NEWS | Dec. 31, 2020

Air Force Recruiting Service working on enhanced tools for job counseling

By Master Sgt. Dave Brown Air Force Recruiting Service Standardization and Training

The Air Force Work Interest Navigator, or AF-WIN, originally employed by the Air Force Personnel Center to counsel potential cross training Airmen was adapted by Air Force Recruiting Service in 2018. 

It allows recruiters and applicants to align interests with Air Force Specialty Codes based on a short survey. Unlike the AFPC version which provided a ranked list of AFSCs, the AFRS version provides groups of similar jobs to avoid the potential of job locking, which is when an applicant is interested in only a couple of job possibilities.

“We have been tasked by the Air Force to provide tools to allow our recruiting professionals the ability to better match individuals to Air Force needs based on basic qualifications standards,” said Angelo Haygood, AFRS deputy chief of operations. “We also can match individuals based on ‘best fit’ criteria by understanding individual interests and likelihood of technical training and first term success. AFWIN is the start. As we move toward an ‘enhanced job counseling’ process, we want to begin providing our MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) Liaison NCOs and recruiters with tools that will enhance their ability to match individuals to the right jobs, based on qualifications and best job fit for them and the Air Force.”

This is only the beginning of the process.

“This tool was a great start, but we need to equip our recruiters with more to be able to balance the changing needs of the Air Force and the applicants interests in order to get the right Airmen in the right jobs,” said Senior Master Sgt. Sean Murphy, AFRS superintendent of standardization and training.  

Currently, squadrons and flights set expectations for job counseling and rely on recruiters to be able to meet those expectations. 

“You can watch a hundred recruiters’ job counsel and you can see a hundred different ways to do it,” said Master Sgt. Chris Rabenold, a member of the AFRS standardization and training team. “We train job counseling with a sales model and not a data model.  We want to equip all recruiters with real time data so they can speak credibly and candidly to applicants.”

The new tool expects to build on the already existing AF-WIN survey and combine other information that is already available into a user friendly sales aid. 

“We know what our needs are, we know what assets we already have; we want to make that information available to every recruiter in real time,” Rabenold said. “Our mission hinges on this single interaction, we owe it to the recruiters.”

While the tool is still in development, some details are emerging on what it may look like. The process will start with AF-WIN. Recruiters already have the ability to email the survey to applicants through the Air Force Recruiting Information Support System, or AFRISS. 

“If recruiters aren’t already, they should start utilizing the AF-WIN survey on every applicant so they understand what information can be gained from it” Rabenold said.  “The new tool will be able to take those results and eventually add in their Tailored Adaptive Personality Assessment System (TAPAS) scores, ASVAB scores, and physical results to provide jobs that applicants may be interested in and qualify for. The current AF-WIN survey only provides jobs but does not filter out AFSCs that the applicants do not qualify for.”

The current AF-WIN survey provides jobs but does not filter out AFSCs in which that the applicants does not qualify for.

The AFRS operations branch hopes these results can be further refined utilizing the accession plan and the current qualified and waiting list. 

“We want recruiters to be able to show the applicant what jobs they qualify for, but also how many people are already waiting for those jobs and how many of those jobs we project to have available this year,” Brown said. “We want recruiters to be equipped with facts. We want them to be able to say ‘you qualify for this, but we are only hiring 100 of them and we have 300 people with it listed’.  They can then steer applicants to expected vacancies.”

Murphy cautions against over-promising but expects that AF-WIN will start to be emphasized more in January 2021, with the enhanced tool following in the coming months. 

“We’re moving fast on this,” Murphy said. “We’re all in to make this available as soon as possible.”