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  • Leatherneck
    replied
    Originally posted by SecTrainer View Post
    First, I wouldn't shy away from hiring people who are "older" (which, in your twenties, might mean people in their thirties or forties, right?). However, if you're really concerned about this I'd suggest you read Managing the Generational Mix. (You'll quickly spot the relevant chapters.)

    (Something of interest to note: The judgment centers of the brain are typically not fully developed until an individual is in their late twenties...especially in males.)

    People of any age want much the same thing from a supervisor, including (in no particular order of importance):

    1. A genuine interest in them as people.
    2. Predictability and stability - of mood, as well as expectations.
    3. Courtesy and respect.
    4. Clarity of expectations.
    5. Fair play and consistency.
    6. Sincere expressions of appreciation, especially for extra effort or superior performance.
    7. An opportunity to express their opinions and ideas.
    8. The sense that you will represent their interests to management, as well as the other way around.
    9. Confidentiality in all personal matters involving employees that you may become privy to.
    10. Personal competence in the job - i.e., that you "know your stuff".
    11. An example of personal adherence to company policies - i.e., not allowing yourself to cut corners or violate company rules that you're responsible for enforcing.
    12. Refusal to get drawn into cliques or to listen to gossip, and no "playing favorites".
    13. Honoring your promises.

    As for how you should staff, I would rank demonstrated stability as being the most important characteristic to look for - even more important than prior security or military experience. You would probably define "stability" somewhat differently for younger applicants than for older ones, but it's still the most important trait. With youthful applicants seeking their first job, you can get a picture of stability from things like:

    1. Playing varsity sports.
    2. Playing a musical instrument for a number of years.
    3. Participation in extracurricular activities (drama, yearbook, etc.)
    4. Finishing high school, or obtaining an AA or BA degree, with a respectable grade point average.
    5. Academic honors and awards.
    6. Involvement in social, church or charitable activities.
    7. Checking personal references including teachers, coaches, minister, youth leader, etc. Personal references are very important when it comes to checking out young applicants who have no employment history to check. Try to get at least five personal references to check. Any kid who can give you five substantial adult references is probably pretty stable (assuming they confirm this when you call them). When you talk to these references, one question you always want to ask is: "I am considering hiring Bob for a position that involves considerable responsibility and requires good judgment. Would you have any hesitation whatsoever to recommend him for such a position?"


    This is some great insight on this topic. I am a "younger" security company owner, and I hire people of all ages. I find that when you hire good quality "high caliber" employees of any age, they tend to respect people who are in a position of authority regardless of how old they are. If you hire "Joe Blow" who is fine working for minimum wage, and doesn't have much pride in himself or herself, or the company they work for, then you may have a problem with the age barrier!






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  • SecTrainer
    replied
    Originally posted by Zanev View Post
    I've read some great responses and it's helped me a little, but one thing I still wonder is this:

    If you are a young manager for a company (early twenty's) and the company gives you a site and the responsibility to hire a team how should you go about staffing it? Is age a factor? I'm worried that some older people would have trouble listening to someone a lot younger than them, and people younger than me would take issue listening to me due to me only being 23. I know that hiring a team is one of the most important things to do for my future site, and I have a general idea now on what to look for but can anyone give me some more advice on what I should be looking for?
    First, I wouldn't shy away from hiring people who are "older" (which, in your twenties, might mean people in their thirties or forties, right?). However, if you're really concerned about this I'd suggest you read Managing the Generational Mix. (You'll quickly spot the relevant chapters.)

    (Something of interest to note: The judgment centers of the brain are typically not fully developed until an individual is in their late twenties...especially in males.)

    People of any age want much the same thing from a supervisor, including (in no particular order of importance):

    1. A genuine interest in them as people.
    2. Predictability and stability - of mood, as well as expectations.
    3. Courtesy and respect.
    4. Clarity of expectations.
    5. Fair play and consistency.
    6. Sincere expressions of appreciation, especially for extra effort or superior performance.
    7. An opportunity to express their opinions and ideas.
    8. The sense that you will represent their interests to management, as well as the other way around.
    9. Confidentiality in all personal matters involving employees that you may become privy to.
    10. Personal competence in the job - i.e., that you "know your stuff".
    11. An example of personal adherence to company policies - i.e., not allowing yourself to cut corners or violate company rules that you're responsible for enforcing.
    12. Refusal to get drawn into cliques or to listen to gossip, and no "playing favorites".
    13. Honoring your promises.

