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Recruit and Train or Pay Bonuses and Retain?

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Recruit and Train or Pay Bonuses and Retain?

Old 6th Apr 2019, 15:34
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Recruit and Train or Pay Bonuses and Retain?

Seems the USAF has a dilemma on its hands....as do the other services with aviation units.

How should the Military attempt to resolve the issue of adequate manning of forces?


https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_r...nVjccA4ZLYuKrE
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Old 6th Apr 2019, 16:57
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From an economic perspective I think this is a battle that military aviation cannot win. Its not just about pilots...as rewards (not just financial) of an easy civilian life grow, it becomes ever harder to recruit for risks and hardships of military life. Even the Romans has problems with this and many see it as one of the deciding factors in the decline of their empire. Looking specifically at pilots, as I understand it, the commercial market for "drivers, airframe" is looking ever more healthy and long term the military will be hard-pressed to keep up.

I'm not actually sure a strategic plan is needed anyway. In thirty years time the vast majority of airborne weapons platforms won't have a pilot in them, so just keep sticking plasters on the problem until technology removes it.
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Old 6th Apr 2019, 19:50
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In principle you may be right-except that one of the most pressing current difficulties is crewing said remotely piloted aircraft
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Old 6th Apr 2019, 20:05
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I agree, for the UK military this is not about money. It is about having a quarter that is not mouldy, having a Mess with hot water, not having to go to other Messes for “combined messing”, not watching the various PFIs/Contracts ripping us off on a daily basis, not having to use the ridiculous Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) system, not having to put up with substandard uniforms, not having to justify your need to travel to a subordinate (and if it’s air travel getting a 1-star to auth it!), the politics of envy from the other Branches/Trades being allowed to continue, the low amount of live flying and there are many more...

The pay deal, when coupled to the pension (even the latest AFPS15), along with various allowances (DS/NS, HTD and CEA) is pretty good and is only really out-trumped when you sell your soul and go tax-free working in the sand-pit. Granted, in recent years, in real terms the pay deal has been eroded under “austerity” so a modest 5-10% pay increase for all would be nice to re-address. But if we pay people more cash without fixing the underlying issues then we just end up with “Rich P!ssed Off People” in our midst!

Finally, there are plenty of re-joiners coming back as there are things that civvy street doesn’t do. For instance, whilst doing long-haul backwards and forwards to Montego Bay three-four times a month sounds like a dream, it tends to get a bit “samey” and the crews tend to bomb-burst after flight to do their own things (low levels of camaraderie is seen). Some are OK with that but others hate it. In recent years the competitive airline market has seen long-haul spending more time away from home and the use of 5-star hotels for crews is a thing of the past. So it is not what it used to be either.
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Old 7th Apr 2019, 19:05
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Originally Posted by Lima Juliet View Post
I agree, for the UK military this is not about money. It is about having a quarter that is not mouldy, having a Mess with hot water, not having to go to other Messes for “combined messing”,
Wonder does the Fit For Human Habitation law apply to Milita/ry Qs ?

Then again I looked and short answer is no.

Maybe be one where MPs are asked to ensure it does as part of the Military Contract.
Applies to new tenancies from March 2019.

https://www.gov.uk/government/public...ation-act-2018
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Old 7th Apr 2019, 19:14
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In recruit and train you have a larger group of people over a 15-20 year time frame than if you retain everybody.

Means assumming recall to reserves you could have potentially twice what you would have on a retention. Of course you may not the equipment for everybody but that is a different story.

Good staff turnover is probably up to 5%, anything over 10% is poor to bad.
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Old 7th Apr 2019, 20:34
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I agree, for the UK military this is not about money. It is about having a quarter that is not mouldy, having a Mess with hot water, not having to go to other Messes for “combined messing”, not watching the various PFIs/Contracts ripping us off on a daily basis, not having to use the ridiculous Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) system, not having to put up with substandard uniforms, not having to justify your need to travel to a subordinate (and if it’s air travel getting a 1-star to auth it!), the politics of envy from the other Branches/Trades being allowed to continue, the low amount of live flying and there are many more...

The pay deal, when coupled to the pension (even the latest AFPS15), along with various allowances (DS/NS, HTD and CEA) is pretty good and is only really out-trumped when you sell your soul and go tax-free working in the sand-pit. Granted, in recent years, in real terms the pay deal has been eroded under “austerity” so a modest 5-10% pay increase for all would be nice to re-address. But if we pay people more cash without fixing the underlying issues then we just end up with “Rich P!ssed Off People” in our midst!

