FBI Agent Jeffery Artis, a recruiter from our Jackson office, talks about opportunities in the Bureau with a potential applicant during a career fair at the University of Southern Mississippi.
Looking to Our Future
“The FBI is only as good as its employees—and my job lets me play a part in choosing quality people to lead us into the future.”
So says Jeffrey Westcott, an FBI agent from our Jacksonville office and a member of a team of recruiters who work out of our field offices around the country, looking for the best and brightest candidates to join us.
Our recruiters are diverse. They come from different ethnic backgrounds. Their academic backgrounds cover a wide range of fields. Some have a few years of FBI experience, while others have 20-plus.
But all have one thing in common: a commitment to hiring the next generation of employees. Special Agent Andrea Simmons from our El Paso office explains, “I know that I am a gatekeeper for the future of our organization—that’s a huge responsibility that I take very seriously.”
So why do they do it? Special Agent Manuel Johnson, Phoenix, explains that he became a recruiter because he “enjoys interacting with people who want to do what FBI employees do.” Agent Westcott recalls being initially reluctant to become a recruiter, but “now four-plus years later, I’m still on the job, and I have no desire to do anything else.” And Special Agent Juan Becerra, Salt Lake City, told us, “It’s extremely rewarding go to out to colleges and universities talking about the FBI and seeing students get excited about a career with us.”
What we look for in our recruiters. One of our human resources executives, Gwen Hubbard, says it’s “an innate ability to relate to people, a passion about their work, and a sincere belief in our mission to protect this nation.” Being an FBI recruiter, according to Hubbard, also requires working odd shifts, remaining connected to diverse organizations and cultures, and keeping up with the specifics of particular jobs within the FBI to make sure they’re targeting the right people with the right skill sets.
FBI recruiters spend a large part of their day helping candidates through the application process, attending recruiting events, making appearances at schools, speaking before community groups…all in an effort to ensure that they have a high quality and diverse pool of candidates.
The most common reasons applicants give for wanting to work at the FBI. A desire to serve the public is definitely the top answer. Special Agent Kal Wong, Honolulu, says it’s all about “believing in public service and having the opportunity to work in an organization that promotes the welfare of our communities and our nation.” Another reason is the variety of jobs. Explains Agent Simmons, “We offer so many great areas to work in—white-collar crime, terrorism, gangs, etc.—that you can have several mini-careers within one larger career.”
Memorable candidates over the years. There are plenty, but two stand out in the minds of our recruiters: an attorney (and former U.S. Army captain) who gave up a six-figure salary to become a special agent; and a 69-year-old CPA who said he wanted to put his skills to work for the FBI rather than retire—and then went on to serve as a counterterrorism financial analyst.
For information about current job openings, visit the FBI Jobs website.
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