Searching for new police recruits but not sure how to recruit and retain them throughout the process? This is a common challenge that we have seen with many departments over the last several years and gathering a large pool of candidates to apply and remain engaged throughout the application and background check process has proven to be more and more of a concern. It’s not just the creative police recruiting strategies to get them to apply, it’s how you communicate with them after too.
First and foremost, there are numerous factors that affect police recruitment as a whole. This includes the competition of other departments in your county or state, agencies that are offer signing bonuses or other appealing incentives, competitive salary and benefits within the contract, and even the geographic location of the agency.
Regardless of the various factors making the police recruiting and retention process difficult, the good news is we have a few tips to help combat this challenge. Let’s break it down one by one.
5 Tips for Better Police Recruiting and Retention
1. THOROUGHLY GUIDE CANDIDATES THROUGH THE PROCESS
Police recruitment and retention for the new millennium requires a new approach to guiding potential officers through the process. What do we mean by this? Essentially it’s walking recruits step by step through the application process from their initial interaction with the department to earning a spot in the police academy. In this day in age and with how many distractions there are in the real world and online, hand-holding potential candidates is key to keeping them engaged and on board with the police recruiting process.
It’s easier said than done, but coming up with strategies to keep your department top-of-mind is crucial. Guiding recruits through the process can include weekly newsletters that are sent out to current candidates, sharing useful information to help them succeed. Additionally, monthly info sessions would allow candidates to bring questions to the table and talk face-to-face with officers.
More importantly, when guiding recruits through the process, it’s essential to make sure everyone in your recruiting department knows what is going on and are following specific procedures that have been put in place. Consistency is key and when you implement a strategic game plan to hand-hold candidates during this recruiting process, make sure everyone in the department is following it.
The takeaway here is that candidates get distracted. They are distracted by other police job opportunities, their personal lives, social media, etc. which means if your recruiting department isn’t consistent and providing valuable information throughout the process, candidates are likely to move on.
2. Develop a mentorship program
Creating a mentorship program will allow your department to be a fantastic resource for potential candidates. Not only is this ideal when retaining officers during the hiring process, but it can be useful for high school or college students who are interested in becoming a police officer when they graduate.
This is best accomplished by choosing mentors within your department and assigning them potential candidates. Having mentors for potential candidates will allow them to ask any questions they have as well as build a great relationship with your department and team members before they are hired on.
3. Send Out Weekly Emails or Texts
As mentioned in the first tip, it’s absolutely critical to be consistent and stay top-of -mind to potential recruits when it comes to better police recruiting and retention. An easy and non-invasive way to accomplish this is by sending out weekly or bi-weekly emails or texts to your candidate pool. Doing this will ensure recruits feel they are important and are genuinely wanted by the agency.
Keeping the conversation going throughout the recruiting and hiring process will not only make your department stand out, you’re also able to build trust and a better connection with recruits. These emails or texts can include helpful articles or tips to help candidates succeed and not feel overwhelmed during the application process.
4. Strategize an Online Recruiting Campaign
How are you attracting new recruits currently? Is it through traditional advertising efforts like job boards and job fairs? If so, it’s time to modernize your recruiting strategy! Developing an online recruiting campaign to extend your geographic reach, promote certain job openings, and increase brand awareness is how you will increase applications. Check out how we helped this police department increase their applications by 685%.
With over 4.39 billion internet users per year, it’s a no-brainer that shifting recruiting efforts online is a necessity if you want to stay in the game. From social media networks to Google Ads, developing on online recruiting campaign to attract new candidates and engage current recruits will help you succeed in the long run.
5. Use Social Media
Like stated above, if you want make an impact keep recruits engaged, interact with them where they spend the majority of their time… social media! Using channels like Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube are ideal when you’re trying to build a community of potential recruits. Having these channels allows you post current job postings, keep users engaged, and extend your digital reach.
On average, social media users spend 2 hours and 22 minutes of their day scrolling away aimlessly looking for entertainment. Taking advantage of this and being active on social media channels will allow you to reach the next generation.
These five tips for better police recruiting and retention are just a few ways to make an impact in your hiring quotas. Utilizing these tips along with our recruiting services will allow your department to stand out from the competition.
At Epic Recruiting, we help law enforcement agencies attract and recruit more quality candidates. Our mission is to provide the tools you need to be successful and attract the right type of recruit. Are you ready to generate a larger pool of candidates and increase awareness about your department?