We are weeks away from the start of 2022, and departments across the country are gearing up for the new year. In 2021, the Fire, Rescue, and EMS departments overcame uncertainty after the pandemic turned recruitment upside down. And while no one can predict the upcoming year, here are four tips to think about in 2022.
Relying on a single platform to source leads will not work in 2022. Your future members use multiple applications and resources for finding opportunities, and so should your department. These can include creating recruitment-specific landing pages, social media platforms, job/volunteer boards, local government agencies, and local business websites. Your next member is looking for paid or volunteer opportunities across several platforms, and ensuring your department is engaging potential candidates across all relevant touchpoints is essential.
Your Organization’s Brand
As candidates become harder to find, departments need to put their best foot forward, maximizing their branding and candidate experience.
Successful departments understand their brand is a focal point if strong applicants join them or another department. Promote your station’s uniqueness by prioritizing specific details that appeal to target applicants and paint your brand in the best possible light, making it hard for candidates to say no. Having a successful brand helps build and retain a deep talent pool and influences a brand’s success.
Start Retention Efforts Early
Member retention is always a massive point in the first responder community. As we move into 2022 with many departments competing for members with the same operational experience, it’s difficult for some departments to match salary, benefits, incentives, department culture, or reputation. Organizations must continue to refine strategies and ways to reduce attrition and keep retention at the forefront going into 2022.
Not A Cold Call – It’s a Temperature Check
Many departments could not respond to or onboard new members when the pandemic hit. 2022 is an excellent time for your department to reach out to those leads who slipped through the cracks of COVID-19. Reach out by email or a phone call and connect and let them know your department is still interested. Try a “no pressure” approach and make it easy for the candidate to respond. Your goal is to reignite their interest.
Now, what do you do with all those lost leads you’re able to re-engage? Hopefully, you’ll prioritize them in your department’s CRM or a spreadsheet so that you can start turning them into members. If you don’t have a CRM, look at how First Arriving can provide you the tools you need to track your leads from initial inquiry through their membership progression.
At First Arriving, we can strengthen your organization’s brand and candidate experience and create a streamlined recruitment process to cut back the hours of searching, selecting, and hiring the perfect candidate.
BY WALTER CAMPBELL, Recruitment & Retention Strategist