Challenge 3: Recruitment
Emergency service organizations (ESOs) need proven recruitment methods including information and resources on how to ensure a more diverse and inclusive workforce. In addition to the operational skills usually targeted when recruiting, there is also a need to attract new members who bring specialized, non-operational skills to the organization. In this manner, the organization can adapt to societal changes and improve its ability to compete for new members in a highly competitive volunteer market.
Additionally, some volunteer-based ESOs continue to use fraternal selection processes and fail to adopt a modern business model for volunteer selection. This can place the organization at risk for potential legal action related to discrimination and unfair hiring practices.
High performing leaders and managers recognize that specialized skills in their agency are necessary for creating a productive workplace. The mixture of differences and similarities each member brings to the workplace strengthens our ability to accomplish our mission. Diversity is not limited to ethnicity or gender. Embracing diversity goes far beyond the limits of equal employment opportunity and affirmative action. Embracing our varied talents and abilities empowers each individual to be heard and participate equally in whatever activity, process, department, or administrative structure one chooses to engage in.