How the right mobile technology can improve your agency’s ability to hire great candidates

Content provided by Miller Mendel

Employers are facing a hiring crisis. This is especially true for law enforcement, healthcare and other essential service professions. An IACP survey in 2019 found that 78% of public security services struggle to recruit, hire and retain officers.

This crisis has been exacerbated by many current social, demographic, political and economic issues. To overcome these staffing challenges, employers must adapt by reworking the recruitment, selection and onboarding processes.

Affordable and innovative technology is available.

Affordable and innovative technology is available. (Photo / Miller Mendel)

Now more than ever, it’s important that all phases of your hiring process are streamlined and made accessible to candidates in a fair manner. It is also important that your processes are optimized for mobile devices in order to efficiently reach the available workforce. If you don’t provide an end-to-end mobile recruiting process, you are losing potential candidates.

A typical law enforcement hiring process is long and cumbersome, and there is significant attrition. It’s important to carefully review your hiring data and determine where candidates are lost throughout the process. Don’t be fooled by hunches or anecdotes. Some applicants are excluded from the process because they do not pass an exam, fail a physical aptitude test, or do not meet basic standards.

However, many agencies report that over 50% of applicants opt out voluntarily or fail to show up at process stages. It is here that agencies can take advantage of the tools and techniques available to reduce the loss of viable applicants.

Several studies reveal the most common reasons why candidates voluntarily abandon a process. These include:

  1. Long, slow and tedious process.
  2. Lack of feedback and response to the requester during the process.
  3. Hiring processes that are not adapted to mobile devices.
  4. Rigid initial selection criteria which do not take into account the overall circumstances of the situations and thus screen out suitable candidates.

The District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department has recognized these latest hiring challenges and implemented eSOPH, the only public safety background software with mobile capabilities.

The District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department has recognized these latest hiring challenges and implemented eSOPH, the only public safety background software with mobile capabilities. (Photo / Miller Mendel)

Streamlining does not mean reducing the quality of the process; it means eliminating non-value-adding process steps and using technology to speed up administrative processing of documents and hiring processes. By using technological tools tailored to the target audience, agencies can have the best of both worlds: an efficient recruiting process and an increased diversity, size and satisfaction of the candidate pool.

However, the technology used in the hiring process needs to be carefully aligned to meet your agency’s goals. Indiscriminate use of technology in the hiring process can backfire.

A recent Harvard Business School study determined that many automated selection algorithms exclude highly qualified candidates due to overly restrictive job descriptions and selection criteria unrelated to a candidate’s ability to perform essential job functions. job.

Non-traditional applicants or applicants with unusual experiences that might be suitable may fall through the cracks due to overly rigid sorting criteria. A best practice may be to widen the funnel at the top to allow more candidates to apply, and then filter them individually during the testing and training processes.

The target demographic of recruits and law enforcement officers can be broadly described as a diverse group of individuals in terms of race, gender, ethnicity and experience, aged between 21 and 40 years old. This is a generation of “digital natives” – a generation of people who grew up in the age of ubiquitous technology. The strategic use of modern technology in the hiring process will have a positive impact on your agency.

The third largest sheriff's service in the country has increased its background efficiency by more than 50% using eSOPH.

The third largest sheriff’s service in the country has increased its background efficiency by more than 50% using eSOPH. (Photo / Miller Mendel)

Mobile-friendly processes will allow you to reach and interact more effectively with a more diverse and age-appropriate audience. The Pew Research Center 2021 Mobile Fact Sheet reports that 95% of all adults between the ages of 18 and 49 have a smartphone. What’s more, nearly 30% of adults aged 18-29 use smartphones instead of computers at home – some don’t even own a personal computer. Hispanic and African American adults in the United States are less likely to own a traditional computer or have high-speed internet at home and use mobile devices to access online content. Data also shows that Hispanic and African American adult women are the most common users of mobile technology. The use of mobile-optimized tools is important as we aim for diversity in our recruitment pools.

Statistical data gleaned from the eSOPH back-end system showed that of the thousands of applicants and referrals who access the eSOPH system every week, more than 50% use mobile devices. eSOPH is the background investigation software system used nationwide by more than 2,400 law enforcement investigators. “These numbers correspond to thousands of applicants and referrals who would have either abandoned the process or delayed submitting information related to the background investigation if our system had not been fully compatible with mobile devices,” he said. said Tyler Miller, founder and president of Miller Mendel, Inc., the company that provides the eSOPH back-end system to public safety agencies.

According to a recent economic study by Daniel Zhao, senior economist and data scientist at Glassdoor, a mobile-friendly hiring experience can increase the number of job applicants by 11.6%. This is a huge advantage in a tight labor market. This percentage will only increase.

SMS is another valuable communication tool for recruiters and hiring managers to communicate with candidates. Research shows that text messages are read and received faster and more frequently than email or voice messages. Text-based recruiting tools designed for recruitment by law enforcement agencies can facilitate interaction with applicants right on their mobile phones and provide up-to-date, easy-to-access information about the application process.

One of the most complicated, detailed, and time-consuming steps in the law enforcement hiring process is the pre-employment investigation phase. Your agency can gain an advantage and reduce background investigation time by optimizing your background check process for mobile devices.

eSOPH is a pre-employment background investigation software system designed specifically for public safety agencies that is fully compatible with desktop and mobile devices. For eight weeks in 2021, eSOPH tracked the activity of 10 of its client agencies to determine when applicants and referrals accessed the system using mobile devices. During this period, the system was accessed by applicants and their references more than 14,000 times from mobile devices. Mobile access not only benefits the candidate, but it also facilitates the responses of the candidate’s referrals by allowing the referral to submit information to eSOPH via mobile devices, dramatically increasing the rate and speed of responses.

The tight job market will be with us for some time to come, and it’s critical for agencies to find new ways to connect with applicants, keep them engaged, and conduct background checks effectively. One theme of the COPS and IACP office’s “Hiring for the 21st Century Law Enforcement Officer” report is that agencies will be more successful at hiring recruits if they make the hiring process more efficient. Affordable and innovative technology is available to help agencies of all sizes overcome the challenge of staffing.

For more information, visit eSOPH by Miller Mendel.

NEXT: Hire Smarter: How New Tools and Techniques Can Help Your Agency Build Strength for the Future

Comments are closed.