Prison Officer Recruitment Team

Prison Officer Recruitment Team - V3

Ministry of Justice |

In November 2016 the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) committed to recruiting 2,500 additional prison officers by December 2018 to ensure the safe running of our prisons. In April 2017, MoJ implemented a new recruitment campaign approach, based on data and insight.

Feedback from applicants showed they knew about the job’s challenging nature but not about the diversity of the prison service or the rewards of the role - pride, professionalism, variety, training, teamwork. These themes therefore underpinned new imagery/messaging across web, radio, search, social, and PR.

MoJ’s media planning took an agile, prison-by-prison approach. By implementing tagging across all media, the team could move activity between channels to attract the right numbers and diversity in the right areas.

MoJ also created an in-house journalist post to collect positive case studies for use in low/no-cost PR and in a dedicated GOV.UK blog, balancing negative media coverage and enabling two-way communication with potential applicants.


  • Target exceeded seven months early, with a 22% reduction in 2018/19 comms budget.
  • Delivered applicant diversity greater than local population.
  • Improved reputation of role – PR activity reached 1.9 million people in 6-month period; support for friend/family becoming an officer increased from 58% (July 2017) to 75% (April 2018).