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FBI Scrambling To Hire Special Agents As Public Opinion Erodes


The FBI is having trouble filling special agent positions amid the tightest labor market in decades, while three years of scandals revealing the agency to be a hotbed of partisan leadership and sexual misconduct isn’t helping.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the number of applicants for special agent has dropped from a peak of 68,500 in 2009 to just 11,500 in the year that ended in September.

Because of this, the FBI has been forced to beef up recruitment efforts – as the agency relaxes some of its eligibility requirements and sets out to target women and minorities, according to the Journal.

“We had a lot of discussion internally about why the number of special agent applicants were fluctuating so much over the years. We were trying to figure out what’s the story,” said the FBI’s head of recruitment hiring, Peter Sursi.

The FBI’s renewed focus on recruitment comes as the bureau remains under intense pressure over its handling of politically sensitive investigations, including special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. President Trump has derided the investigation, which began as an FBI inquiry and still uses the bureau’s agents and resources, as a “witch hunt.”

Major leadership shake-ups—Mr. Trump’s firing of Director James Comey in 2017 and then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ firing of Deputy Director Andrew McCabe in 2018—further added to the turmoil within the bureau, and polls have shown that the public’s view of the FBI has soured in recent years.Wall Street Journal

The FBI’s former top brass didn’t help the agency’s image – with Deputy Director McCabe’s wife taking $500k from Clinton pal Terry McAuliffe’s PAC before McCabe headed up the investigation that exonerated her, and former FBI Director James Comey’s wife and daughters revealing they were rooting for Hillary in 2016.

Prior to heading up the FBI, Comey earned $6 Million dollars in one year as Lockheed’s top lawyer – the same year the over-budget F-35 manufacturer made a huge donation to the Clinton Foundation. He was also a board member at HSBC shortly after (then NY AG) Loretta “tarmac” Lynch let the Clinton Foundation partner slide with a slap on the wrist for laundering drug money.

There was also a ton of sexual misconduct which happened under Comey’s watch, as detailed in a report by the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG).

The acts entail inappropriate romantic relationships with a subordinate, outright sexual harassment, favoritism or promotion based on demands for sex, and retaliation against women who rebuffed male employee’s advances. –Daily Caller

All of that said, the FBI’s recruiting slump began long before recent revelations went mainstream – with current and former officials noting that the downward trend in applications began after 2009.

FBI recruiters say that the hiring slump has little to do with the politics – as unemployment is hovering at near-historic lows, meaning many attractive candidates are already employed.

“Our recruiters never had to actively encourage special agent applicants to apply before. But the labor market is tight for most employers these days, with more jobs than qualified workers,” said Sursi. “We have to adjust our strategies to be a competitive option.”

FBI officials say that it takes about 16,000 applicants to get a healthy pool of candidates for the 900 special agent positions that open each year. The bureau has fallen short of that number for the past several years.

The FBI has thus far been able to maintain its hiring levels despite the slump, agency officials said. But there is also a growing recognition that the traditional enticement of FBI employment isn’t as strong as it once was. –Wall Street Journal

“The way that government recruits people is they give you more interesting work, particularly more interesting work at a more youthful point in your career,” says former FBI agent Michael German, who is currently a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice.

One reason the FBI is constantly searching for new candidates are the bureau’s mandatory retirement age of 57 – just one factor prompting officials to overhaul the recruiting process over the past six months.

Among the changes; previous work requirements have been cut from three years to two, keeping in touch with applicants throughout the process to discuss any concerns, reaching out to people who had started, but not completed their applications, and letting applicants continue the process even if they don’t immediately meet fitness requirements.

The agency is also reaching out to former agents asking for referrals.

Nancy Savage, the executive director of the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI, said she had met with multiple FBI officials including with FBI Director Chris Wray to discuss how to put targeted recruiting efforts “on steroids.”

“They are talking to us more [to say], ‘Hey can you guys ramp this up, at least to let all your contacts know,’” Ms. Savage said.