Finally, there are plenty of re-joiners coming back as there are things that civvy street doesn’t do. For instance, whilst doing long-haul backwards and forwards to Montego Bay three-four times a month sounds like a dream, it tends to get a bit “samey” and the crews tend to bomb-burst after flight to do their own things (low levels of camaraderie is seen). Some are OK with that but others hate it. In recent years the competitive airline market has seen long-haul spending more time away from home and the use of 5-star hotels for crews is a thing of the past. So it is not what it used to be either.
Excellent post imo. Be a good thing if someone with clout & cojones bought into it.
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Old 7th Apr 2019, 20:48
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Originally Posted by racedo View Post
Good staff turnover is probably up to 5%, anything over 10% is poor to bad.
Rumour from a reliable source is that the numbers of people across the RAF taking option points has increased significantly, although the ‘within historic norms’ line is still being trotted out.

A further sign of the times is that rejoiners are PVR-ing for their second time!
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Old 8th Apr 2019, 07:17
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FRIs always make me chuckle such as the latest offerings for WSOs to sign onto PA Spine. £20k (taxable) for 5yrs return of service!!!

£2k a year!!! Who on earth is going to sign that unless they were staying anyway? FRI should be IYSAFI - If You Are Staying Anyway Financial Incentive
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Old 8th Apr 2019, 07:29
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My quick thoughts.

I agree with everything LJ said about the trivia that could be lessened and I agree that the overall package (including schooling, pension etc) is actually pretty good.

However, despite all that, money is still the answer for a lot of people. The pension lump sum at the 38-40 year point is very useful for house purchasing or improvements at that point. Maybe a system that allowed people to access their pension lump sum (tax free of course) and remain in the service would be a cost neutral way of retaining people.

BV
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Old 30th Jun 2019, 09:44
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USMC is trying a bonus increase to retain pilots:

https://www.military.com/daily-news/...ts-flying.html
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Old 30th Jun 2019, 17:18
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"Train people so well, they can leave. Treat them so well, they don't want to"
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Old 30th Jun 2019, 18:24
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Originally Posted by Herod View Post
"Train people so well, they can leave. Treat them so well, they don't want to"
I don't think applies in the Military because people want to do stuff, get on with their lives without constraint and earn more money.
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Old 30th Jun 2019, 20:03
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Originally Posted by racedo View Post
...the Military because people want to do stuff, get on with their lives without constraint and earn more money.
Precisely. The US military is having retention problems due to the large amount of current (and even greater future) airline hiring.

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Old 1st Jul 2019, 15:13
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It reminds me of the contracts going about when I left the RAF, it was go to Saudi and get a good salary and good benefits or go to Africa and work as an impoverished slave, asking the same question, who goes to Africa? the reply was those that simply wanted a taste of the Country, but they soon left because the pay and conditions were abysmal compared to elsewhere. Same thing really, you may attract people with a none competitive wage who are attracted to the military, but to retain them you need to pay their worth, in the same vein, pay more at the outset may increase your intake but some will be there for the monies and not the career.
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Old 1st Jul 2019, 15:39
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Retention Bonuses

At least the USA is willing to dig deep. That’s a lot of money. Similar sums in the UK would definitely retain people.

But money is NOT the answer.

Warning: it is just possible that money is, in fact, the current answer.

BV
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 11:41
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Originally Posted by Bob Viking View Post
At least the USA is willing to dig deep. That’s a lot of money.

Warning: it is just possible that money is, in fact, the current answer.


I'm assuming these retention bonuses are treated as taxable income but don't know for sure. If they're taxable, making them non-taxable would be a further incentive. And it certainly could be done.

And...money is frequently the answer.
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 11:56
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Nope, money is not the answer. The treatment of the ‘death by a thousand cuts’ (many of them paper cuts!) is the answer. If you look after your people then you can pay fair wages (like the Armed Forces pay at the moment). I’ll say it again - pay p!ssed off people lots of money, then you just end up with rich p!ssed off people!!!
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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 16:42
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Originally Posted by Lima Juliet View Post
Nope, money is not the answer. The treatment of the ‘death by a thousand cuts’ (many of them paper cuts!) is the answer.
Of course, perception is reality. I've seen a lack of money destroy good attitudes and the presence of it restore bad attitudes.

When pilot attrition became an issue, the USAF promised to address some of the lifestyle negatives, e.g., long deployments, ancillary non-flying duties, etc. Whether they did or not I don't know.

But empirically, the money at the airlines appears to be a major draw to more pilots than the US military would like. There's that money thing again.

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Old 2nd Jul 2019, 18:44
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I think properly interactive career management is crucial. When I left the first time ( many years ago ) my Sqn Ldr GD(P) desk officer wasn't actually cleared in to a lot of the work my small branch actually did. and cheerfully admitted as such.
Funnily enough ,(actually not surprisingly) some in defence industry did , so off I went.
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