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MFB responds to media reports about diversity campaign

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29 Jan 2016
Following today’s media reports about MFB’s recruitment processes we would like to take the opportunity to provide the following statement.

The MFB is an organisation with a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion but at present, that commitment is not being reflected in our workforce.

Currently, only 3.4% of MFB’s operational staff is female.

As a brigade, we need to be more reflective of the community we serve.

It’s a proven fact that diversity improves the culture, performance, initiative and decision-making of an organisation.

Our intention is not to lower standards but to streamline the recruitment process.

It is important to make it clear that the standards required to become a recruit are not changing.

Every single person who applies to join the MFB as a recruit will have to pass the same bar. No exceptions.

We do intend to modify the process to make it better for applicants and to enable MFB to select recruits, once they pass the bar, based on organisational needs as well as performance. 

Community and firefighter safety is our priority and under no circumstances will this be compromised.

What is proposed?

MFB is considering improving its recruitment process in two ways:

1. Removing the ‘three strikes’ approach for candidates that currently allows multiple attempts at nearly every stage of the application process. This results in a lengthy and poor candidate experience.  Some candidates have been in the process up to five years and candidates are permitted up to 22 attempts in total throughout the current process.   

2. Removing the previous ‘order of merit’ approach that previously relied solely on a ‘score’ to determine selection of candidates to become a recruit once they pass all recruitment stages.  This will enable MFB to appoint candidates by considering their ‘score’ plus overall suitability and organisational needs, including increasing diversity.  Importantly, everyone in this stage will have already passed the standard required to be a recruit.
The proposed changes will not impact the standards required to pass each step or the high bar we set for potential recruits.

However, it is hoped that they will improve the experience for people who want to join us and enable MFB to increase diversity by selecting from the successful pool of candidates based on our needs.


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