What’s the deal with military MOS, AFSC and Rates?

Unless you have a military background or have been involved with hiring large numbers of military people, figuring out military skills is a daunting task.  The Army and Marine Corps use “MOS” groups (Military Occupational Specialty).  The Air Force separates their skills into “AFSC” groups (Air Force Specialty Codes).  Finally, the Navy calls each of its skill set groups “Rates”.

Somehow, you need to find the MOS / AFSC / Rates that are most applicable to your civilian roles. How do you do that? Here are a few ideas:

1.)     Engage a military-focused recruiting firm to help you make hires as you learn the landscape. This is will bring the fastest business impact as the top military recruiting firms have decades of experience in matching backgrounds with civilian jobs, and in some cases have patent-pending military-specific software to speed the process.

2.)     Hire a military-experienced recruiter for your team. This is best if you have a number of needs to fill, year after year, that you anticipate meeting with military. Or, hiring a virtual military-experienced recruiter via an RPO model is sometimes more cost-effective.

3.)     Go to military job fairs. Even with an expert military recruiter on your team, they will likely want to go to military job fairs for face-to-face recruiting.

4.)     Advertise in military base newspapers and/or participate in military affinity programs for employer branding. Being perceived as an employer of choice for military is a big recruiting advantage.

5.)     Go to military base events. This is likely for the most experienced recruiters, usually those with past military experience or deep military exposure.

Some firms, such as CivilianJobs.com, can assist with many pieces of the above. We find even experienced military hirers use a mix of services depending on the need and type of position(s). Seek a partner with breadth AND depth of experience.

Image courtesy anemoneprojectors