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BY Joel Junker

How Military Officer Recruiters Get Paid

There is a lot of misinformation out there on how military officer recruiters get paid. The goal of this blog post is to clear up any confusion and help you understand the model before deciding to partner with a military officer recruiting company.

Companies Pay the Military Officer Recruiter if they Hire a Candidate

As far as I know, all military officer recruiters are contingent recruiting firms. This means their fee is contingent on if a company hires their candidate. Typically, but not necessarily in all cases, the company and recruiting firm pre-arrange a fee based on the candidate’s starting salary.

You Should Never Pay for Services from a Military Officer Recruiting Firm

You should never pay for services from military officer recruiters.  Their client companies pay them when they hire. As far as I know, none of the major military officer recruiting firms charge a candidate for their services. I do hear of other types of companies charging officers to help them write a resume or create a LinkedIn profile. I highly discourage officers from paying for such a service. Ideally, if you partner with a military recruiting firm, they offer these services. They can help you craft a resume and review your LinkedIn profile to ensure you stand out. Most companies who offer solely resume or LinkedIn services don’t know much about the military. They will not know how to translate your military experience or LinkedIn profile so that companies truly understand what you have to offer. In fact, many will civilianize your resume so much it will lose a lot of the value of your military experience.

At Cameron-Brooks, we have a resume consultant on staff to create a stand-out resume. Danielle Granville is our resume consultant. She has been with Cameron-Brooks helping JMOs communicate their backgrounds to companies for over 20 years. With her knowledge of what companies value in JMOs paired with her writing skills (Texas A&M Journalism major), she does an amazing job helping each candidate bring out his or her skillset in the resume. We also provide coaching and guidance on LinkedIn profiles.

The Fee a Company Pays the Military Officer Recruiting Firm Should not Impact Any Facet of Your Compensation

Sometimes junior officers tell me they are concerned about partnering with a transition firm because they hear we take a cut of their base starting salary. I can only speak for Cameron-Brooks, but this is absolutely not true. Companies have a separate budget for hiring that includes paying fees to recruiting firms and employing internal team members to acquire talent. Compensation comes out of a totally separate budget.

Any recruiting firm you work with should help you get the fairest compensation possible based on your military experience, education and position location. You can learn more about how much money you can make by downloading our Transition Guide: How Much Money Can I Make? Additionally, the military officer recruiting firm should also be advising their clients on what types of compensation it will take to land the type of candidate they desire.

While You Should not a Pay Military Recruiting Firm for Services, You Might Be asked for Commitment

Based on the military recruiting firm’s model, they may ask for some sort of exclusivity or commitment in return.

One model is zero commitment or exclusivity whatsoever. In a case like this, the military transition firm will help the officer line up interviews or float job descriptions by them. They also might provide some help with preparation. Yet the interview opportunities or positions may not be tailored to the specific background and interests of the candidate. They work with a lot of companies and candidates (quantity) in hopes of finding a match. There is limited investment from either the transition firm or the candidate. Because there is not much of an investment, a commitment is not required.

A second model is where the recruiting firm makes an investment in the candidate.  Cameron-Brooks falls into this category and, as far as I know, is the only firm that falls exclusively into this bucket. We commit to unlimited transition and interview coaching sessions, multiple Interview Preparation Workshops, access to our proprietary Development and Preparation Program and resume preparation.

We also commit to aligning the officer to interviews with a decision maker. Decision makers at our Conferences will have open positions they need to fill ASAP (vs. a job fair “meet and greet” situation). And we design each interview schedule to be unique to the officer. No transitioning officer will have the same schedule. Finally, we commit to being a lifetime career coach post-placement.

In return for the investment, we ask the military officer to verbally commit to attending our Career Conference first before applying or setting up interviews. Once the conference is over, they can network on their own. We call this a Mutual Accountability Agreement, and you can learn more in this podcast: Episode 110 Military Recruiting Firms and Partnership Agreements – What Gives?

The third bucket is a transition firm that has a program for both types of candidates: those who aren’t willing to make a commitment and those who are willing. This is a little harder for me to understand how they can do both and serve both types of candidates equally.

In conclusion…

I hope this dispels the myth of how military officer recruiters earn get paid and the different models out there. If you want to learn more email us at candidates@cameron-brooks.com.

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