[IPAC-List] Professional recruiters for entry-level Firefighter exam?

Lance Seberhagen sebe at erols.com
Tue Jun 1 18:40:08 EDT 2010

Most police & fire departments use sworn staff from within the dept, not
professional recruiters, to recruit applicants for entry-level jobs.
There have been stories over the years in the Washington Post about
departmental recruiters giving "extra help" to applicants when
recruitment goals were hard to meet. I have heard similar stories about
private sector recruiters. I'm not saying that it is common, but it can
and does happen.


I know an I/O psychologist who was hired by a police union (many years
ago) to conduct a workshop on how to take an assessment center. The I/O
had no connection to the department or the consultants who developed the
promotional exam, so there was probably no ethical problem, but there is
always the appearance of conflict, if not actual conflict of interest.

I also see a big problem when high-ranking sworn officials in a police
or fire department conduct promotional exam tutoring sessions for a fee
on their "personal time," outside of the department. This is bad
practice and should be prohibited for several reasons. First, the
consultants developing the promotional exam need all high-level job
experts available to assist in developing the exam. I know of
high-level officials who have disqualified themselves as job experts
because they were giving private exam tutoring for a fee. Second, there
is the appearance of conflict of interest, if not an actual conflict of
interest, which undermines the integrity of the promotional exam


Lance Seberhagen, Ph.D.
Seberhagen& Associates
9021 Trailridge Ct
Vienna, VA 22182
Tel 703-790-0796

> Have you heard of hiring professional recruiters to assist in recruiting

> applicants to take an entry-level exam for the job of Firefighter?


> Where might I find such a person or group?


> Thanks.


> Joel



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