What qualities make the best dispatchers?
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At COPS, we believe...
To achieve excellence in service you must know how to identify, recruit, train, and hold onto people who demonstrate professionalism, empathy, a respect for confidentiality, a calm demeanor, and a positive attitude. The best dispatchers also possess a strong sense of duty and a desire to help others in their moment of need.
Many applicants can get through an interview, learn the basics in training, and have acceptable scores. But the true test of a dispatcher is how they perform in stressful situations: do they exude confidence, take control of a potential emergency situation, and give the customer peace-of-mind — all while maintaining a friendly yet professional demeanor?
Selecting the right candidate for a COPS alarm dispatcher position requires more than simply good intuition. Identifying the right person for a particular job is based on science – industrial-organizational psychology (also called I/O psychology), to be more specific. The American Psychological Association explains I/O psychology as “the scientific study of human behavior in organizations and the work place and addresses issues of recruitment, selection and placement, training and development, performance measurement, workplace motivation and reward systems, quality of work life, structure of work and human factors.”
What does this mean to you?
Essentially, Industrial Psychology is the science of matching the right people with the right jobs. People who are a “good fit” tend to be more motivated, more productive, and care more about their performance – which is what you want from your dispatchers. This is precisely why all of COPS’ recruiting, screening, training, and ongoing development and rewards systems (called Gradation) were developed with the assistance of an Industrial Psychologist.
It all begins with a psychometric predictive index assessment, which is just a formal name for our tool that helps us identify the candidates with the personality traits that give them the best chance to not only succeed — but to thrive — as a dispatcher.
Only after determining that a candidate is the “right fit” for our company and for the role of an alarm dispatcher, we will make the investment in their training to properly serve you and your subscribers. Those selected begin 120 hours of classroom training, followed by many hours of one-on-one training with an experienced dispatcher in real-world situations.
We believe that our Gradation training, evaluation, and motivational process is the most rigorous and thorough dispatcher training program in the industry. The basic premise of our Gradation is “up or out.” Dispatchers are evaluated on a monthly or quarterly basis (depending on the level of Gradation) to ensure that only those who are capable of continually advancing to become experts in their field are permitted to serve your customers on an ongoing basis. Dispatchers who demonstrate high-quality performance and sustained growth over time with the company will maintain their positions and earn some extraordinary benefits with COPS. Again — happy, competent employees make for satisfied customers.