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Finding the Right Candidates


How to find the most qualified candidates

Recruitment in 2021!

In today's climate, recruiting for the role of a Police Officer is nothing short of challenging. Between the news headlines, police reform, and talks about "defunding the police," potential candidates are reevaluating their career decision in law enforcement. At Police Exam Solutions, we believe in working with candidates to educate them on the positive aspects involved with policing. 

It all starts here!

We believe there's more to becoming a great cop than simply passing a written exam. We have worked tirelessly to streamline a recruitment process that will produce the finest, pre-screened candidates for hire by your agency. Beginning with the initial registration process, to providing an Established Eligibility List, your agency will have little to no involvement in the initial stages of recruitment. 

Pre-Screening of Candidates:

Can a candidate read, write, and follow instructions? As a police officer these are critical skills necessary for report writing, appearing in court, and following orders given by supervisors. 

Does a candidate demonstrate accountability, responsibility, communication skills and controlled temper? Beginning at the exam registration process, and ending with the score reporting, candidate's demonstrate skills and behaviors that are necessary to succeed in this line of work. PES works hard to provide every detail necessary for a successful application and exam experience. Inevitably, we 

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The Written Exam: Entrance Exam Services

Our pre-employment entrance examination is specifically tailored for a target job in a public safety position so your agency can hire the right candidates, the first time. Based on the intimate knowledge of law enforcement positions, our exam was developed to measure the key skills, abilities and other characteristics required for job success, and represents state-of-the-art research and design.

Our examination combines four measures into one result, providing a more holistic picture of a test takers’ potential. It combines a challenging cognitive ability measure with three non-cognitive measures: personality constructs, integrity, and biographical data. These four measures produce a score for test takers that is highly predictive of their job success in law enforcement.

Get to Know the Candidate: Candidate Insight Report

PES has created an online Candidate Questionnaire which, through a series of questions, can determine a candidate's qualifications, skills, certifications, and degrees necessary to qualify as a potential new hire. Among their demographics, each candidate must answer questions on veteran's status, certifications, academy experience, education, and additional skills which may benefit them as officers.

Your Eligible Candidate List can be sorted based on the criteria, allowing you to see specific credentials among your eligible group of candidates.

Bringing AI to Policing: Projected Personality Interpreter (PPI)

Utilizing the latest in AI technology, we can assess the top 10 key personality traits of each candidate. This represents an ability to gain more insight during recruitment, and seek candidates aligned with the departments desired characteristics.

Exactly what is our Projected Personality Interpreter (PPI)? A new era of cognitive technology, namely IBM Watson, is helping measure the personality, needs, and values of potential recruits in a noninvasive and unbiased manner.

This product is offered with the written exam, but can also be used as a stand-alone product to develop a baseline for your current department culture and key characteristics.

Looking to Host an Exam: What Specific Services Will PES Provide

Hosting an exam with PES, means your agency is receiving a full service exam process. PES saves your department time and money, by providing a fully customized website registration platform that leaves you and your department out of the process. The customized site will include an introduction, job-related eligibility requirements, and a fully automated registration process.

We provide and manage the entire registration, scoring and sorting process with a custom website platform that provides everything you and your department will want, with zero effort from your staff.

In short, PES saves your department time and money, and furnishes you with a pool of the most qualified and diverse candidates with no administrative hassles.

Recruiting & Your Department

Recruiting and retention are nationwide issues law enforcement agencies face today. Yet hiring and keeping good, qualified, people is critical to the effectiveness of all law enforcement agencies. In many regions around the U.S., the police officer applicant pool is small and competitive, so it is no surprise police leaders list recruitment and retention as the top challenge they face today.

Understanding what's necessary to expand and maintain your force is critical when calling for an exam. If you are aware of the hiring hurdles, you can better strategize on marketing and outreach efforts in order to maximize your potential pool.  Below, we have highlighted materials to help you and your agency succeed in the quest for officers.


