Over the past few years, NGA has been hosting technical sessions at meetings of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS). The ASPRS Defense and Intelligence Subcommittee, which is co-chaired by NGA’s senior scientist for photogrammetry, has organized both classified and unclassified technical sessions. For example, the 2011 annual conference included an unclassified special session on photogrammetry and the next generation of unmanned systems, and the 2011 ASPRS Pecora 18 Symposium included an unclassified session on the human dimensions of anticipatory intelligence analysis. Such sessions increase NGA’s visibility on specific technical issues. To expand overall awareness of NGA, and thus increase recruitment opportunities, NGA could encourage students to attend the unclassified sessions to get a first-hand idea of some of the technical work at NGA. The NGA-organized sessions could also include a presentation on the agency’s mission and activities, similar to what is presented at graduate seminars at universities. In addition, hosting receptions following some of these sessions would provide an opportunity for students to talk informally with NGA scientists and analysts.
Social Media Site
The next generation of NGA employees will be familiar and comfortable with the use of social media for all aspects of their daily lives, including searching for jobs and internships and exchanging information. At little expense, NGA could establish a strong social media presence that links and acts as a broker for the existing recruitment information on the NGA website. Such social media sites have been created by other defense-related agencies, such as the Australian Defence Department.6
By granting admission to NGA interns, employees, and others, NGA could maintain a set of highly motivated and interested users, who could be instantly informed of recruitment events, news, job opportunities, the Vector Study Program, and other topics. Features such as a director’s blog or postings from NGA product users could stimulate interest and provide a broader interest group for the content of Pathfinder magazine, with the target of increasing recruitment.
Engaging Activities for Universities
Recruitment events at colleges, universities, and meetings are often relatively passive, with students receiving printed media and posing questions. More active engagement at such events could both provide more information to potential employees and allow individuals with the right combination of reasoning skills to be identified. For example, bringing a training exercise to a university recruitment event would enable students to actively engage in intelligence-like activities. Students could be provided with a situation to solve—such as intelligence about a facility or a natural disaster—and maps or software, and then asked to prepare and justify an analysis. Alternatively, students could be presented with results of a classic intelligence outcome and asked to analyze the decisions and the required information. Interactive feedback from recruiters is likely to be far more detailed and engaging in such an environment. Recruiters would be able to observe the students while problem solving and to judge capabilities and experience, rather than deducing it from a resume. Such activities could also be offered on GIS day7 or provide the basis for an online quiz.
Career and employment aptitude tests use personality tests, intelligence tests, work samples, and other tests to determine the suitability or desirability of a job applicant (Stevens and Campion, 1999). Some tests correlate better with job performance than others, so employers often use more than one test to maximize predictive power (Barrick and Mount, 1991). The use of career aptitude tests for recruiting has gained traction (Droege, 1983), including for military recruitment (e.g., Getkate et al., 1992). Internet and online submission are increasingly common for these tests.
A significant amount of research has been carried out on aptitude tests. By using custom design and existing tests, an NGA workforce targeted test could be assembled or developed relatively easily. Should such a test prove useful to NGA, it could be used in two ways: (1) as part of the diagnostic and training stage for new NGA employees and (2) as an online tool to