Thursday 04 Jun 2020 | 09:25 | SYDNEY
Thursday 04 Jun 2020 | 09:25 | SYDNEY

Fun and games with defence recruitment


Sam Roggeveen


11 May 2009 10:51

The article on defence force recruitment in today's Australian is full of quotable quotes. First, Australia Defence Association Director Neil James:

The nation has become increasingly distanced from its national service orientation. People used to join the navy to see the world. Now all they have to do is go to the Flight Centre.

Beautiful. As long as Neil James gives good quote, journos will keep ringing his number. More power to him.

Second, how's this for a bit of starry-eyed optimism from Defence's director of military recruiting:

We need young Australians to want to come and join us, and we've just hired a new company to handle our recruitment drive.

Problem solved! But given recruitment is such a persistent problem, it might just be beyond a new company to fix, and may actually require some structural change within Defence. That's what Hugh White argues in his contributions to the article, though I can't help feeling that one of his proposed solutions is a little glib:

Why not employ one expert whose sole job it is to make certain that all the submarines are fully crewed. If he succeeds, he gets a bonus; if not, he gets the sack.

Is this really a good time in the economic cycle to be arguing that bonuses are a useful tool for creating workplace incentives?