From Recruitment to Retention: The Dual Challenge Facing PSAPs Today

By Daniel Limon, Chief of Staff, Carbyne

challenges facing psaps blog


Job hopping, once stigmatized, has undergone a significant shift in recent years, particularly among millennials and Gen Z. These generations tend to switch jobs more frequently, with millennials typically staying around two years and nine months on average, while Gen Z averages about two years and three months in a role. Surprisingly, a staggering 83% of Gen Z employees see themselves as job hoppers, signaling a fundamental change in how younger workers perceive career trajectories.

Number One Challenge

One of the critical challenges facing public safety entities like Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) is staffing. According to a survey we conducted at Carbyne in partnership with NENA, staffing ranks as the number one challenge for PSAPs. This challenge can be further broken down into two subsegments: the ability to find talent and then retain it.

Out with the Traditional

To address the first aspect, finding talent, PSAPs are innovating their recruitment strategies. Traditional methods no longer suffice, so they’re turning to more creative approaches that involve engaging potential candidates long before they enter the workforce. This includes leveraging social media platforms and establishing connections with individuals while they’re still in high school, thus expanding the pipeline of potential candidates.

Next Generation for the Next Generation

Retaining talent poses an even greater challenge, especially with Gen Z making up a significant portion of the workforce. These digital natives prioritize innovation and user-friendly technology, both in their personal lives and in the workplace. To meet these expectations, PSAPs are increasingly adopting next-generation technologies with clean user interfaces. These platforms not only streamline operations but also enhance employee satisfaction and retention. Cloud-native solutions augmented with AI capabilities are particularly effective in addressing the evolving needs of younger workers. They offer features like remote work flexibility (if applicable) and tools for managing mental health, aligning with the preferences of the modern workforce.


In conclusion, the adoption of effective technology not only boosts operational efficiency for PSAPs but also plays a crucial role in attracting and retaining the skilled individuals needed to operate these systems effectively. By embracing innovative solutions and adapting to the changing expectations of younger generations, PSAPs can overcome the challenges posed by staffing shortages and position themselves for future success.

What’s Next

Beyond staffing, PSAPs contend with limited budgets, mental health concerns among responders, data breaches from outdated software, rising crime rates nationwide, and many additional challenges. By understanding and addressing these obstacles, we’re dedicated to supporting PSAPs in enhancing public safety across the country. All our software products are constantly evolving using the same lens – how do we allow PSAPs to do the best job possible with their existing resources?

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