6 key steps to improve police recruitment and retention

by Nancy Perry, PoliceOne
November 1, 2018

There are key steps in the police recruitment process that can help law enforcement leaders attract the right candidates.

1. Ensure every cop is a recruiter.

Every time the police recruitment pool dwindles into a puddle, said Graham, there is a tendency to lower standards to try to increase the size of the pool, but there is a price to pay for that downstream. Departments should research strategies that expand recruitment without lowering hiring standards. “You do not have to lower standards to increase the size of the applicant pool,” said Graham. “I would make everyone a recruiter.

While cops are on duty, as part of their job, they need to recruit. We meet great people every day. Grandma has her house burglarized, and her 20-year-old grandson is helping her on the scene, that is a potential recruit. If everyone could find one good women or man in their career, it would help departments keep up with attrition. If you found one a month, you’d increase your applicant pool by 12 times.”

2. Select the best recruitment officer.

It is no secret that departments don’t necessarily assign their brightest and best cops to serve as recruitment officers. “’You screwed up every other job in our department, we will put you in recruitment’, is not the right approach,” said Graham. You need someone with both good communication and customer service skills who can walk candidates through what is often an overwhelmingly rigorous selection process.  Farming out the background investigation is also fraught with risk, said Graham, where investigators can be rude and aggressive, or even worse, there have been cases of investigators trying to pick up female candidates.

3. Project the right image.

In this day and age, a company’s website is its recruitment calling card, and that is just as true for law enforcement as any other profession. For many new recruits, the first step on their journey to becoming a police officer starts when they visit your agency’s website.  “The kids coming on board today want to make sure they are going to make a difference,” said Graham. “Does your agency’s website reflect the primary mission of public safety – the preservation of life? Does it have information on how employees in your department are making a difference in your community?”

Your website should feature a message from the chief that explains what your LE agency is all about, as well as your vision and value statement, notes Graham. Do you have a section on your website dedicated to praising your employees? While many agencies have a citizen complaint form front and center on their website, consider posting a personnel commendation form to show your agency focuses on the positive difference LE makes in your community.

4. Maintain communication with applicants during the recruitment process

Compared to other professions, applying to become a police officer can be a long and arduous process. If recruitment takes so long that people leave to go to another agency, what can you do to shorten the process at your agency? Can you give people a preliminary job offer to keep them around while you do the background investigation? “Regular contact with people is essential,” said Graham. “I see some very clever departments whose recruiters keep in contact every day with people via apps on smartphones. They talk to people on a regular basis to tell them the status of their background check and tell them what is going on.”

5. Recruit where good candidates hang out

While you may find potential candidates at job fairs, the next generation of police officers can be found in many different places.  “Military bases are filled with great candidates, colleges are filled with great candidates, volunteer organizations are filled with great candidates,” notes Graham. In addition, consider a candidate’s life experience.

“Backgrounds today are much more complex than they used to be. The new generation has had different experiences.  Many have never been in a physical confrontation so getting punched in the face is a foreign concept to them. In their mind, it might justify deadly force. Strive to hire people who know about life. A lot of people who know about life may have some criminal problems in their past. So what? Think it through. Find out the facts, not just the charge,” said Graham.

6. Recognize that recruitment drives retention

Recruitment is closely tied to retention. Once you attract the right people, you need strategies in place to keep them. This means asking candidates, “Do you really know what you are getting into?” Folks need to understand that law enforcement is much different than what they see on TV or in the movies.

“What are you doing to build employee trust and pride in your organization?” asks Graham. “What options do personnel have in your department to advance or do something different? If employees think they are always going to be in patrol or working in the jail, they may choose to move on. Consider developing levels within positions where you can keep people, increase their pay, and keep their skills and abilities up to date.”

Final thoughts.

At the close of his session, Graham had one request for attendees: “Please do not lower standards, instead, revisit the way you recruit. Revisit the hiring process, the background investigation process, the academy process, the FTO process and the evaluation process, all with the goal of getting and keeping good people.”