You are on page 1of 18

Running head: RECRUITING OF QUALITY OFFICERS

Recruiting of Quality Officers


Brent T. Hallum
Arkansas Tech University

RECRUITING OF QUALITY OFFICERS


I.

II.

III.

Student Information
Brent Thomas Hallum
bhallum@atu.edu
T00073608
Malvern Police Department
Detective
Project Site Information
Malvern Police Department
215 E. Highland Avenue, Malvern, Arkansas 72104
Stakeholders Information
Donnie Taber
Chief of Police
dtaber@malvernar.gov
Weekly meetings to discuss findings and progress

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
COP
CPL
SGT
MPD
COTO

Chief of Police
Corporal
Sergeant
Malvern Police Department
College of the Ouachitas

RECRUITING OF QUALITY OFFICERS

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Background......................................................................................................................................4
Purpose of Project............................................................................................................................4
Problem Identified...........................................................................................................................5
Research Methods and Materials.....................................................................................................6
Analysis and Findings..................................................................................................................... 8
Recommended Action Plan ...........................................................................................................12
References......................................................................................................................................15
Appendix A....................................................................................................................................17

RECRUITING OF QUALITY OFFICERS

Background
In any company or organization one of the most important and most important tasks is to recruit
and keep quality employees with your agency. In the American Management Associations
handbook for employee Recruitment and Retention the author states Constant turnover will be
too expensive and too disruptive for organizations striving to compete in today's business world.
(Cook, 1992) This is the case in business as well as in law enforcement.

In law enforcement it is often required to use your past experience to resolve situations
peacefully and safely. If agencies officers are not retained long enough, those skills are never
fully developed and work quality suffers across the entire agency. Without a successful recruiting
program an agency cannot take the steps necessary to retain quality officers. The hiring process
is considered to be the most important role of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or Chief of
Police (COP). (Oliver, 2014)

The Malvern Police Department, founded in 1876, provides a great example of this trend. The
lack of qualified applicants, paired with high turnover has created a strain on the department. As
the agencies officers leave, the slots must be filled. Without an acceptable pool of applicants to
choose from this can lead to a diminished quality workforce.

Purpose of Project

RECRUITING OF QUALITY OFFICERS

The purpose of this project is to identify the root cause of the low number of applicants the
department receives, and what applicants desire when searching for a position. The secondary
purpose is to identify possible solutions which can be implemented. If reasonable solutions can
be identified and implemented, the agency will benefit from higher morale, higher quality
employees, and reduced budgetary expense of training.

A SWOT analysis of the Malvern Police Department was conducted prior to this project. The
analysis was determined that one of the greatest needs was to obtain quality applicants for the
department. The information collected for this project will be able to assist any law enforcement
agency which is suffering from high turnover rate. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics projects
only a 4% increase of law enforcement from 2014 thru 2024. (Police and Detectives:
Occupational outlook, 2016) This lack of growth, paired with the average 2-4% increase in
violent crimes projected by the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting (FBI Uniform Crime Reporting,
2016), will continue to place a strain on law enforcement agencies who suffer from low
recruiting and high attrition.

Traditionally law enforcement agencies have dealt with recruiting in a very reactive manner
Efforts are limited to a newspaper job posting and word of mouth. (Eglin, 2014). Likewise, these
methods have provided a limited pool of applicants for the Malvern Police Department. It is the
aim of this project to find additional recruiting methods and advertising them so as to reach a
greater pool of applicants. This will allow a greater ability to be selective with hiring.

RECRUITING OF QUALITY OFFICERS

Problem Identified
The issue of poor recruitment has been one of ongoing concern for some time within the Malvern
Police Department. Many occasions only a small number of applicants apply for the position,
even fewer passing the entrance exam. If a department is unable to have a strong pool of
applicants it will be limited on the quality of its personnel to choose from. The selection of
qualified personnel is important for a variety of reasons. The first of which is cost benefit. An
agency that only has one or two individuals, who pass the entrance exam and background
checks, will be less able to focus on other factors such as the employees ability to fit into the
current culture within the agency. This will increase the percentage of turnover within the
department and result in increasingly high training cost.

One effort to quantify the costs of turnover suggests that replacing an officer with three years
experience costs more than twice his or her annual salary (Orrick, 2002). This cost could be used
for additional expenses such as new equipment, maintenance cost, or higher level training for
officers. This continued drain of resources will prevent beneficial developments for the
department and allow it to remain stagnant. This data shows that the importance of hiring the
right person for the job is a top priority. This study seeks to determine whether the Malvern
Police Departments advertising methods provides the information individuals seek when
considering a job.

Research Method and Procedures


The first step in determining how to attract applicants will be to determine what possible
applicants look for when searching for a position. To obtain this information a questionnaire,

RECRUITING OF QUALITY OFFICERS

located in appendix A, was used to determine an individuals key factors when searching for a
job.

