The difficulties of recruitment are a well-recognized issue in the public safety community for both police and corrections agencies. In recent years, a shortage of qualified applicants has been identified as a main difficulty. Effective recruitment strategies include a clear vision of the agency’s brand and ideal candidate, as well as community input in what they, as community members, believe is a desirable candidate.
This report stems from a workgroup sponsored by the National Institute of Corrections and is available via the PDF link provided above. Below are a collection of important points that may apply to present and future recruitment practices of the Oregon DOC. Chapter Three, “Recruitment – Looking in the Right Places for the Right People” is specifically of interest.
Finding new applicants has been reported by approximately 86% of employers as “difficult.”
The difficulty often lies in the prevalence of organizational models that do not appeal to the newest generation of workers.
Word of Mouth is one of the most effective recruitment techniques, so a department’s reputation can either be an asset or serious liability.
Millennials tend to be self-sufficient, self-assured, and more self-focused. This up and coming workforce is looking for jobs that “encompass all of the nonmonetary aspects of the job – flexibility, autonomy, family friendliness, challenge, self-satisfaction, career development, and upward advancement.”
Consider the “Where” question in regards to finding new applicants:
- Colleges & Universities
- High Schools
- Social Media
Consider tracking where applicants were recruited to determine effectiveness of recruitment tactics.
Citation: Stinchcomb, J. B., McCampbell, S. W., & Layman, E. P. (2006). Future force: A guide to building the 21st century community corrections workforce. Center for Innovative Public Policies.
This is a summary of a National Summit on Police Recruitment and Retention in the Contemporary Urban Environment put on by the COPS office in June 2008. A number of examples are provided regarding recruitment strategies used by agencies around the nation.
- Using the internet to advertise, including a recruitment website that included an online application process and videos on academy life and public safety careers.
- Regular e-mail on the progress of applications
- Streamlined application process that cut down on the time from application to hire.
- When visiting website, users should have no problem figuring out if you are hiring, understand goals, standards, candidate requirements and selection, as well as wages and benefit packages (Recruitment Toolkit)
- After-school and Summer employment for students interested in police work
- Post-high school employment as civilian employees
- Support for college education in exchange for a commitment to the department
- Partnering with local criminal justice programs
- “Stay” interviews with current employee to paint a picture of what officers are looking for and what type of candidate would fit in a stay with the department.
- Identify internal reasons that negatively affect retention and may also work against successful recruitment.
- Recruitment videos that highlight certain aspects of department culture that may appeal to the population an agency is aiming to attract.
- Marketing strategies that highlight values that are important to both the department and the candidates.
- Administering exams used in the application process monthly
- Offering recruitment bonuses to employees, establishing a department recruiting team
Citation: Wilson, J. M., & Grammich, C. A. (2009). Police recruitment and retention in the Contemporary Urban environment. (In Conference Proceedings). Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation.