Assigning Responsibility and Accountability
for a Recruitment and Retention Plan
Like any other task, the function of recruiting and retaining members has to have someone leading the charge. Unlike some functions though, the leader of the recruitment and retention program should not be a current senior officer. This is a demanding challenge and as a result requires commitment, which means time and some experience. As will be seen throughout this series, recruitment and retention is not just an add on job for the Chief, President, Chairman of the Board, etc. In fact you may want to reach out to the community and look for someone with human resource expertise, or someone who helps people find employment.
In today’s world, we cannot rely on previous recruiting and retaining techniques by relatives and friends joining to help their neighbors. While this may work in some smaller communities or rural areas, it is not sustainable in suburban communities. Therefore the first task of the Recruitment and Retention Coordinator is to determine
- What skill sets and knowledge sets does the organization need?
- Where can I find individuals who have or want to obtain those skills and knowledge?
- What will it take to incent those individuals to join?
- What will it take to keep those individuals engaged once they join the organization?
These critical questions serve as the basis for developing your plan and requires engagement with officers, members, and the community. As can be seen very quickly, this can be time consuming and complicated and thus cannot be another task of current leadership, but requires a leader in its own right.
In addition, recruiting is different today than it was a generation ago. What motivates people is different. How people are communicated with is different. The image and mission of the fire department may be different. How will we market the fire department?
These all require work efforts that are focused and meaningful. This requires the organization to Assigning Responsibility and Accountability for a Recruitment and Retention Plan