Personnel Selection Officers apply behavioural science knowledge and procedures to evaluate the factors that affect working relationships. They provide professional advice to military commanders, particularly in the areas of recruiting, selection, leadership, performance appraisal and other human resource issues.
The primary responsibilities of a Personnel Selection Officer are to:
- Assess applicants to the Canadian Forces and recommend training
- Recommend Canadian Forces members for special training
- Support professional development, accreditation and transition programs
- Conduct applied and advanced behavioural research
- Conduct occupational analyses
- Teach military leadership, management and behavioural science courses
- Train Military Career Counsellors in interviewing techniques, personnel assessments and counselling techniques
- Write selection policy, design selection instruments, and develop selection assessment processes
- Engage in strategic human resource concept design, planning and coordination
Personnel Selection Officers work in a variety of settings, from an office environment in a headquarters or base, to operational tours abroad in support of Canadian Forces’ missions. Personnel Selection Officers initially work at the base level conducting interviews and aptitude tests, and compiling other sources of information to assess the suitability of individuals for commissioning programs, subsequent assignments, and appropriate military occupations.
The starting salary for a fully-trained Personnel Selection Officer is $51,000 per year; however, depending on previous experience and training the starting salary may be higher. Regular promotions through the junior officer ranks take place based on the completion of required training and on the length of service as an officer. Once promoted to the rank of Lieutenant (Navy)/ Captain, their salary is approximately $74,000 per year.
After several years of employment at a base and recruitment centre, a Personnel Selection Officer may apply for graduate training in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Social Psychology, Industrial Relations or Sociology. After successful completion of a Master’s degree, a Personnel Selection Officer will be assigned to National Defence Headquarters conducting organizational research, at Royal Military College teaching psychology, or at numerous other positions where post-graduate training is essential.
After enrolment, you start basic officer training at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, for 14 weeks. Topics covered include general military knowledge, the principles of leadership, regulations and customs of the Canadian Forces, basic weapons handling, and first aid. Opportunities will also be provided to apply such newly acquired military skills in training exercises involving force protection, field training, navigation and leadership. A rigorous physical fitness program is also a vital part of basic training. Basic officer training is provided in English or French and successful completion is a prerequisite for further training.
Second language training is available following basic officer training; depending on your ability in your second language, it may take from two to nine months.
Personnel Selection Officers attend the Canadian Forces Training Development Centre in Borden, Ontario. They learn how to conduct interviews, and how to evaluate and counsel individuals concerning military service, military occupational training and employment, special training and employment, resettlement, academic upgrading and orientation. They also learn to conduct Second Career Assistance Workshops and provide career counselling for military members transitioning to the civilian workforce.
Personnel Selection Officers are posted to a base to complete several months of on-the-job training, where they gain experience in the practice, theory, knowledge and skills required of this job under the supervision of a more senior member.
Personnel Selection Officers may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including:
- Unit Personnel Selection
- Organizational Consulting
As they progress in their career, Personnel Selection Officers who demonstrate the required ability and potential will be offered advanced training. Available courses include:
- Advanced Personnel Selection
Graduate training in
- Industrial and Organizational Psychology
- Social Psychology
- Industrial Relations
The required education for this position is a Masters degree in a social science, such as Psychology, Sociology or Industrial Relations. Other graduate degrees may be considered based on related experience. Consideration will be given to applicants who have an undergraduate degree in Psychology, Sociology or Counselling, and have two years or more of full time experience as a Human Resources manager or specialist.
If you already have a graduate degree, the Canadian Forces will decide if your academic program matches the criteria for this job and may place you directly into the required on-the-job training program following basic training. Basic training and military officer qualification training are required before being assigned.
This position is available for part-time employment through the Reserves. Reservists generally work part-time for a Reserve unit in their community. They are not posted or required to do a military move. However, they can volunteer to move to another base. They may also volunteer for deployment on a military mission within or outside Canada.
Reservists train with their home unit to ensure that they meet the required professional standards of the job. If additional training is required in order to specialize skills, arrangements will be made by the home unit.
It is also possible to set up an “Individual Learning Plan” to take courses leading to a university degree related to this job, and upon successful completion, be reimbursed for up to 50% of tuition and other mandatory costs. Education fees for successfully completed courses are reimbursed as long as the student was a Reservist during the entire duration of the course.
This position is available through the Reserve Entry Training Plan. Through this program Reservists attend the Royal Military College, and are eligible for tuition reimbursement up to $2000 per year. They are paid as a part-time officer cadet for any additional military training required.
Typically, Reservists work or train with their home unit for at least four evenings and one weekend per month, from September to May of each year. They are paid 85% of Regular Force rates of pay and receive a reasonable benefits package.