For new Cherokee Sheriff’s Office recruiter Hunter Hicks, his job involves more than just getting recruits in the door. He also works to help them succeed through the training process.
Deputy Hunter Hicks was promoted to the position in mid-January after Deputy Anthony Dissis was promoted to corporal and assigned to work in the BridgeMill Precinct.
Prior to being “recruited to be the recruiter,” as Hicks put it, he spent his entire 19-month sheriff’s office career working at the county jail. He said he would come in every day and work as hard as he could, which he believed helped him get noticed and thus be promoted from the jail to the position of recruiter.
“It means a lot to me,” Hicks said. “I love my career and I love what I do. This means hard work does get noticed around here.”
Although his tenure with the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office may be short, Hicks came to the agency with experience, serving three years in the U.S. Army, stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Since taking over as the agency’s recruiter, Hicks said he has been busy trying to encourage potential new recruits to submit their applications and join the ranks of the sheriff’s office. Getting the word out about opportunities includes social media posts, flyers and participating in the recent job fair at Sequoyah High School.
Despite being new in the position, Hicks said he feels he has been successful so far, as he has been working with a handful of people ready to go before the hiring board (essentially an interview conducted by a group of officials from throughout the sheriff’s office), while several more have been scheduled to take their physical agility test.
“He hit the ground running for sure,” sheriff’s office spokesman Capt. Jay Baker said.
While much of Hicks’ time is spent trying to bring in quality candidates, his involvement in hiring new deputies does not end once a recruit fills out the online application to get the process going. Throughout the entire process, Hicks stays in contact with each applicant, helping them as he can. In addition, when a group of recruits gets ready to complete their physical agility test, Hicks says he runs alongside them through the entire course, urging them onward and to not give up.
“I treat our recruits the way I would like to be treated,” Hicks said. “I let them know I’m here for them even after they get hired.”
“I can attest, he’s giving them special attention,” Baker added.
One issue Hicks said he has run into since taking over the position is that, when talking to 17- and 18-year-old potential recruits, one of their common remarks is they are not as interested in going to work at the jail, instead wanting to be out on the road in the patrol division. When hearing this, Hicks responds that starting out in the jail is a great way for them to get their foot in the door. Baker added that there are so many different divisions within the agency, which allows deputies being promoted from the jail more opportunities than they might find in other law enforcement organizations.
Overall, Hicks said he feels confident in his new position and that his mindset can benefit those looking for a career with the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office.
“I am going to keep doing what I do to the best of my ability,” Hicks said. “I love what I do, and I want to instill that same positive attitude in everyone else.”