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Gaining theoretical commercial sector experience.  

Active Member

Having recently been perceived to be lacking commercial sector (CS) experience by a prospective employer & as a result being refused an interview 😯 , how would the members think one could address this weakness whilst holding down a job within UK law enforcement (LE)?

Do the members think that someone with five years LE experience at a very high level, is too far embedded in this culture to make the transition to the CS?

I think that LE are often perceived by the CS to take too long to do their work and as a result would never be profitable in the CS; is this a fair comment?

On the other hand, LE may think that although the CS have some exceptional people and companies that do a fantastic job, they are outnumbered by those that focus on the bottom line and produce low standard work which is only concerned with making a profit. Is this a fair comment!?

I dislike defining our common area of expertise in a shallow CS and LE type of divide, but having had it thrust upon me I need to understand it a bit more!

Posted : 29/08/2011 3:45 am
Community Legend

My experience here in the US is that LE is sometimes perceived as only doing certain kinds of cases, namely CP and fraud. In some cases, this perception is shared even by LE, as well.

On the corporate sector side, engagements often move much more quickly. There isn't always a need to pursue prosecution, and at the same time, that doesn't mean that you necessarily cut corners, either. Many times, information is needed quickly to make critical business decisions…do you take down that critical ecommerce server, who's down-time is measured not in minutes or seconds, but hundreds of dollars per minute? There is a need for perhaps a greater range on knowledge, as well as the ability to think critically, as well as on your feet, to come up with the "best" solution.

This is not to say that LE cannot do this…not at all. However, the impression of LE is also that while their CS counterparts are focusing on what they do, the LE folks need to do…well…LE stuff, as well.

Anyway, this is all just perception…I'd suggest that going back to the person who mentioned this to begin with, and asking what they mean, might be a good start.

Posted : 29/08/2011 6:54 am
Senior Member

I've tended to notice that where CS CF teams have an ex-LE guy in leadership, they tend to like LE candidates, whereas those teams with no LE leadership tend to discount the LE experience. That's purely anecdotal.

Posted : 30/08/2011 12:24 am
Active Member

Hi all,

Whilst I think there are different approaches on a day to day basis for the two disciplines surely the main focus should be on key skills and technical knowledge? Discussions about using initiative to customise the approach for the client's needs is surely something for the interview.

There's perhaps something to 'never been in the commercial sector' here in the UK. I've met people who have only ever worked in the public sector and they lack that certain something you get from the private sector. Some have no clue things can be done in a better/different way.

If however you get someone with private sector experience in other fields and then LE only experience in forensics, then surely that person understands private sector demands and can translate their skills across pretty easily?


Posted : 30/08/2011 3:32 pm
Active Member

Thanks for the replies, their theme is what I expected.
I have reviewed my CV as a result of this episode and it needs serious re-drafting! I have been a tab complacent in highlighting my strengths thereby allowing others to highlight my weaknesses!

Posted : 02/09/2011 2:11 am