The recent process being used by Lancashire Police to recruit 100 new Bobbies is extremely unfair.
With the force advertising vacancies for the first time in five years it was obvious there would be an overwhelming response.
In their wisdom, Lancashire Police have decided they can only deal with 500 applicants for these posts.
Applicants were asked to ring the police for an application pack. Unsurprisingly the police were overwhelmed with calls and many potential applicants could not get through. I understand some people even resorted to asking family, friends and neighbours to make calls on their behalf but still could not get through.
The phone lines opened at 11am and by 3.30pm the 500 packs had been issued and the process was closed. No doubt there will be some excellent candidates within those 500 lucky callers, but it is highly likely there will be many other people with exceptional qualities who did not have the chance to apply.
For example, many people already in full time employment will not have been in a position to keep hitting redial because they were at work. Others may have been working away or even been on holiday.
There would be little wrong with this process if recruitment happened a couple of times a year and could reasonably be anticipated. However, as this is the first one in half a decade, with no expectation of another one any time soon, it is simply an abysmal way to approach such an important process.
Although it would have been more time consuming, a fairer way would have been to create an application window of about a week, advertised well in advance.
Applicants should have been required to fill out a first stage application outlining their qualifications and suitability for the role. These applications, of which admittedly there would have been 1,000s, should then have been sifted to identify the leading applicants.
Many of these 100 new recruits could have a career in the police service which lasts more than 35 years. Surely it is worth investing time and money in ensuring the applicants for these posts are the best and not simply the fastest dialers.
Lancashire Police have asked for feedback on this recruitment process, please write to them. They don’t appear to realise just how many people they have alienated due to this lazy, badly thought through process.