More money and more time have been spent in recent years on law enforcement recruiting than at any time in history. While it is commendable that our agencies have recognized the danger of low staffing and are attempting to correct it, it is somewhat perplexing at the decisions that many are making.

I have often spoken about the waste of time and money on non-recruiting initiatives such as websites, videos, etc. While WE may think this is effective, the data and the research have routinely shown that marketing efforts are not only ineffective, but they also often get in the way of actual recruiting.

I recently spoke to a supervisor over a recruiting unit and before he arrived in the unit they had spent millions on marketing efforts and their applicants had gone down. He was searching for the answers as to why and as soon as I explained the difference between marketing and recruiting, he immediately caught on and more importantly, began the journey to actual recruiting.

What is Recruiting?

I’m going to keep this very simple and if you want a more detailed response, I encourage you to watch a webinar I recently conducted on the issue. While marketing is highlighting a product (or police department) to sway the viewers’ opinion, recruiting is finding interested employees and bringing them to the employer.

It is really that simple and that is why no marketing effort alone will ever help with recruiting. While marketing companies, that often call themselves recruiters in our profession, say that recruit, what they do should tell you everything you need to know.  

Marketers send you website hits, while recruiters send you employees.

Cost of Recruiting

Marketing is an expensive venture and often pitched that it has to continue forever. As a business model, this is smart, but it shows that marketers (calling themselves recruiters) know they can never solve your recruiting problem.

Recruiting, when done correctly, is much cheaper than marketing. It is often done during part of the year or can easily dial up or down depending on when an agency needs applicants.

An actual recruiting company can even tell you exactly what it will cost for the number of candidates or applicants that you need. This is something a marketing company can never tell you.

SAFEGUARD Recruiting

You can contact SAFEGUARD Recruiting right now and tell them how many employees you need, and they will tell you exactly what that will cost. While the actual cost may be a small range, depending on your specific needs and resources, they know this because they have conducted over 300 recruiting campaigns across the country, and they have the data to prove everything they say. 

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