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  • Quality of Applicants

    Over the last six months our department has conducted two hiring processes, and will be conducting our 3rd in April 2015. We are experiencing real difficulty in finding candidates that can pass the written and/or physical agility tests. In the past two processes we have lost nearly half the hiring pool just from the written examination. Those who are successful in the written exam go on to take the physical agility test. During this phase we seem to lose another 1/3 of the applicants. It has become extremely frustrating as we feel as if at times we are not hiring the best candidate, but the "least worst of."
    We utilize the National POST test as our written exam and the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy agility standards which consist of:
    16" Vertical Jump
    29 situps (1 min)
    25 pushups (no time limit)
    300 meter run (71 seconds)
    1.5 Mile Run (-16:28)

    I attribute a lot of the poor performance on the written exam to technology. We rely so much on or electronic gadgets for everything, such as auto-correct. The physical agility failure is simply lack of preparation IMO.

    Just wondering if other agencies are experiencing the same. Please let me know your thoughts.

  • #2
    There has been a significant amount of research on how texting negatively affects the written communication skills of the HS and college age groups.

    Comment


    • #3
      What department is this? I would love to come test.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm going to risk a little controversy here, but IMHO your department's experience is fairly typical. A comprehensive hiring process is also, ( and should be) a weeding out process. The goal, and this would seem to be case with your agency, is to select and train ONLY the very best applicants.

        In this connection, you might find it helpful should you review the thoughts and comments of many would be officers who visit this forum on a regular basis. You see much entitlement, and some criminal histories which would do justice to Al Capone, or Frank Nitti

        All of that said, and despite some of my less than polite or favorable comments to many of the people I've described, I haven't lost faith in the current crop of young people. Many of them, most of them in truth, are some of the most delightful, committed, decent people on the planet.

        These, in essence are the people we want in this profession, provided they can make the cut through the entire hiring process. Based on what you've posted, and believe me, I don't deny much of it's truth, I think your agency is on the right path. Just my .02 though.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by bluediamonds View Post
          16" Vertical Jump
          29 situps (1 min)
          25 pushups (no time limit)
          300 meter run (71 seconds)
          1.5 Mile Run (-16:28)
          Are these how the standards in IA have always been, or have they been reduced to make the test accessable to more applicants? The 16:28 mile and a half time blows my mind. Most people can walk farther in that time! Technology def has a lot to do with the deterioration in written performance IMHO... Darn accronyms and their effects on reading/writing. (Though the LE community isn't one to throw stones when it comes to abbreviating!)
          Last edited by Next3Exits; 01-13-2015, 12:24 PM. Reason: correction
          "The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion." Proverbs 28:1

          “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” -Steven King

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by bluediamonds View Post
            Over the last six months our department has conducted two hiring processes, and will be conducting our 3rd in April 2015. We are experiencing real difficulty in finding candidates that can pass the written and/or physical agility tests. In the past two processes we have lost nearly half the hiring pool just from the written examination. Those who are successful in the written exam go on to take the physical agility test. During this phase we seem to lose another 1/3 of the applicants. It has become extremely frustrating as we feel as if at times we are not hiring the best candidate, but the "least worst of."
            That sounds fairly normal as to the percentages. At least for around my area.
            Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

            My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

            Comment


            • #7
              When I was first hired in the late 1960s, testing generally followed the 50% rule.

              50% got wiped out on the application review, 50% failed the written, 50% failed the oral, 50% failed the physical agility, 50% failed the background and 50% failed the medical (there was no psych back then). When all was said and done, only about 1 or 2 out of every 100 who applied got hired.

              It sounds like nothing has changed in the past 45 years.
              Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

              Comment


              • #8
                Standards only need to be lowered when you can't make them.

                I'm hiring. qualifications are
                50 push ups
                10 sit ups
                13:35mile& half

                score of 75 or more on the written test.

                Susan really wants this job but keeps getting flagged on the run. If you would make it 15:10 she would be happy cause she does it in 14:56 .

                Tom was a jock in school and can do all of the physical stuff with room to spare. However he is dumber than a box of rocks. Why can't someone just show me what to do and take it from there.

                Then you come along and score 99 and do all the physical stuff clean bg and now you are hired. Do you think there is anything wrong with the standards? Let's say you got them all except the sit ups. you would be an excellent candidate. However those darn sit ups get in the way. you don't do sit ups on the job anyway, now, what do you think of the standards?

