Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department gained a competitive edge in hiring through HR Automation

05 Mar 2018

The Case of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD), is the largest sheriff's department in the world. It provides law enforcement services to over 3 million residents.

In 2015, the LASD identified the need to grow response teams, create new task forces and implement more prevention strategies like after-school programs for at-risk youth. In order to hire appropriate new recruits, the department relies on meticulous background checks and a rigorous training program.

The conundrum of a lengthy recruitment process

In industries where recruitment involves detailed employment reference checks and lengthy vetting processes, this is usually the result of needing to really get to know an applicant.

The conundrum here is that a lengthy and thorough recruitment process can place a heavy burden on the HR resources of a company if it is not done efficiently. And thus prevent the company from doing what it should really be doing: really getting to know an applicant in person.

This is where HR automation can help.

A timing consuming recruitment process

The hiring process for LASD's deputy sheriffs had remained largely unchanged for 15-20 years. It relied on the creation of a “jacket,” a background file of, in some cases, more than 1,000 pages. Managing jacket creation which involved anything up to 2 million pages submitted by over 8,000 eligible applicants annually, prompted major issues related to efficiency, security and document retention.

Applicants could take from 6 to 18 months just to reach the primary approval phase. This phase required LASD to create a jacket summary and send it through a two-tiered approval process. Since LASD processed an average of 5,000 jacket summaries annually, typing this summary sheet alone took 10,000 hours. In addition to creating these physical documents, LASD needed to transport and store them at an offsite third-party storage facility after year-end auditing.

In order to hire top talent, LASD needed to eliminate inefficiencies, shorten hiring turnaround and enhance engagement with candidates.

We needed to be able to create an open level of communication with our applicants, to help them become vested in not only law enforcement, but joining the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department,” said LASD Commander Judy Gerhardt.

Bringing in top-tier talent faster

In order to bring in more top-tier talent faster, all the while maintaining accuracy and complying with hiring mandates, LASD uses Laserfiche Forms and Workflow for HR automation, which electronically collects information that was previously printed on thousands of pages of paper.

“Laserfiche Forms is our portal to the world. The ability to standardize a form and email or host a link to that form allows us to gather information efficiently,” says Andres Bilbao, LASD Special Projects Deputy Sheriff. “Laserfiche Workflow, acts like an invisible staff member.”

The benefits of implementing Laserfiche in LASD's HR automation solution went far beyond simply saving paper, it allowed the department to actually eliminate many redundant forms and unnecessary tasks altogether. The length of time to hire was ultimately shortened—which was critical for the department to compete with other agencies in the race for high-quality applicants.

All applicant information is now easily searchable via metadata, and Laserfiche sends email updates to candidates throughout the process, improving the relationship between the organization and its applicants. Laserfiche Workflow also securely archives information, making it easy to retrieve during yearly audits by the Police Officer Standards and Training Council.

“By reducing our inefficiencies, engaging our applicants more closely, and dedicating ourselves to a system that provides a competitive hiring time frame, we can continue to meet our goals of hiring the best,” Gerhardt explains.

Benefits of HR Automation

Automating the hiring process with Laserfiche Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Workflow has resulted in the following benefits for the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department:

  • Reduced time-to-hire by restructuring the process, eliminating inefficiencies and establishing parallel processes
  • Greater engagement with candidates throughout the hiring process, by using personalized email notifications
  • Clear milestones for reporting and process baselines
  • High security throughout the entire hiring process, including archiving and storing jackets for the appropriate length of time


Based on the original case study from Laserfiche titled "Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department: Gaining a Competitive Edge in Hiring". Certain part of the content is reused with permission from Laserfiche.