A BSO career on the front line Training for the front line

Robin Sagarbarria, Border Services Officer, Canada Border Services Agency – Pacific Region

CBSA - Blueprint 2020 Report - December 2016
Find your future on the front line

In 2016, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) produced an inspiring series of promotional and recruitment videos that communicate the excitement and responsibility that come with a career on the front line. Our Border Services Officers (BSOs) are the first face of Canada for visitors and returning Canadians. To see a day in their life is an eye-opening experience. The Agency seized this opportunity to connect with Canadians who are looking for an exhilarating career in law enforcement and public service.

The Agency has developed a proactive and phased approach to support officer trainee recruitment efforts. Activities focus primarily on Generation Y (18 to 34 year olds) and on specific demographics, including those who speak both official languages, Indigenous people, those in minority communities and women. Our approach includes extensive use of social media, digital, and online platforms as effective outreach tools. Outreach, marketing, and advertising efforts have raised the profile of the CBSA and promoted the BSO position as a law enforcement career of choice. With over 14,000 views on YouTube, our latest recruitment videos show the fascinating, challenging and diverse work our dedicated officers undertake every day. Consult our list of upcoming outreach activities for a location near you.

Diversity in the workplace is an important aspect of our recruitment efforts at the CBSA. Recently, representatives from the Vancouver International Airport District have taken a leadership role in outreach activities to increase the number of Indigenous BSO candidates, including students. Championed by Robin Sagarbarria, a BSO with Pacific Region, a number of officers have self-identified as Indigenous and our Agency has participated in community Powwows and informal partnerships with the Public Service Commission.  Recruitment at these events has been a success, with many Indigenous students expressing a desire to work as a BSO. Likewise, our Quebec Region has participated in job fairs and recruitment sessions at various general and vocational colleges, particularly in areas where recruitment and labour retention are more difficult. Meanwhile, our Greater Toronto Area Region recently began filling entry level positions via the student bridging process. This has allowed the Region to retain new talent and achieve a better return on its investment. The student bridging and co-op recruitment strategies have served the regions well, as students are able to provide input from different perspectives and help improve processes.

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