Bring A Friend Job Fair entices 115 guests

Staff Sgt. Kyle James (lower left) and Tech. Sgt. Justin Smith (upper left), 177th Information Aggressor Squadron, explain the mission capabilities and job opportunities to Master Sgt. Adrian Arzate and his guest at the Bring A Friend Job Fair hosted by the 184th Intelligence Wing at McConnell Air Force Base, Apr. 8. (Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Matt McCoy)

By Master Sgt. Matt McCoy, 184th Public Affairs

The 184th Intelligence Wing opened its doors to 115 potential recruits for the Bring A Friend Job Fair at McConnell Air Force Base, Apr. 8. The guests, accompanied by current and former wing members, visited display booths assembled by various squadrons within the wing.

Master Sgt. Jessica Sills, 184th Recruiting and Retention Office supervisor, introduces the recruiting and retention team and briefs the audience about the benefits offered in the Kansas Air National Guard at the Bring A Friend Job Fair, Apr. 8. (Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Matt McCoy)

Experience the Air Guard

“This was an internal job fair with booths that squadrons provided people, equipment and items that individuals could see and experience,” said Master Sgt. Jessica Sills, supervisor of the 184th Recruiting and Retention Office. “It was set up like a career fair. It gave our guests the opportunity to go up to the booths and talk about what kinds of jobs each particular squadron had to offer.”

Squadrons within the wing had the opportunity to set up the equipment they use on a regular basis, which gave the guests an idea of what it would be like to work there. This kind of setting made it easier to show the jobs that are more sensitive to advertise.

Because of the security concerns surrounding intelligence and cyberspace operations, the recruiters find it difficult to demonstrate certain work spaces to potential recruits.

“They could ask questions and see what their environment would be like,” said Sills. “Everybody really liked it.”

Staff Sgt. Tier Miles, 184th Security Forces Squadron, demonstrates riot control techniques to attendees at the Bring A Friend Job Fair hosted by the 184th Intelligence Wing at McConnell Air Force Base, Apr. 8. (Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Jacob Lewis)

Centers of Influence

The recruiting staff relies on current and former members as strong influencers, which they say produce the best recruits.

“We get referrals all the time, and referrals are the best type of recruits because they have a friend or a family member that is already associated with the unit,” said Sills.

The Bring A Friend Job Fair offered a no-pressure venue for members to showcase what they do every month, while at the same time, show what’s available for people they know.

“We were really looking to bring those centers of influence all together in one area, bring those friends and family members that can benefit from being in the Air National Guard, and letting us sell them on what we have to offer,” said Sills.

At the Bring A Friend Job Fair, Staff Sgt. Kasha Creekmore, 184th Security Forces Squadron, talks about the weapons and skills used by Security Forces personnel while visitors handle unloaded weapons to get an idea if it’s something they like. The job fair was hosted by the 184th Intelligence Wing at McConnell Air Force Base, Apr. 8. (Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Lauren Penney)

The Results

The main goals for the Bring A Friend Job Fair were to showcase job opportunities, educate the audience on benefits and generate a list of leads, or potential recruits, for the recruiting staff to follow up with.

“It generated 115 leads,” said Sills. “We are contacting them and we’re getting positive feedback, and a lot of people want to come back in for more information.”

Of the 115 leads, more than 75 have been contacted; 15 are already interested and are scheduling appointments; six weren’t interested at this time; five appointments have already been conducted and five were determined disqualified for service.

Considering those numbers, the Bring A Friend Job Fair could be the most productive recruiting event of the year. The recruiting staff attends many career fairs throughout the year, but since those audiences are different, so are the outcomes.

“[Other career fairs] don’t generate the same amount of leads,” said Sills. “People will give us their information because it’s intriguing but they may not follow through with coming in.”

“The types of leads we got from this event are different because they have a genuine interest, or they saw what the member has been doing and how successful they are, and that they only come in for one weekend a month,” said Sills.

Staff Sgt. Patrick Burton (middle), 177th Information Aggressor Squadron, shows guests intrusion techniques at the Bring A Friend Job Fair hosted by the 184th Intelligence Wing, McConnell Air Force Base, Apr. 8. (Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Briell Zweygardt)