Chapter 3: Expanding as RecruitMilitary
Growing the newly-formed RecruitMilitary into a military veteran recruiting force required hiring lots of new employees. Among them was Larry Slagel. Drew and Larry met while serving in the Marine Corps when both were assigned to Recruiting Station (RS) Cincinnati. Larry handled the officer recruiting mission, while Drew, as the Executive Officer of the recruiting company, directed the large enlisted recruiting mission.
Drew brought Larry onboard to managing the growing recruiting team, and things were taking off. Larry recalled, “It was a small operation at first. We sat side by side all day and talked to candidates and employers. We had to unplug the phone to fax information to clients, and then plug it back in to talk to more candidates. But together with a handful of other employees, we rapidly took the company to another level.”
Expanding with Job Boards
A common lament from potential clients soon became the impetus for new products. “Our sales team cold called and pitched to thousands of companies about the value of hiring veterans, but were frequently told, ‘We’d love to hire vets, but we don’t want to pay recruiting fees.’ I never wanted price to be an obstacle that got in the way of hiring a veteran, and that complaint greatly frustrated me,” said Drew. “I also wanted to find an economical way for companies to hire veterans who didn’t have college degrees.”
“Contingency recruiting is great when the economy is good, because companies have money to spend on hiring. During recessions and leaner times, companies don’t want to pay big fees to hire people, but there is still hiring going on,” said Larry. RecruitMilitary needed a way to attract veteran candidates and sell additional products to capture those opportunities.
At that time, the military-to-civilian recruitment industry consisted of contingency recruiters, like RecruitMilitary, and online job boards. The contingency industry tended to focus on finding jobs for JMO’s, the candidates most likely to generate large placement fees. However, JMO’s comprised less than ten percent of the average transition populace during a given year. Online job boards, on the other hand, were open to candidates of all ranks. They welcomed clients in any industry, and their candidate databases were open to people with all kinds of backgrounds.
The company formed four branch-specific job boards that would exploit military branch loyalty and attract candidates and employers with close affinities to the various branches:
These job boards also undercut the competition with free job postings for 60 days, a perk not offered by any leaders in the space. And while many competitors offered unlimited database access for up to $12,500 per user per year, RecruitMilitary offered access to a branch-specific database for $7,500. The company also offered a pay-per-use subscription and launched customized micro-sites in 2002. ecruitMilitary also became the first to offer a recruiter-assisted search (RAS) in the military-to-civilian market.
Drew turned to John Pacchetti, a Navy veteran who founded a military-to-civilian job board called MilitaryHeadhunter.com to usher in these changes. RecruitMilitary soon purchased MilitaryHeadhunter.com, and Pacchetti became RecruitMilitary’s Chief Information Officer. RecruitMilitary also expanded its contingency-recruiting candidate base by accepting candidates of all ranks.
“When I came up with the ideas for the job board and its associated product line, it was all so more veterans could be hired. By eliminating the objection of paying recruiting fees by introducing lower priced products and services, we hoped more companies would come on board,” Drew said.