I always say about hiring new people that it's a "crap shoot". You never know if they'll like it or be able to handle the shift work and/or responsibilities. What if we started looking at the hiring process differently?
With almost all other professions, candidates come to a job interview with certifications, qualifications, and even experience. Why am I as an agency responsible for training personnel that want a job in my field in the Basics? What if we expected candidates to already have a general knowledge of our profession, the Basics of 9-1-1 and what it takes to be a 9-1-1 Telecommunicator?
In my opinion, that would tell me as an employer that this candidate is interested in this field. Candidates would come to us ready, willing, and able to learn OUR way , protocols, procedures, building on the Basics that they already know and have been trained on.
I often talk in my training of new hires about "mind set". Our profession in the Public Safety realm holds a responsibility unto its own. We have to be good at not only listening, but comprehending and processing separate conversations with each ear. We understand the value of confidentiality. A good Telecommunicator is someone who can be ON the minute the phone rings. A good Telecommunicator settles into the chaos that an emergency causes. This is "mind set". Wouldn't it be nice to hire someone that already has that "mind set" or at least is beginning to understand our world?
So if we as a collective said, "I'm only going to look at, interview, those that have at least the Basics". (Look to MO Revised Statute 650.340 and 11 CSR 30-13.030 and 11 CSR 30-13.040 for the Basics that I'm talking about), wouldn't that begin to change our profession from "just a job" to a career? I believe it would. Telecommunicator Candidates would compete against each other, vying for positions, instead of the agencies. Telecommunicators would have to fork over the dollars it takes to become certified thus giving them buy-in, literally. I believe, in turn, many of the candidates' attitude would change from " well I'll try this and if it doesn't work out, there's no skin off my nose, I'll just move on" to "I've invested in this, I'm making it work".
Let me know what you think. I'm sure I've opened a can of worms, and haven't thought of everything. As I'm beginning to put ads in papers, and look for new But wouldn't it be nice to take the "crap shoot" out of the hiring process and make it a "line drive"?
Make sure you take advantage of the on-line postings that NENA, APCO, EMS1, 9-1-1 Dispatch Magazine On-Line, and 911CARES offers. The Monster, HotJobs, Indeed, and JobSearch USA also have job lists.