Air Guard Tweaks Recruiting Web Site
By Air Force Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith
Special to American Forces Press Service
ARLINGTON, Va., March 10, 2010 Considering today's explosive popularity of social media and online research it may come as no surprise that military recruiting Web sites are rushing to keep up with new technologies and trends.
The revised www.GoANG.com Web site has an interactive homepage, which allows viewers to watch firsthand accounts of National Guard service, chat online with recruiters and research Guard careers and openings. Updated administrative functions also assist recruiters in their missions with unit-specific information. Graphic courtesy National Guard Bureau
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
The Air National Guard is riding that wave with more personal interactivity in its public recruiting and retention Web site, using video and photo stories to tell Air Guard member stories directly to online visitors.
The revised recruiting Web site went live in February. Its revised design draws upon navigation links with the newest Web design technologies to present the Air Guard experience in a calendar format.
"The original site was a site we had been using for several years; it wasn't fresh, it wasn't new," said Master Sgt. P.J. Gallagher, who oversees the Air Guard's internet advertising.
He said the design team spent last year talking to recruiters and retention specialists in the field to improve the Web site's connectivity with users.
"There weren't any 'interactivities' for the users," he said.
Gallagher said the new calendar format breaks down the experience of Guard service as new recruits, prior service members, officers and health professionals experience it.
The Web site also uses the latest video technology and photo displays to depict those experiences to public viewers, many of whom may be interested in joining the Guard. Visitors can chat live with a recruiter/advisor.
The administrative functions on the Web site have been improved for the recruiters. It lists specific career field openings at the Air Guard's flying wings and geographically separated units across the nation. It allows easier online ordering of recruiting and retention give-a-ways and other resources and collects and formats online information requests.
The Website also lists units, federal and state benefits, missions, and career openings by state, as well as information to help parents and educators understand the mission of the Air National Guard.
Gallagher said the administrative functions of the revamped Web site were unveiled at the Air Guard Recruiting and Retention Workshop in Dallas last month. The workshop offered training on how to make use of the new Web site to help in daily recruiting and retention projects.
"The conference was a great venue to get feedback from the field in an up-and-close, personal way," Gallagher said. "We are going to continue to upgrade the site."
(Air Force Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith works at the National Guard Bureau.)