She emphasized the relative scarcity of highly specialized candidates that the FBI is seeking, including candidates with science and technology backgrounds, forensic accountants, and those with foreign-language skills. –Wall Street Journal

And since 67% of FBI special agents are white men, according to FBI statistics, the agency has been reaching out to women and minorities to fill jobs. They have also been conducting searches among less-traditional career paths for FBI applicants – including CEOs and school therapists.

“Hypothesis. Experiment. Analysis. Outcome. This isn’t much different than a criminal investigation. Are you ready to take your curiosity from the lab to the streets?” reads one advertisement targeting nuclear physicists.

Based on preliminary numbers, the agency’s recruiting push has begun to show results. Of the 11,500 new applicants this fiscal year, 47% were minorities and 26% were women, while the agency says it has received 13,000 new applications since October 1.

via zerohedge


  1. I have nothing against females, minorities, nobodies nor everybody but why do I see a clear discrimination against white male in this article. There will be a day I fear where this country will be ran by nothing but a bunch of idiots that through the lowering of standards to hire people the people hired won’t even know how to sign their name, let alone make the tough decisions that need to be made. What a sad world…

  2. There is nothing the FBI is worthy of except pure annihilation. Her agents deserve to be modified to extinction. Comey-Mueller-Rosenstein-McCabe all deserve long prison sentences or death by execution for treason and sedition throughout the Years 2016-2017. We the public have no use for Brennan in the JD, and his black needle: Obama the clownish Destroyer of both departments. But because of Obama’s color he gets his permanent media ‘Pass’ till he dies or is assassinated.

  3. Anytime you have to lower the ‘standards’ for recruitment results in lower ‘standards’ of the population. Besides, who today would want to work for a Hoover/Comey organization? Truly a sad day in American History that will live in infamy.

  4. The FBI is having a problem hiring special agents because they are corrupted and folks with integrity will not apply. The FBI has lowered it’s hiring standards because the flow of people applying are not of the highest caliber, therefore, instead of continuing to look for qualified candidates they just lower their standards. They cannot be trusted. They spied on a candidate for President…they should be held accountable for that. We cannot allow the highest law enforcement agency in the Nation to be corrupt and politically weaponized….ever. 🙁

  5. With all of this documented wrongdoing why is nothing being done ? Instead they have wasted 2 years & MILLIONS of tax dollars on the proven NO COLLUSION crap .
    I do believe there are good people in the FBI , just not at the top level & it needs to be cleaned up ,from the top down .



  7. As long as the FBI is a human driven agency, it will be subject to short comings of human behavior. No matter how they profess that their selection process and on going character monitoring, human behavior good and bad will always prevail. No matter how flowery and convincing Mr. Comey’s words were during the FBI Clinton email investigation the facts reported in the OIG’s report show just how incompetent (due to political bias) the investigation was with the icing on the case being the way the actual Clinton interview was conducted. Basically every rule of investigating strategy was broken by allowing individuals yet to be interviewed allowed to be present during Hillary’s interview. The issuing of immunity to Clinton staff when no formal charges were filed against them given the question of why was it necessary. Surly their gross incompetence was really covering their asses since Hillary was considered a shoe-in to beat Trump. Had they done their job properly, and she was elected, she would have fired all of them in the first week of taking office.

  8. I’m sorry to say this, but the FBI with it’s present actions SHOULD COME UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF HOME LAND SECURITY!!!!

  9. Well, I’m a white guy, but to look at all of the White Guys at the Top of the “FBI” , it scares me as too how “STUPID THEY ARE”, they all “GOT CAUGHT”, they are being protected by THE SOCIALIST GLOBALIST DEMORATIC PARTY , RINO REPUBLICANS, and the “FAKE NEWS MEDIA”!! Just think of their “WITCH HUNT”, even they can’t believe it, but they are just doing everything in every direction to stop “WE THE PEOPLE” from charging them!!! WE The People , should not just stop at FIRING these TRAITORS, but we must also “CHARGE AND CONVICT THEM” because they are “THE ENEMY FROM WITHIN” they are the DEEP STATE !!!

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