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Case
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Reference no. HKS1009.0
Published by: Harvard Kennedy School
Published in: 1990

Abstract

With the advent of the all-volunteer force, the US Army recruiters found themselves in a job very much akin to that of a salesman. Recruiters face demanding quotas and must "close the sale" when those with a serious interest in joining arrive at a Military Entrance Processing Station. This case examines the role that the army on-line REQUEST (Recruit Quota System) computer has played in changing the nature of recruitment. A national on-line system, REQUEST allows army "guidance counselors" to play videodisc descriptions of potential in-service occupations. More significantly, it allows counselors to fill specific openings in specific occupations in specific locations-much like an airline reservations clerk. The case links the design of REQUEST to the changed nature of military recruitment in the all-volunteer era.

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Abstract

With the advent of the all-volunteer force, the US Army recruiters found themselves in a job very much akin to that of a salesman. Recruiters face demanding quotas and must "close the sale" when those with a serious interest in joining arrive at a Military Entrance Processing Station. This case examines the role that the army on-line REQUEST (Recruit Quota System) computer has played in changing the nature of recruitment. A national on-line system, REQUEST allows army "guidance counselors" to play videodisc descriptions of potential in-service occupations. More significantly, it allows counselors to fill specific openings in specific occupations in specific locations-much like an airline reservations clerk. The case links the design of REQUEST to the changed nature of military recruitment in the all-volunteer era.

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