Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office

Recruitment Campaign

Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO), the highest and most comprehensive law enforcement agency in Hamilton County and the third largest in Ohio, is responsible for providing court services and corrections on a countywide basis, and full police protection to the unincorporated areas of the county.

Due to a challenging hiring environment, HCSO faced a reduced candidate pool for corrections officer and support staff positions. An agency that typically keeps a low community profile, HCSO now sought support in communicating its key differentiators from other law enforcement agencies, its wide breadth of career pathways and its commitment to reflecting the people it serves.

Vehr Communications partnered with Voice of Your Customer to conduct focus group research with men and women ages 21–35, with an oversampling of people ages 21–25, to better understand the reputation of HCSO, perceived barriers to a career in law enforcement, key factors when considering a place of employment and more. In addition, Vehr conducted stakeholder interviews across HCSO divisions and secondary research.

Based on these insights, Vehr developed a comprehensive communications plan that included goals, target audiences, key messages and strategies and tactics across paid, earned, shared and owned channels.

As part of the plan, Vehr developed an integrated marketing campaign to reinforce that HCSO welcomed diverse job candidates and that everyone could find their perfect fit within the agency. The “Explore Your Passion: One Agency, Many Paths” campaign featured HCSO employees in their working environments along with testimonials regarding how their previous life experiences led them to the many opportunities within HCSO.

In addition to developing a toolkit that included flyers, postcards, a brochure, social media images and template social posts, Vehr worked with a digital partner to create a six-month geotargeted campaign that included search, display and social advertising.

Launched in January 2024, the campaign generated nearly 6,000 clicks and 440 conversions — well above anticipated benchmarks — within the first month. Not only did HCSO fill its Corrections Academy, but identified candidates for positions across the agency.