Recruitment and retention: solving the problem through leadership? Leadership and training specialist Mark Thompson provides his views on the challenging issues facing the Service. He argues that modernisation and pressure can affect the decisions of those involved but that a strong idea of leadership is key.(Recruitment and Retention)

The Fire and Rescue Service is undergoing significant change. Structures, ways of working and behaviour are all under scrutiny as part of the ongoing modernisation programme driven by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

This level of scrutiny has helped increase the enormous pressures on the FRS which, when combined with an agenda for major change in a short time frame, inevitably translates to pressure on all aspects of recruitment and retention. This often affects all employees but for key staff this can be the trigger to them reviewing their options. Do they stay or go? If they go, is it to leave the Service altogether?

Good Leaders have people "follow" them--in the strict sense of attracting great people based on who they will be working for. So we can intuitively see how leadership can affect recruitment. But in its wider sense the form and nature of leadership in the FRS and beyond is also key to delivering higher staff retention rates. …

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