At the front line of police recruitment

The government’s pledge to recruit 20,000 new police officers over the next three years presents a huge opportunity for forces across the country. But, how will they set about meeting this recruitment challenge?

We spoke to Rob Atkin MBE, a serving Chief Superintendent who leads police officer recruitment for the Metropolitan Police. He shared his tips of handling volume recruitment in police forces. 

Q: What tips would you give other forces when it comes to managing volume recruitment?

A: There are a few tips I would offer:

  1. Planning is essential, particularly when you are dealing with volume recruitment. It takes time to streamline processes and for improvements to take effect.

  2. Engagement with existing officers is critical in showcasing policing opportunities.

  3. Having a customer focused recruitment journey is essential to attracting the very best talent.

  4. Effective positive action and the ability to attract underrepresented groups is critical, along with a detailed understanding of barriers and how to address these.

  5. Question the status quo, just because we have always done something does not mean it cannot be changed – particularly when it comes to policy.

  6. Be bold in your ambition and look to where innovation through technology and process improvement can make the recruitment process quicker and more effective.

  7. Look beyond recruitment to understand how new staff are onboarded and supported throughout their careers. For example, the Metropolitan Police Service has recently introduced part-time training options which have proved very popular.

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