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Personnel Selection Officer

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What They Do

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 Forces and recommend training
  • Recommend 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
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Working Environment

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 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.

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Career Development

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.

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Related Civilian Occupations

  • Developmental Psychologist
  • Employment Counsellor
  • Personnel Officer
  • Human Resources Advisor
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Basic Military Officer Qualification

After enrolment, you start basic officer training at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, for 15 weeks. Topics covered include general military knowledge, the principles of leadership, regulations and customs of the 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.

Following basic officer training, official second language training may be offered to you. Training could take from two to nine months to complete depending on your ability in your second language.

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Professional Training

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.

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Specialty Training

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
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Advanced Training

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
    • Sociology

Now Hiring: We are now accepting applications for this job through Direct Entry and Paid Education.

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Required Education

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.

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Direct Entry

If you already have a graduate degree, the 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 occupation is available part-time within the following environments: Air Force, Army.

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Serve with the Reserve Force

This position is available for part-time employment with the Primary Reserve at certain locations across Canada. Reserve Force members usually serve part time at an Air Force Wing in their community, and may serve while going to school or working at a civilian job. They are paid during their training. 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.


Part-time Employment

Personnel Selection Officers may serve with the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army or the Royal Canadian Air Force. They provide professional advice to military commanders regarding recruiting, selection, leadership, performance appraisal and other human resource issues. When they are employed on a part-time or casual full-time basis they usually serve at Forces bases, wings, home ports and units at locations within Canada.


Reserve Force Training

Reserve Force members are trained to the same level as their Regular Force counterparts. They usually begin training with their home unit to ensure that they meet the required basic professional military standards. Following basic officer training, the home unit will arrange for specialized skills training. Personnel Selection Officers train for their qualification at the Canadian Forces Training Development Centre in Borden, Ontario. 


Working Environment

Reserve Force members usually serve part-time with their home unit for scheduled evenings and weekends, although they may also serve in full-time positions at some units for fixed terms, depending on the type of work that they do. They are paid 85% of Regular Force rates of pay, receive a reasonable benefits package and may qualify to contribute to a pension plan.


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Find a unit in your area and start the application process for part-time employment now.