In announcing a recruitment effort for a major urban fire department, the city’s director of human resources stated that the problem is that women and minorities have not been interested in applying for jobs as firefighters.
This director will not be the first to learn that effective recruitment requires a focused and sustained commitment.
Many fire departments approach recruitment in an episodic way: There’s a hiring process coming up, so they go into recruitment mode. Posters are printed, events scheduled and social media geared up to talk about what it takes to become a firefighter. All of this is fine, but it is not enough.
For recruitment to be truly effective, it must be something that happens all the time. It must become part of the identity and job description for every member of the department. If this is not the case, then recruitment will be undermined, regardless of how much effort is put into a particular program