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July 19, 2022 29 mins

The U.S. Department of Defense is the largest employer in the world, with about 3 million people working across all services. With a budget of $753 billion and operations in more than 4,800 sites in 160 nations worldwide, it’s tough to imagine how challenging recruiting and talent management must be for such a large organization.

Craig Robbins is a Senior VP of Talent at Prositions, a human capital solutions and HR tech company. He’s also a Major in the U.S. Army Reserve, serving as Talent Management Chief with the newly formed 75th Innovation Command, and is an adviser to the Army at large. His mission is to connect people from all walks of military life to meaningful work.

Hired for his potential, Robbins is now a decade into the HR space and focused on looking for new ways to place people with the right opportunities.

Here are a few key learnings from Robbins (his views, not the DoD) on how the military is amping up its hiring programs. This includes a critical project called GigEagle, a new Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) project that leverages top talent from the Reserve and National Guard on demand.

- “When it comes to talent discovery, how do we even see the skills and the experiences and the certifications of all those people on our team? If you don't capture the data, you can't search for the data. And so getting to GigEagle because the 75th Innovation Command is unique in the sense that we employ people's civilian skill sets. We had to create a system that would allow us to capture and discover those skills.” - Craig Robbins [13:43]

- "It's so much more than skills matching. We're trying to rethink the way we look at work and rethink the way we even think about the team members on our team. And so this is really about transforming our culture at large. How can we enable people in the Reserve, the National Guard, and the active duty Army to work across those boundaries? So we're trying to break down these barriers and we're trying to create essentially a gig economy within the DoD." - Craig Robbins [19:35]

- “We're not just trying to leverage the whole person of the members of our team. We're really trying to enable critical mission success. So when you think about a national cyber-security incident or a crisis, when you think about a national healthcare crisis, like COVID, the fact that the Department of Defense cannot see any of its people who have healthcare skills or cybersecurity skills outside of the military is a huge problem. I mean it, quite frankly, to me is a crisis of sorts and certainly, we know what units and where our nurses are in the Army Nurse Corps. But when something on the scale of COVID occurs, we need to know where all the Reserve folks are.” - Craig Robbins [21:18]

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