Participants Needed for Office of Fire Marshal Study

IPMA-HR is currently seeking participants for a nationwide Office of Fire Marshal/Office of Fire Prevention study. This study is the first step in the development of a new Fire Marshal Test. The first part of the study involves surveying current members of the Office of Fire Prevention to learn about the important duties and demands of their job.

Examples of applicable positions include, but are not limited to: Fire Marshal, Fire/Arson Investigator, Premise Officer, Deputy Fire Marshal, Fire Prevention Officer, Fire Inspector, and Code Enforcement Officer.

If you or someone you know holds one of the above positions or a similar position, we would greatly value your input in developing our newest test series.

Participants will be entered into a raffle with a $500 prize! Participating agencies will also receive a 15% discount toward a future IPMA-HR assessment product purchase. Interested parties can use the following link to participate:

 https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FireMarshal

Questions can be emailed to our Research Associate, Julia Hind-Smith, at jsmith@ipma-hr.org.

A Roundup from Across the Web

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This article talks about how the Victoria Fire Department in B.C. just got permission to use drones during emergencies as a first response tool. They will be using the drones during earthquakes, fires, and search and rescue missions. By having the drones, they can make sure that any building they are going into will be secure enough to withstand firefighters inside and check to see if there is anyone stuck inside of a burning building without risking firefighter lives. Search and rescue missions have now changed with the advantage of having drones. For example, if a child has gone missing in the water, the drone can hover over and find the exact location of the child without wasting time or funds to get a helicopter up and running. In all, drones seem to provide a strategical advantage to the future of fire and rescue missions.  Read more… Continue reading

Improving the Interview, Part 2b: Managing the Panel Interview

In this blog, I will respond to what I see as practical questions that often arise in planning for a panel interview. I do apologize for the delay in the production of this third, and final, blog on the interview. Unfortunately, at times, real life intervenes.

I started this series by noting that no other selection device is as ubiquitous as the interview, while at the same time as misunderstood. Then, in Part 1, I discussed the individual selection interview. In Part 2, I discussed panel interview, including the availability from IPMA-HR of a product known as the Police Officer Structured Interview System or POSIS.

This month, in the third and final blog, I respond to what I see as some frequently encountered questions regarding the panel interview including:

  • Should I train raters?
  • Who should be on the panel?
  • How should I combine ratings to arrive at a final score?
  • What type of records should I keep?
  • How long should it take?

As a warning, a lot of my answers will involve a combination of “it depends” and “on your local rules or procedures.”

The Panel Interview

Continue reading

Big Help Deserves Big Rewards

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Help IPMA-HR with the criterion-related validation phase of our new public safety telecommunicator (PST) test, and you’ll not only be helping to ensure the continued availability of the most reliable, valid and fair tests in the industry, but you and your department will also receive the following rewards:

  • 30% off your agency’s next test order.
  • $75 VISA gift card for each participant.
  • A snack basket for participants to share after the test.
  • $50 Applebee’s gift card for the test administrator.
  • Direct evidence supporting the validity of the exam and its use in your agency.

Learn more about the new test, the validation phase and how you can help on our website.

Providing you with tests you can trust is our priority. But we can’t do it without you. Go online today to learn more and fill out a participation form for your agency.

Please Note: Our desired deadline for wrapping up the validation phase of this study is the end of October 2016, so please get in touch soon!

Improving the Interview Part 2a: The Panel or Board Interview

In the last blog, we investigated possible improvements that could be made in the use of individual interviews in pre-employment or promotional screening.  This month we expand our discussion to include the panel or board interview, an approach used by many public sector organizations.

As is often the case, once I start on a topic I have trouble controlling myself and my word count quickly gets out of control (my students have learned that if you ask me a simple question it can easily turn into an hour-long response). So, I have divided this blog into a 2a and 2b. In 2a, which you are reading right now, I:

  • Delineate the major characteristics of the panel interview;
  • Offer a version of a panel interview checklist;
  • Discuss the need for structure and training;
  • Provide an overview of the IPMA-HR Police Structured Interview System (POSIS).

