Recommendations for improving the recruiting and hiring of los angeles firefighters

PrefaceA Note About Hiring Practices and the LawThe RAND Safety and Justice ProgramScope and Limitations of This ReportObjectivesStudy ApproachFindingsLAFD's Recruitment and Outreach StrategiesThe City's Current Selection ProcessStatistical Analysis of the Selection ProcessRecommendationsValidate Selection Criteria by Establishing Relationships to the KSAOs Required to Be an Effective FirefighterExplore Options for Reducing the Applicant Pool to a Manageable SizeImprove the Firefighter Selection Process Through a Variety of Specific RevisionsAcknowledgmentsScope and Limitations of This ReportTime ConstraintsObjectives Guiding the ProjectEnsure Equal Opportunity Throughout the Hiring ProcessIncrease the Demographic Diversity of New Firefighter HiresMinimize Costs for the City of Los Angeles and Its ApplicantsStudy ApproachDrawing on Existing Expertise and Past ResearchExploratory Interviews to Understand Stakeholder PerspectivesReview of Existing Documentation and Informational Interviews on Recruiting and Selection ProcessesJob Incumbent Focus Groups to Confirm and Identify New Key Duties, Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Other Characteristics for Firefighter ServiceData Analyses to Examine Disparate Impact of the 2013 Selection ProcessOrganization of This ReportTWO. Firefighter Recruitment and Outreach StrategiesA Framework for Understanding RecruitmentFirefighter Recruiting PracticesKey Comments on Recruiting from the InterviewsThe Emphasis Should Be on Finding Highly Qualified Candidates, Not Merely on Increasing the Quantity of CandidatesTHREE. The 2013 Firefighter Selection ProcessNotification CardsStep 1: Preliminary Background ApplicationStep 2: Describing the Minimum RequirementsStep 3: Written TestTest of Reading Comprehension, Arithmetic, and Mechanical AptitudeTest DevelopmentStep 4: Candidate Physical Ability TestStep 5: Oral InterviewJob Interview with a Firefighter and Interview SpecialistStep 6: Background Investigation and Preliminary Investigative QuestionnaireCollection of Preliminary Background Information Using Applicant- Provided InformationStep 7: Initial Panel ReviewTwo Fire Captains Review the Candidate's Initial Background Application PackageStep 8: Field InvestigationIn-Depth Background CheckStep 9: Final Panel ReviewRepeat of Initial Panel Review with Corroborated InformationStep 10: Medical and Psychological EvaluationsCertificationFOUR. Statistical Analysis of the Selection ProcessDataReduction of Applicants in the Selection ProcessThe Selection Process's Impact on MinoritiesCaution in Interpreting These Estimates Is WarrantedFIVE. RecommendationsOverview of Recommendations as They Relate to the ObjectivesObjective 1: Identify Applicants Most Likely to Be Successful FirefightersObjective 2: Ensure Equal Opportunity Throughout the Hiring ProcessObjective 3: Increase the Demographic Diversity of New Firefighter HiresObjective 4: Minimize Costs for the City of Los Angeles and Its ApplicantsOverarching Recommendations Targeting the Four ObjectivesStart a New Citywide Outreach and Recruiting Campaign for the LAFDValidate Selection Criteria by Establishing Relationships to KSAOs Required to Be an Effective FirefighterExplore Options for Reducing the Applicant Pool to a Manageable SizeEstablish a Robust Appeals Process for Applicants Who Believe That They Have Been Wrongly DeselectedIncrease Electronic Documentation and Use of Online Technology During the Selection ProcessAlign the Content in Each Selection Step with the Job Analysis and Deconflict It with Other Elements in the ProcessTie Minimums on All Selection Factors to Acceptable and Unacceptable Performance in Training or on the JobStep-by-Step Recommendations for Improving the Selection ProcessSuggested Changes to Step 1: Preliminary Background Application and Step 2: Minimum RequirementsSuggested Changes to Step 3: Written TestSuggested Changes to Step 4: Candidate Physical Ability Test Suggested Changes to Step 7: Initial Panel Review and Step 9: Final Panel ReviewSuggested Changes to Step 10: Medical and Psychological EvaluationsAPPENDIX A. Key Considerations in Evaluating the Selection Process Validity and ReliabilityOther Factors to Consider When Designing a Selection SystemThe Value of DiversityCosts to the CityCosts Borne by the ApplicantLegal DefensibilityLogistics and TimingCivil Service Standards, Guidelines, and RegulationsAPPENDIX B. Defining Critical Firefighter Tasks, Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Other CharacteristicsExisting LAFD Job AnalysesSupplementing the Existing Job AnalysesAPPENDIX C. Outsourcing the Written Test for Entry-Level FirefightersAlternative Written Aptitude TestsAPPENDIX D. The Impact of Chance Variability in Simple Random SamplingOverview of the Reasoning for Selecting a Random SampleAPPENDIX E. Mathematics and Examples of Key Considerations for Stratified SamplingStratified Sampling Formulas Illustrated with an ExampleAdditional Considerations
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