pathways Program guidelines.

Additional web-based tools include a series of educational and informative videos:

Customer-Centric Service Initiative – MarCom Group HR specialists consulted with Air Force managers to identify ways to make staff more aware of the impact of HR service delivery on achieving mission critical results. Specifically, MarCom Group designed and delivered technical assistance resulting in a better understanding of "customer-centric" behaviors that will enable staff to meet the specific HR service delivery needs of AFPC.

Results – This program has met and exceeded expectations for our Air Force clients. Among the successes recognized by our client POC and shared with senior Air Force leadership are:

Contact MarCom Group to learn more.