Of course, the fire brigade is best known for fighting fires, but they do much more. Together with municipalities, police and health services, they cooperate in security regions to protect the residents of the Netherlands from the risk of fire, disaster and emergency, fulfilling a coordinating role during disaster relief and crisis management.
It is of course essential to take on the correct people for these tasks. To select suitable firefighters, a number of fire brigades make use of our online assessment capabilities.
The work of volunteer and professional firefighters often takes place in exciting, stressful conditions, under time pressure and with limited information. A firefighter therefore has to possess certain competences, for example ability to withstand, self-discipline and drive. Coping styles that help them to deal with harrowing events and their intellectual capacities have an important role in this.
To gain an insight into candidates' competences and coping styles, the fire services of Amsterdam and Rotterdam both use iScreen's online screening, enabling them to take reasoned decisions about the suitability of candidates.
The online screening consists of various tests and questionnaires such as tests of intellectual ability and personality test questionnaires. Various versions of this are available (possibly with or without an additional interview); we agree the precise details with the fire brigade. In each of the different versions, a standard element is always essential: the online assessment. The candidates complete the questionnaires and we train members of the fire brigade to interpret the results. Our psychologists are on standby to provide support by telephone.
We then write a summary of the results per candidate and make note of points requiring attention or development. The result is an organised report containing competence scores and an interpretation of these scores.
The fire brigade's selection committee can then use this report to made a sound and reasoned decision about whether or not to take on or reject a candidate, hence increasing the fire brigade's chances of taking on suitable and competent firefighters.
The interviews with the candidates can also be conducted by our psychologists so that we take work out the fire brigade's hands in several pathways.
In addition to the assessment, the interview with the candidate is also an essential element in the selection procedure. At the Amsterdam fire brigade, their selection interviewers have been trained in interview techniques, including the STARR method. Taken together with the information from the online reporting, this provides a firm platform for interviewing candidates and for determining if they fit into the team. In addition, it is an opportunity for current firefighters to get to know their potential new colleagues.