A. Participants:
1. 30 subjects completed questionnaires
a. 19 male/ 11 female
b.

21 Caucasian, 7 African American, 2 other

c.Age range was between 22 and 36


d.

Average age of 27

2. The 30 participants were selected on a voluntary basis at a public business within


the city of Malvern.
B. Materials:
1. Questionnaire: Appendix A
a.Participants rated 10 items based on what they feel is most important
when considering a position. (1 most important consideration, 7= least
important consideration)
b.

Following the 10 items, individuals were asked to rank the primary


source they use for job searches in numerical order based off of
preference.

c.The survey concludes with an open ended question asking whether they
would consider a career in law enforcement, why or why not?

RECRUITING OF QUALITY OFFICERS


d.

A brief interview will be completed with the individual at the


conclusion of the questionnaire if any elaboration is needed for the final
question.

C. Procedure
1. As subjects approached the front entrance of a local business the subject was
asked to participate in a brief questionnaire.
2. Questionnaires were completed by the individual immediately at that location and
administered by an individual in non-law enforcement clothing.
3. Upon the completion of the questionnaire the administrator collected the
questionnaire and determined if any clarification was needed for the answer of the
final question.

RECRUITING OF QUALITY OFFICERS

Analysis and Findings


The purpose of this study was to determine if methods used by Malvern Police Department to
recruit new applicants need to be updated to gain access to a larger pool of candidates. Responses
to the questionnaire in Appendix A were analysed to determine what job characteristics and/or
benefits applicants seek on a scale from most important (1st) to least important (10th) when
considering a new job. Also information was collected to determine the primary method of job
searches used by individuals.
Thirty total questionnaires were completed by individuals entering a local business. Of those 30
individuals 19 were male (63%) and 11 were female (37%). The individuals questioned can
further be described as 21 Caucasian (70%), 7 African American (23%), and 2 other (7%).

Analysis
Analysis began with the first section of the questionnaire to determine what issues are considered
most important when considering employment with a company, reflected in Table 1.

Data Collected: Number of Each Rank given for per Category


Category

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

6th

7th

8th

9th

10th

Pay
Health

Insurance

RECRUITING OF QUALITY OFFICERS

10

Life
Insurance
Vacation

12

Accrual
Advanceme

nt Potential
Risk of

Injury
Organizatio

14

n Culture
Respect for

Profession
Ability to

help others
Commute

time

Findings
Shown in Chart 1, pay is the highest priority with the majority of those polled (30%). Career
advancement and health insurance both sit at 17% placing them tied for second most important.
Following is vacation (10%), organization culture (10%), helping others (6%), commute (6%),
risk of injury (3%), Respect for position and life insurance both had 0% of those participating
finding it to be the least important.

RECRUITING OF QUALITY OFFICERS

11

Chart 1
9
5

5
3

Most important factor

The second section of the questionnaire asked participants to rank the method of job searching
they prefer. The data, located in Chart 2, shows that the most participants (40%) preferred
method of job searching is online job boards such as indeed.com and moster.com. Following job
boards was City/Company website (23%), Newspaper (17%), Job Fairs (13%), and Social Media
(7%)

RECRUITING OF QUALITY OFFICERS

12

Chart 2
12

7
5
4
2
City Webpage

Job Search Board

Social Media

Job Fairs

News paper

Most Prefered Method

In part three of the questionnaire the question was asked, Would you consider a career in law
enforcement, why or why not? Analysis of this data determined that 36% of those participating
would consider a career in law enforcement. Key words which were repeatedly mentioned in the
explanation were recorded and analysed. Of the 36% who responded they would consider a
career in law enforcement 46% mentioned the key word benefits, 20% mentioned helping
others, 18% listed other various reasons, and 16% did not provide a reasoning. The remaining
64% of participants advised that they would not consider law enforcement as a career. Key trends
in the responses included: low pay (54%), Danger (38%), other various reasons (8%) were cited
in the remaining participants.
The data collected provided a basis for consideration, however, time limitation did not
allow for a larger sample to be collected. Further data collection may be collected in the future to
increase sample size and determine more accurate results. Furthermore, the collecting of
questionnaires from one location has the potential to alter the sample population.

RECRUITING OF QUALITY OFFICERS

13

Recommended Action Plan


The primary goal of this project was to prepare a solution to solve the problem of low
recruitment. Through data collection and analysis, it was determined what a sample of the
population was looking for when searching for a law enforcement position. This information
provided information necessary to create an action plan to resolve possible issues with
recruitment. This The solution will be implemented in multiple stages. Up until now, job
postings were posted to the city website and in the newspaper which has excluded approximately
54% of participants the desired search method. The solution to this issue is to increase the
distribution of vacancy postings, and to change the focus of advertising efforts, putting emphasis
on areas individuals find important that the Malvern Police Department is able to compete.

