Report of Firefighter Recruitment Analysis

The given case is an ideal illustration of how both external and internal factors can affect labor demand and supply forces, which significantly contribute to the problem of shortages in regard to entry-level firefighters. The first major factor that is influencing labor demand in the region of interest is climate, which is highly intemperate with major fluctuations between cold winters and hot summers. Such a climate directly impacts the overall environment in the state by causing higher instances of wildfires, which means there is a greater demand for firefighters to combat natural disasters.

The second factor that is influencing labor demand is manifested in the overall demographics of the current firefighters, whose average age is around 45 years old, which means that in several years, the majority of the firefighting staff will be eligible for retirement (Western Governors University, n.d.a). The given factor makes it highly important to hire entry-level firefighters in greater numbers since the current shortage can become even more severe within few years.

The third factor that is influencing labor demand is rooted in regulatory elements enforced by the union and mayor. It should be noted that the department’s union requires promotion from within the organization, which means that one-quarter of firefighting personnel needs to be replaced, and thus, the demand for entry-level firefighters is even greater due to such mandates of the union. In addition, the mayor limits alternative solutions, such as overtime payments and additional hours, which is why the only solution is centered around hiring new firefighter personnel instead of utilizing the existing workforce.

The first factor that is influencing labor supply is the cost of living in the state where the fire department is located. It is stated that the given value is the highest in the country, which means individuals are reluctant both to stay in and come to the state to reside and live for the long term. In other words, the majority of potential candidates are not finding the location as financially appealing due to higher costs. The second factor that is influencing labor supply is high taxes, including sales taxes, property taxes, and income taxes (Western Governors University, n.d.a).

Entry-level firefighters are not only discouraged by the higher cost of living in the state but also by a higher degree of taxation on the major financial operations and assets. Since Firefighter I employees are more likely to earn less than more senior firefighters, it is not financially sensible for these individuals to consider living in the state, which is why they are more likely to leave the region.

The third factor that is influencing labor supply is education costs because tuition fees are among the highest in the United States, which makes younger individuals discouraged from acquiring local education and degrees. In other words, potential candidates for an entry-level position in the fire department either cannot afford the local education or do not find it financially feasible to get education in the state’s public and private universities and colleges. Therefore, they are more likely to apply for educational facilities in different states, which increases the chances for them to seek employment opportunities there rather than in the state of interest.

Three recruitment plan design’s objectives include identifying the most desirable target groups based on available data, conducting the recruitment process in a timely and efficient manner, and increasing the reach for the selected target groups to have a high pool of applicants. These three recruitment goals will ensure that the outcome will be manifested in 25 viable candidates, which will also meet the requirement of the mayor’s mandate.

The recruitment strategy will primarily focus on producing 25 candidates, which will require the size of the applicant pool equal to 81 if all five target groups are targeted as previously. The logic behind it is that the total of 42 applicants yielded 13 viable candidates, which means that 81 applicants will be needed to have 25 viable candidates. The calculation is 42 * 25 / 13 = 81. The two types of individuals who should be primary targets for recruitment are Emergency Medical Technicians or EMTs and firefighters from other firehouses or departments.

The reason is that these two groups resulted in the highest viable candidates per applicant ratio. For example, a hiring decision was made for three individuals from 5 EMT applicants, and four were given job offers from 5 active-duty firefighter applicants from other firehouses and departments (Western Governors University, n.d.c). Therefore, the majority of efforts should be focused on these two groups.

Two effective methods for reaching EMTs are job postings on platforms designed for EMT personnel and college career fairs since entry-level firefighters are needed. Two effective methods for reaching active-duty firefighters from other departments and firehouses are informal recruitment at union activities and employee referrals since it is likely that firefighters from different departments know each other and can communicate more openly than members of other professions.

Three appropriate selections methods for entry-level firefighter recruitment should be based on the job description requirements, which are based on abilities, skills, and knowledge as well as certifications, experience, and education, alongside physical requirements. The first selection method needs to assess whether applicants have proficiency in English as well as other languages, such as Spanish, and knowledge of first aid, fire ordinances, and ability to use a computer, communication, and safety equipment (Western Governors University, n.d.b). The second selection method is based on certifications, experience, and education, where applicants need to have a legal right to work in the US, EMT certification, driver’s license, and two-year experience in the field as well as high school diploma (Western Governors University, n.d.b).

The third selection method is based on the physical assessment of the applicants, where they need to demonstrate their ability to carry, lift, and restrain heavy objects, work in enclosed spaces, and perform other mandatory physical exercises and tasks (Western Governors University, n.d.b). These three methods are justified due to the fact that they are job requirements for all target candidates. Without these abilities, certifications, and knowledge, the candidates should not be selected since doing otherwise will significantly reduce the effectiveness and performance of the entirety of the fire department.

Two selection tests should focus on physical assessment and knowledge assessment, where in the first test, applicants are required to perform a series of physically demanding tasks, and in the second test, they need to demonstrate their knowledge of essential skills and abilities, such as first aid. Certifications, experience, and education do not require testing since the relevant documents will be submitted during the application process. The background verification checks should be focused on an individual’s education and work history as well as an applicant’s drug and medical history. These checks should be conducted after two selection tests as the last step before the hiring offer.

The four methods for evaluating the general effectiveness of the proposed selection and recruitment plan should focus on the overall pool of initial applicants, the number of viable candidates, adherence to recommended schedule, and the rate retention of newly hired firefighters. The first method is analyzing the total pool of applicants, which will reflect the effectiveness of the reach the recruitment methods. If the proposed methodological frameworks yield a high number of initial applicants, at least 81, then the recruitment was able to attract a greater pool for further selection, which will also increase the likelihood of finding highly qualified entry-level firefighters. The second method is focused on evaluating the outcome of the selection process through assessing the number of viable candidates, which received the job offers. Since the goal is to hire 25 new viable candidates, the latter value will serve as a metric for deciding whether or not the selection process was an effective one.

The third method is based on evaluating the general adherence to the recommended schedule. It is important to note that ambulance, fire, and police dispatchers, fire science graduates, and medical assistants need to be contacted four weeks before the expected job offer date, whereas active-duty firefighters and EMTs need to be contacted at least six weeks before the anticipated hiring decision (Western Governors University, n.d.c). In other words, non-adherence to these timelines will indicate the ineffectiveness of planning and scheduling critical steps of recruitment. The fourth method is focused on evaluating the retention rate after entry-level firefighters are hired. If a significant portion of new hires leaves within a year or six months, it means that the selection process failed to assess the commitment of the candidates, and the efforts were mostly wasted.


Western Governors University. (n.d.a). Memo on proposed employee referral plan. Web.

Western Governors University. (n.d.b). Job description of city firefighters. Web.

Western Governors University. (n.d.c). Data on recruitment sources and methods. Web.

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