In-House Innovation in Recruitment 2020

Leaders of the Future – North Yorkshire Police in partnership with Cappfinity

As the UK’s largest single county force, North Yorkshire Police needs to continuously respond to the changing nature of demand for policing. The new recruitment and assessment process required a focus on values and culture that also complemented the current policing competency framework. Strengths were identified as the best way to unlock this potential.

  • In a world with ever evolving threats with consistent changes in complexity, policing in 2025 will look and feel significantly different. North Yorkshire Police realised it would no longer be able to rely predominantly on traditional recruitment methods and approaches.
  • Through its police officer promotion boards, the force realised that interviews were a ‘rehearsed’ process – candidates would spend days if not weeks rehearsing competency-based examples, giving no opportunity for applicants to bring their best self to the interview and demonstrate their true potential. Developing a strengths-levelled framework allowed the force to tailor its approach for different levels and ranks across the force to ensure that the content and candidate experience was appropriate.
  • A range of innovative assessment tools including an online immersive assessment, strengths-based interview, virtual reality and micro exercises were introduced. This strengths-based recruitment moved away from the ‘evidence-based’ competency approach that is an embedded process across the policing culture.
  • To deliver the new process, the Talent Team needed the support of the entire force, so gaining buy-in from the Chief Officer Team from the outset was paramount. Didn’t want the perception that this was just another ‘fad from HR’, so having the full support of the Chief Officer Team was critical to the success.
  • The legacy has shown that challenging the status quo and taking a leap of faith has very quickly become one of North Yorkshire Police’s unique selling points, receiving interest from senior leaders in other forces nationally, as well as the College of Policing.

Judges’ comments: “Showcases how they challenged the status quo, blending technology and innovation for better outcomes for police recruitment, without using tech for tech’s sake. The approach showed marked improvement in creating a fair experience for candidates and has attracted interest from other forces – and the College of Policing – who now want to share this best practice.”