In order to increase the distribution of vacancies, jobs will be posted on job posting boards such
as Indeed or Career Builder. Furthermore, it is recommended that the city website administrator
will create a link on the website for individuals who are interested in positions to be notified via
email when new vacancies are posted.

Secondly, the Malvern Police Department must also not neglect great opportunitys which it has
access to. The College of the Ouachitas has programs for criminal justice. These individuals,
who have already shown an interest in law enforcement could provide a great boost to qualified
applicants. A small information booth could be set-up when the departments entrance testing is
nearing. The booth, placed near the entrance of the building, could be manned by the full time
resource officer. The booth would provide information regarding testing dates, requirements, and

RECRUITING OF QUALITY OFFICERS

14

general information. Since the Malvern Police Department already has a full time officer on the
campus, there would be no additional resources required.

Social media, while not ranked high in this study, also may be used to increase information
distribution. Facebook advertising may be used to target specific geographic areas, age ranges,
gender, etc. This can all be done at minimal cost and greatly increase traffic to other sources of
information such as the Citys website, or job board posting. This does bear a small expense
which would require the 2017 budget to include a small line item for recruiting and advertising.

Prior to implementation of new distribution methods, the ad which is generally used by the
Malvern Police Department should be updated with the data determined during this study. Since
department pay alone is unable to draw individuals to apply for positions, the ad needs to place
greater emphasis on the benefits which are strong suits for the department (e.g., advancement
potential, vacation accrual, and low priced health insurance).

The implementation of these new methods will be difficult prior to the October 2016 testing
dates. A tentative schedule for implementation prior to April 2017 testing is as follows:

Prior to December 31, 2016:

Update MPD advertisements to emphasise important benefits

City Webmaster implement an email based notification system for job posting
information

Develop an advertising line item for the proposed 2017 department budget.

RECRUITING OF QUALITY OFFICERS

15

March 2017

4 weekly dates for College of the Ouachitas booth to be set up and manned, advertising
job information and upcoming testing date.

Use Facebook advertising tool to push information regarding test dates.

Post testing dates and vacancies to indeed.com and moster.com

April 2017
Administer hiring test and determine results of new advertising campaign.

The implementation of this program will have minimal cost associated with it. No additional
labor will be necessary to accomplish these goals. Furthermore, since this is to be implemented
over a time period until April of 2017 it is highly feasible that this can be accomplished well
ahead of schedule.

RECRUITING OF QUALITY OFFICERS

16

References

David Cruickshank, "Recognizing the True Cost of Low Morale," The Police Chief 79
(September 2012): 2630.

Eglin, D. (2004). LAW ENFORCEMENT RECRUITING: New ideas for an old problem. Law &
Order, 52(12), 46-48,50. Retrieved from https://libcatalog.atu.edu:443/login?
url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/197225122?accountid=8364
Cook, M. F., & American Management, A. (1992). The AMA Handbook for Employee
Recruitment and Retention. New York: AMACOM.
Oliver, P, "Recruitment, Selection & Retention of Law Enforcement Officers" (2014). Faculty
Books. Book 164.
http://digitalcommons.cedarville.edu/faculty_books/164

Orrick, D. (2002). Police Turnover. The Police Chief: The professional voice of Law
Enforcement, 72 (9): 16-19.

North Carolina Criminal Justice Analysis Center, Recruitment and Retention Study Series Sworn
Police Personnel, by Douglas L. Yearwood (April 2003), iv - v.

Police and Detectives: Occupational outlook. (n.d.). Retrieved September 14th, 2016, from
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/police-and-detectives.htm

RECRUITING OF QUALITY OFFICERS

17

Federal Bureau of Investigations: Uniform Crime Reporting. (n.d.) Retrieved September 14th,
2016, from https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2015/crime-in-the-u.s.-2015/offensesknown-to-law-enforcement/violent-crime

Appendix A
For the following 10 categories: Place in order from 1-10 by the level of importance when
considering a new position. (1 Being Most important consideration, 10 being lowest importance)

RECRUITING OF QUALITY OFFICERS

18

___. Pay
___. Health Insurance
___. Life Insurance
___. Vacation Accrual
___. Career advancement opportunity
___. Risk of Injury
___. Organization Culture
___. Respect of the profession
___. Ability to help others
___. Commute Time
Order the following job search techniques by order of preference. (1 being most preferred
method of job searching, 5 being the least preferred)
___. City Webpage
___. Job Search board (indeed.com, monster.com, etc.)
___. Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
___. Job fairs
___. Newspaper
Would you consider a career in law enforcement? Why or why not?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________