                Comment


                • #9
                  However those darn sit ups get in the way.
                  If you can't figure out a way to do 10 situps you don't want the job badly enough.

                  If you would make it 15:10 she would be happy cause she does it in 14:56 .
                  You can WALK 1.5 miles in that time. You should be able to run TWO miles in 15 minutes, easy.

                  If you can't run 1.5 miles in fifteen minutes you're not trying.

                  now, what do you think of the standards?
                  I think they are great. I know of NO agency PT test that should be particularly difficult for an individual in reasonable shape. None require exceptional athleticism.

                  NONE represent the fitness level required to ensure you can fight and win in a life or death physical confrontation... which really should be the minimum fitness level required of a peace officer.

                  If you can't get off the couch and achieve the barest minimum of physical fitness, as represented by a hiring PT test, STAY on the couch.

                  You're a lazy putz. I'm not interested in carrying your workload as well as mine. I want somebody backing me up who has at LEAST the will and fire to do a few pushups once in a while. I want somebody who wants the job badly enough to actually DO the job.

                  If you can't bring yourself to workout a little bit, if you're that lazy, what's going to happen when it's 15 degrees and snowing at 0300? Your @zz is going to be in your cruiser with the heater on, hiding out from the work. When there is work to be done on the jail floor, you'll be the one out smoking or sorting paperwork or finding some other excuse not to do the real work at hand.

                  we don't need you.
                  Last edited by tanksoldier; 01-13-2015, 09:52 PM.
                  "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

                  "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by btfp View Post
                    10 sit ups
                    Yes please, lol. Will they serve cake after?
                    "The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion." Proverbs 28:1

                    “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” -Steven King

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      How does your department pool its applicants? Is it by application from online, or do they combine it with word of mouth, resume submitted to "X" etc ...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I read a article last week that said the average college student in the first year of college only reads at the 7th grade level, which to me is a pretty sad indicator of the education system...
                        Retired LASD

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Retired96 View Post
                          I read a article last week that said the average college student in the first year of college only reads at the 7th grade level, which to me is a pretty sad indicator of the education system...
                          Call me a kook, but I am anti-technology. When the lights go out, and THEY WILL GO OUT, what do we do? We look for a candle, (or flashlight). All this crap, Tab4's, Ipads, Iphones, S345... all that does is DUMB down our kids. That's all it has done. When we went in to Iraq, word was we killed off an entire generation of literacy, I believe the technology age that WE'RE IN NOW has killed off at least 1 generation and quite possibly more on the way. Probably time to go back a few years, get read of tablets in schools and elsewhere and take the time to do things by the numbers. There's no excuse why we don't see kids riding bicycles up and down streets, or outside playing ball, hide and seek, just normal physical activity. Instead they want to vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate. People wonder, why does my kid have Asperger's or other Autistic issues, well keep sticking them with needles when they're 2 minutes old and feed them McDonalds then buy them a PS4 or XB1 so they can morph into a whale. Then they start tearing your house up and don't bother using a belt on them, call 5-0 so they can come and tell your child to STFU. Ok, rant off.

                          Sorry for my outburst, I'll go back on silent mode.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Next3Exits View Post
                            Are these how the standards in IA have always been, or have they been reduced to make the test accessable to more applicants? The 16:28 mile and a half time blows my mind. Most people can walk farther in that time! Technology def has a lot to do with the deterioration in written performance IMHO... Darn accronyms and their effects on reading/writing. (Though the LE community isn't one to throw stones when it comes to abbreviating![emoji14])
                            IA or IN (Indiana) ? I'm in Iowa and our standards are based on age brackets. Never had to do the vertical jumps or 300 m run at the test. 16:28 for mile and half is an eternity.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by just joe View Post
                              There has been a significant amount of research on how texting negatively affects the written communication skills of the HS and college age groups.
                              This statement is pretty blanketed. But as a member of the younger generation being referred to, I cannot deny the effects. It takes alot of self control to avoid conforming to the lower and lower standards being set for my generation, and I refuse to let that happen.

                              Despite that, I wouldn't call out technology too much. Too many benefits, the ones who let it affect them and are weak to that extent, technology may not have made a difference anyways. But it certainly may have had an influence

                              Comment

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