Then, in a soon-to-follow Part 2b, I will answer frequently asked or encountered questions regarding the panel interview. Continue reading

Get Unprecedented Reach to Top Public Safety Professionals

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With IPMA-HR’s new job board, Public Safety Compass, you’ll get up to four times better response than the leading national job board.

  • Reach more local job seekers than any other site.
  • Expose your ad across hundreds of targeted niche sites with one single posting.
  • Find active and passive job seekers who qualify for your job.
  • Save time in the hiring process with proprietary job matching technology.
  • Leverage the power of social networks in your hiring.
  • Access local and national résumé databases at no extra charge.
  • Use an Applicant Tracking System.

Learn more about the largest recruitment ad network of job sites in North America at:  jobs.publicsafetycompass.com

 

Should I Provide Assessment Feedback?

The topic of my blog for this month deals with employers providing developmental feedback to candidates based upon the results of employment test or assessment.  Although the feedback of results from employment tests is common in many other countries, it is less frequently the case that such feedback is provided in the United States.

My topic this month deals with using assessment or test results in order to provide developmental feedback and suggestions to employees.  Although I will be dealing with feedback from tests in general, I will pay special attention to assessments that allow for a more in-depth, comprehensive view of the individuals, such as offered by the use of assessment centers.

[For more information on assessment centers, see Public Safety Assessment Center System (PSACS) and Assessment Center Educational Materials (ACEM)]

Some Findings from a Quick Literature Search

I had a graduate student perform a quick search of the current literature. Our findings regarding policies toward providing developmental feedback by employers in the United States were that it is rare for organizations to provide scores or give feedback to job applicants for pre-employment tests.  It is more common for promotional candidates, but even there the exact type of feedback may skew toward simply providing results or scores.  Providing expansive or detailed feedback is most likely to occur where the tests are used specifically for training or developmental purposes.

As for assessments centers, The International Congress on Assessment Center Methods has a document entitled The 2014 Guidelines and Ethical Considerations for Assessment Center Operations (6th Edition).  According to their guidelines, feedback should be provided and if the assesses are members of the organization than the employee has the right to “read any formal, summary, written reports concerning their own performance and recommendations that are prepared and made available to management.” Continue reading

Happy Holidays

May the magic and the wonder of the holiday season stay with you throughout the coming year.

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As the year ends, we think about all that we are grateful for. Our relationship with you is one thing we treasure. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you and meet your testing needs.

All of us at IPMA-HR wish you and yours a safe and happy holiday season and much success in the new year.

Happy Holidays!

Your Friends at IPMA-HR

Assessment Centers: The Beginnings and Beyond

Assessment centers were established by companies in the mid-20th century and the procedure has been expanding ever since. Assessment centers determine which employees exhibit the potential to earn promotions in managerial positions. This is accomplished through utilizing multiple assessment techniques that simulate realistic situations that candidates would face on the job for which they are being considered, and they are asked to handle these as if they were in the real situation. It goes without saying that there is no uniform way to design the content, administration, and cost of the process as these factors depend on the target group and its objectives.

When considering if a human resources department should utilize assessment centers, it is important to consider an assortment of factors. Let’s begin by briefly examining the history of this procedure. One of the first documented uses of assessment centers was in World War II when the United States was selecting spies to send to Europe.  The candidates were required to create a cover story and hide their identities while the interviewers attempted to break the candidates’ covers through situational tests. The next significant milestone in assessment centers occurred in 1956 when AT&T embarked on a longitudinal study to investigate which attributes of managers were correlated with success. Approximately ten years later the researchers noticed a significant trend in the data. Through the assessment intervention, the staff correctly identified 82 percent of the men who were promoted to middle-management positions. Likewise, the staff correctly identified 94 percent of the men who were not promoted. These predictions and many others made possible by the implementation of assessment centers led to their widespread usage that are still used today. Continue reading