On Monday, The Bartholomew County Commissioners approved a three-year-contract with Policeapp.com to handle several aspects of their recruitment efforts. Going forward candidates seeking a law enforcement job with the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department will need to apply online and pay a fee.
"While taxpayers pay nothing for the service, every applicant will be asked to pay a $20 fee." commissioner Rick Flohr said. That amount was confirmed by Mike Quadrato, Business Development Director for Policeapp.com.
After Commissioner Chairman Larry Kleinhenz said the fee would likely reduce the number of people applying for a position, sheriff’s Capt. Brandon Slate responded by saying it would also raise the likelihood of receiving more serious applicants.
Based in Meriden, Connecticut, Policeapp.com provides the following services:
- Publicize current law enforcement job openings.
- Match candidates with the jobs they are qualified to fill.
- Provide more efficient communication between departments and applicants.
- Streamline and organize the application experience.
The fee goes toward paying for those services, as well as for background checks and tracking, Quadrato said.
For the sheriff’s department, the biggest benefit of hiring the company is its ability to recruit more applicants than what can be done in-house with the current staff, Slate told the commissioners.
For example, a recent test run with an online application process increased the number of applicants from an average of 40 per posting to 240 applications, Slate said. However, administrators discovered they did not have the manpower to process such a large increase in job seekers, he said.
While only 41 of the 240 online applicants showed up to be further considered, that was still a stronger response than what the department received through conventional recruitment efforts and paper applications.
According to Slate, requesting fees from applicants is not uncommon for law enforcement jobs. Until last year, the Columbus Police Department was charging each applicant a $35 fee, he told the commissioners.
Although that fee was used to offset the costs of administering and grading tests, applicants have not been charged during the most recent two testing processes, Columbus Police Department spokesman Lt. Matt Harris said.
Current recruitment efforts used by the city department include going to college campuses, approaching recently discharged veterans and advertising on various forms of media, Harris said. The city’s recruitment process has evolved as the result of a recently completed Six Sigma efficiency audit, he said.