Date of Award

3-26-2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Operations Research

Department

Department of Operational Sciences

First Advisor

Raymond R. Hill, PhD

Abstract

Retention and personnel management is a challenge for every organization, particularly the military due to its hierarchical structure and barriers to entry. Talent must be developed and retained to become leaders, beginning at the lowest level in the Air Force. The Air Force faces a retention problem unlike most organizations that requires a unique perspective and tailored solution to each Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC). There exists previous efforts to predict attrition rates in the Air Force based on economic factors. This study expands upon the economic factors and tailors the predictor variables of attrition based on the AFSC. The current research hypothesizes that AFSC attrition has a relationship with comparable civilian jobs and their employment rates. The methodology identifies the key factors influencing attrition, creates forecasts for the variables, and reintroduces the forecasts of the variables into the original regression to provide forecasts of expected attrition along with confidence regions. This study finds that seven of the eight AFSCs show a relationship with comparable employment in the civilian sector. More insights show that AFSCs have different predictor variables and should be modelled separately to capture the trends for each specific AFSC. These insights to leadership will aid in decisions for AFSC retention bonuses as well as informing recruitment services of critically manned career fields.

AFIT Designator

AFIT-ENS-MS-20-M-166

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