Purpose – The cost of selecting and training new police officers is high. However, previous researchhas provided limited guidance on how to select the best applicants. The purpose of this paper is toenhance the understanding of the possibilities to select suitable applicants by using combinations offour common categories of selection methods, namely cognitive tests, personality inventories, physicaltests, and rater-based methods (i.e. interviews).
Design/methodology/approach – Using a sample of Swedish police recruits (n¼750) the authorsperformed hierarchical multiple regression analyses, predicting four criteria – performance, satisfaction,retention, and health – at three consecutive time points (after two years of academy training, after sixmonths of field training, and after the first work year).
Findings – No group of selection methods consistently predicted all four criteria at the three timepoints. In most analyses more than one class of selection methods were statistically significant, but thefindings did not support the use of rater-based methods.
Practical implications – Instead of the common praxis of using interviews, the findings suggest analternative praxis. This involves using the remaining information from cognitive tests, personalityinventories, and general fitness tests that had been used in earlier hurdles to screen out unsuitable applicants.
Originality/value – The study extends previous research by including several follow-ups, showingthe value of combining different selection methods, and using alternative criteria of successful policerecruitment (i.e. satisfaction, retention, and health).
2015. Vol. 38, no 2, 221-238 p.