Modernize recruitment to support diversity and reduce bias
The RCMP is looking to increase diversity amongst applicants and cadets by modernizing its screening tools to promote diversity and ensure candidates have the characteristics and attributes for future police workforce needs. This includes screening for bias, racism and discriminatory attitudes and beliefs. We will also increase diversity amongst proactive recruiters, to better represent the diversity we seek to attract.
- Inuit youth applying to the RCMP get help from training program
- RCMP cadets learning more about Indigenous experiences
- Police program jump-starts RCMP careers for nearly 75 Indigenous youth
- Officer inspires new Canadians to join RCMP
Why it matters
Meeting the policing needs of a modern Canada requires a broad set of skills and new ways of thinking. The modernization of RCMP recruitment is an important part of ensuring the organization is a career of choice for Canadian citizens and permanent residents, and an opportunity to diversify the talent pool by attracting applicants from Black, Indigenous and other racialized groups, as well as people of diverse genders.
The RCMP has and continues to modernize the recruitment approach to identify and rectify barriers that have impeded women, Black, Indigenous, and other racialized groups from being successful in the application process.
The RCMP has contracted two external companies to conduct recruitment market research and develop a marketing strategy. The marketing strategy, informed by the market research, will help target our efforts more precisely with a focus on attracting sought-after candidates, equity seeking groups, and Indigenous candidates.
Recommendations from the 2021 PricewaterhouseCooper's end-to-end review and the November 2022 comprehensive internal review of the recruitment process have been implemented and are being measured. For example, residency thresholds for Permanent Residents has been reduced to attract a greater diversity of candidates, thereby benefitting from Canada's growing immigrant population and continuing to build a team reflective of the public we serve.
The new online cognitive and personality assessment tool that is being used to screen all potential candidates, introduced in April 2022, has resulted in a significant increase in pass rates across all candidates, with members of visible minorities being the most successful. Additionally, we have reduced the time to process new recruits by 97 days.
The RCMP launched the Diverse and Inclusive Pre-Cadet Experience (DICE), a new three-week program at the National Training Academy, which focuses on removing systemic barriers that impact racialized and underrepresented persons aspiring to join the RCMP. As part of the new program, pre-cadets are paired with mentors for support and guidance.
A national RCMP First Nations, Inuit and Métis Recruitment Strategy, led through an Indigenous lens, is currently under development. The strategy will focus on examining and addressing barriers, enhancing attraction, assessment and selection. It will also look forward to ensure retention and support. The Recruitment Modernization Unit is actively examining and removing barriers in the recruitment process under the direction of a retired Indigenous Regular Member officer working closely with teams of reviewers.
The RCMP is looking to increase diversity amongst applicants and cadets by modernizing its screening tools to promote diversity and to ensure candidates have the characteristics and attributes for future police workforce needs. This includes screening for bias, racism and discriminatory attitudes and beliefs. The organization is also increasing diversity among proactive recruiters.
In April 2022, the RCMP began the use of a new cognitive and personality assessment tool to screen potential candidates. This tool helps determine the suitability of candidates for employment as RCMP officers.
The assessment tool measures quantifiable personality traits on individual scales and allows people to be compared to other people. It provides a broad selection of questions to gauge aptitude in the areas of:
- behavioural and personality traits
- indicators of resilience
- communication style
- social interaction
- problem solving skills
- sense of responsibility
Applicants need to meet a benchmark result to continue in the recruitment process.
The final report summarizing the findings of a pilot project on implicit bias testing was provided to the RCMP by commissioned consultants in August 2021. More than 5,000 applicants in the RCMP police officer recruitment process were invited to voluntarily complete four tests by email, which measured implicit (unconscious) bias relating to ethnicity, gender, faith, and sexual orientation. The response rate was 20%, representing approximately 1,000 applicants.
The results from the implicit bias testing pilot project strongly suggest that the sample of RCMP applicants showed low levels of bias compared to other comparable samples. These results indicate a group of potential police officers equipped with the characteristics to provide bias-free policing.
Through this project, consideration was given to how and when biases may develop over an individual's career in the RCMP when exposed to different environments and the culture of the organization.
Currently, there is not a specific test to examine implicit bias toward Indigenous peoples; however, work is underway to develop and validate a test for future use.
The National Recruiting Program is currently working with an external consulting company to conduct a comprehensive review of the entire RCMP police officer recruitment process. The consulting company delivered its final report in late November 2021.
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