Homeland security is a United States military department working to improve U. S security. It was incepted in 2003 for community policing and responding to disasters. Over time the organization has broadened its scope of operation to respond to rising issues such as fraud, human trafficking, immigration enforcement, identity theft, internal security, and counter-terrorism (White, 2018). With more services added to this agency’s work list, it has faced many human capital challenges related to recruitment, retaining, and managing its workforce. Many factors have contributed to officers leaving the agency, among them lack of compensation, personal interests and characteristics, agency-related issues, and others are attracted to other job opportunities. This research paper looks at improving the recruitment and retention of officers in the Homeland Security Anti-terrorism wing.
Ways of Improving Recruitment and Retention
Working for Homeland Security counter-terrorism is putting one’s life on the line to prevent terrorist attacks. This is considered dangerous as terrorists are armed and violent. Counter-terrorism is an activity meant in order to avoid terror attacks. Enticing potential personnel to this division might be challenging, and so is enrolling and retaining them (Cherney, 2018). Some ways can be employed to ensure officers are maintained after recruitment.
One way of improving recruitment and retention is through enhancing compensation and other benefits. Awarding officers goes a long way in motivating them and boosting their morale (Supplee et al., 2018). The agency should provide a competitive level of payment which will be vital and ensure long-term viability. Salaries should be competitive if compared to others in related fields (Bromley, 2018). These officers will stay longer when paid what is worth their work. Pay increases could be made regularly to motivate those in the system and attract more recruits.
Another way of enhancing staffing and retaining of workers is through employee gratification. The agency can analyze demographic trends and surveys and interview officers in the system on job satisfaction (Supplee et al., 2018). Apart from learning if officers are contented with their working conditions, the approach will additionally enable the Homeland Security agency to know and understand the organization’s potential for attracting and retaining officers for the work. There is growing concern that Homeland Security officers do tasks that ordinary civilians can do (Cherney, 2018). The agency should aggressively work to ensure all uniformed personnel is given unique duties that they are qualified to perform to separate them from the rest.
Another way is to offer realistic job previews to candidates and require contracts with new employees. Efforts to hire new officers seem inadequate, as most agencies focus on actively recruiting candidates who have volunteered already. There needs to be a more anticipatory approach that will field officers with specified recruitment goals. The agency can consider hiring pre-trained candidates who have done some professional training or law enforcement certification. Some people do professional training at their own expense, while others are trained by prior employers (Supplee et al., 2018). Hiring pre-trained officers is beneficial as these recruits have lower attrition, higher retention, and higher training readiness. The department might also require contracts for recruits to reduce employee turnover costs.
Retention can be achieved through engaging officers in decision-making, evaluation, and feedback opportunities. Some officers may be significantly motivated if their job plans are flexible (Demir, 2021). Strategies such as telecommuting, working from home, job-sharing, having alternate scheduling, and staggered work hours have become popular in many working environments (Supplee et al., 2018). These strategies allow for better working and family balance and can attract workers and potential recruits.
Career Progression and Promotion
The agency can offer career progression and promotion to the officers. Most people aim to advance in their careers; thus, career progression is a powerful tool for motivation and retention. Promotion exams, for instance, are carried out every three years in the United States, and officers are promoted based on their performance. The agency can move down the list of qualified candidates whenever the need arises. Frequent examinations and regularly convening promotional boards to pass enough officers to fill vacancies between the regular tests will help better the quality of those promoted; boost their morale hence assisting in retention.
The agency will improve recruitment by utilizing a digital platform to analyze data, which may effectively be used to hire and retain new personnel. This tool tracks the agency’s recruiting activities and successes in real-time. The approach can predict an applicant pool’s composition based on the recruitment activity’s location, target audience, and event type. This will make the hiring process more transparent, cost-effective, efficient, and user-friendly. As the agency has conditions that candidates must fulfill, it has to limit its expectations while hiring recruits. Most young people do not meet the minimum requirements for becoming officers. The military nature of police work emphasizes formality and hierarchy (Yılmaz, 2021). Officers have to make sacrifices that include maintaining a specific appearance; for example, they are not to have a beard or tattoos.
Improved Working Conditions
There are irregular schedules and long shifts, which discourages potential applicants. These conditions differ from young people’s attitudes toward the nature of work. Changes in generational values regarding life off-duty have affected recruitment, with flexibility and emotional control sought by many young generations appearing incompatible with traditional police environments. Altering anticipations will aid in attracting more people to the security forces, particularly the hazardous counter-terrorism wing (Supplee et al., 2018). This can be achieved by conducting a survey on generational choices, attitudes, perceptions, and broad demographic changes over time to identify changing preferences in a career in the security forces.
Effective Work Policies
Police agencies will ensure retention if they devote resources to understanding their workforce, as this human capital is crucial for police departments. This can be done within the organization by supervisors communicating directly to the upper management regarding any problems that the staff may cause. Thus, the executives should identify at-risk employees and those members trying to leave the organization and find their reasons for departing. Some officers might be frustrated or disappointed in their work for reasons such as not being promoted. Explaining to these officers is essential as it will enable them to understand why they are not eligible for the promotion. Immediate supervisors can establish support systems for officers going through difficulties and consider granting time off for officers requiring it.
The above scenario will promote retention as officers will not feel uncared for or overwhelmed. Mentoring programs through peer mentorship can promote long-term goals, including collegiate relationships among officers. The approvals will significantly improve people’s attitudes toward the security agency, especially counter-terrorism. Despite the many dangers posed to anti-terror police, implementing measures to guarantee job satisfaction and improve their general welfare will attract potential candidates to the security agency. Better hiring and management practices improve agency effectiveness and its image with its employees and community and save costs for replacing personnel.
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