Library Dissertation Showcase

How will virtual recruitment practices, introduced during the 2020 pandemic, impact on the quality and performance of officers during training?

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2021

Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Royal Navy has recently changed their officer selection process, and whereas the Admiralty Interview Board has traditionally been conducted in person, it is now conducted virtually. The primary aim of this research is to determine the correlation between the legacy and virtual selection methods and training officer performance in three areas: leadership, academic and holistic. Secondly, this research aims to explore any consequential organisational impact which underperformance or unsuitability might have, such as attrition or waste of resources. The chosen methodology for this research is an inductive, mixed methods case study which is supported by primary data collected from training staff and trainee officers, and trainee performance data.

Although virtual recruitment and selection methods may be a growing research area because of the pandemic, there appears to be limited research into the impact of recruitment and selection processes upon performance in the workplace. This research aims to contribute to existing knowledge whilst providing the Royal Navy with indicative evidence on the organisational impact of this change. This study found recruitment and selection methods to have limited impact on leadership, academic or holistic performance in Royal Naval officer training. The study also found that the organisation did not experience a rise in attrition but identified that increased levels of underperformance could increase the burden on the organisation’s limited resources. However, it is recognised that this time-bound study is not generalisable outside of this sample, because it only captures limited data. Therefore, it is recommended that a further longitudinal study is conducted to increase accuracy and generalisability.

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