Dedicated staff don't fall from the sky like peaches and apples. Actually, it's very rare to find "dedicated" long term serving staff users. In order to discover how to find these gems, first you need to understand how the staff system works;
No power, no glory.
These people just want the title, and usually don't do much to help the community. Actually, these users can often do far more harm than good. Fights can start with these users leading others on, tossing out banter like "I'm the moderator, I can and will ban you!". If you have these staff, discard them before they destroy member relations.
don'talways let friends be staff.
"What's that? You're making a new forum? I'll head up the moderation team if you want?" - Guilt trips are quite effective at getting staff positions both on-line and in the real world. It just so happens that the turnout is always the same. Since these staff members have no real interest in the site, they reach a point of not caring and slowly let things fall apart around them. Bottom line? [Good] friends *never* give friends a title of power just for the sake of doing so.
I've been here awhile, I know the ropes.
Users that earn the title always perform the best with it. The most recommended way to get staff is by gifting it to your best users the ones who know the average function of the site, give suggestions for improvement, and overall, care about the well being of the community as a whole. Does it sound communistic? Sure, but for some reason it works both on paper and on-line.
If your site is getting a billion posts a day, and frankly you couldn't care less about how your staff interact with the community as long as the spam is under control, then paid staff are perfect. The downside is that this is all that paid staff are good for. Think about it, 3rd party moderation services don't care about the well being of your site, they're getting paid to "moderate" - not care.
And there you have it, the staff system in an overview. It's up to each administrator to pick the type of staff they want, it goes with the title. I just hope people make the right choice for their communities.