Evaluating the Hiring Process for the Baltimore County Fire Department: Determining the Most Effective Recruitment and Selection Methods [open pdf - 744KB]
"The fire service is deeply rooted in tradition and the value of that tradition should never be under-estimated. It is a part of what makes the occupation so desirable. However, employees are the fire service and community's most valuable resource. The economic downturn has caused the applicant pool to be much deeper. It is imperative that the fire service take full advantage of this applicant pool to increase the organizations diversity and talent. The Baltimore County Fire Department is not exempt from this need to act. The problem was that the Baltimore County Fire Department lacked a progressive method of determining the most qualified candidates to fill entry level vacancies. The purpose of the research was to determine methods to validate the Baltimore County Fire Department's process of filling entry level vacancies with the best qualified candidates. The descriptive research method was used to complete the project. The research questions for this project included legal issues, methods to validate the best qualified candidates, determined the correlation between personality characteristics and quality employees, identified traits or characteristics Baltimore County Fire Department personnel considered important and determined specific methods other organizations use to identify the best candidates. An extensive literature review, a series of personal interviews and a survey instrument were designed and conducted to answer each of the research questions. The results included the definition of 7 characteristics that members of the Baltimore County Fire Department felt were necessary to be successful employees, correlated to the confirmation of a link between personality and the ability to handle stress and an array of methods which could be used by the fire department to access the best qualified candidates. Key recommendations are: (1) creating a citizen and youth academy, (2) administering personality tests and (3) streamlining the application process for successful recruitment."
United States Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/