    As for how you should staff, I would rank demonstrated stability as being the most important characteristic to look for - even more important than prior security or military experience. You would probably define "stability" somewhat differently for younger applicants than for older ones, but it's still the most important trait. With youthful applicants seeking their first job, you can get a picture of stability from things like:

    1. Playing varsity sports.
    2. Playing a musical instrument for a number of years.
    3. Participation in extracurricular activities (drama, yearbook, etc.)
    4. Finishing high school, or obtaining an AA or BA degree, with a respectable grade point average.
    5. Academic honors and awards.
    6. Involvement in social, church or charitable activities.
    7. Checking personal references including teachers, coaches, minister, youth leader, etc. Personal references are very important when it comes to checking out young applicants who have no employment history to check. Try to get at least five personal references to check. Any kid who can give you five substantial adult references is probably pretty stable (assuming they confirm this when you call them). When you talk to these references, one question you always want to ask is: "I am considering hiring Bob for a position that involves considerable responsibility and requires good judgment. Would you have any hesitation whatsoever to recommend him for such a position?"
    Last edited by SecTrainer; 01-07-2011, 02:40 AM.

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  • Zanev
    replied
    I've read some great responses and it's helped me a little, but one thing I still wonder is this:

    If you are a young manager for a company (early twenty's) and the company gives you a site and the responsibility to hire a team how should you go about staffing it? Is age a factor? I'm worried that some older people would have trouble listening to someone a lot younger than them, and people younger than me would take issue listening to me due to me only being 23. I know that hiring a team is one of the most important things to do for my future site, and I have a general idea now on what to look for but can anyone give me some more advice on what I should be looking for?

    Leave a comment:


  • Silva Consultants
    replied
    SecTrainer, thanks for your excellent contributions to this topic. I have found everything that you have said to be dead-on. The phrase "hire tough...manage easy" is simple yet profound.

    I think that the other factor that needs to be considered is that sometimes the hiring manager is desperate to fill a position, and as a result, either consciously or unconsciously chooses to ignore the candidate's defects. In almost every "bad hire" that I have made in the past, I can look back to the original interview process and see warning signs that I chose to ignore because I was so anxious to get someone to fill the job.

    When I first became a manager, I had tendencies to want to "take in strays" and attempt to rehabilitate marginal employees. I eventually learned that my success rate at doing this was next to zero, and I wasn't doing anyone, including the marginal employee, any favors.

    Leave a comment:


  • SecTrainer
    replied
    Originally posted by CTEXSEC1 View Post
    My question for this is: How do far into this do you look? I worked for one company that had probably a record high turnover rate. I started one week and, two weeks later, none of those guys were still around. Management was awful and I cut out as soon as an opening appeared elsewhere. In another company, I literally worked for eight minutes. The FTO I was assigned took us to Chili's to falsify our patrol hit paperwork and then told me he usually left halfway through the shift. I had a buddy meet me and left my uniform shirts with this hack.

    Sometimes, the company does suck and jumping ship is the only reasonable way to deal with it. What you appear to be saying will shaft the officer who was desperate for a job and got on board in the first place.
    An experience like this is certainly possible, but that's different from an established pattern. You can also compare job longevity to other indications of personal instability, such as frequent changes of address, attending numerous colleges without achieving much progress, etc. (When the applicant lists colleges attended without a degree, you should always ask how many credits he's earned. Four colleges attended with only 24 credits earned should raise a red flag that, at the very least, deserves some followup questions, such as "What's been the major obstacle to your earning your degree?". You might get answers that are very similar to those regarding previous employers: "That college was really lousy. Rotten teachers, crummy textbooks"...etc.)

    Our main problem in interviewing applicants is this: If we pay attention to the application, we will see things that bother us, but for some reason we are reluctant to ask questions that are pointed and penetrating enough to get to the bottom of them. As astounding as it might be, interviewers are often more concerned with making a good impression on the applicant (!!), or impressing the applicant that this is a wonderful feel-good company to work for, than they are with conducting a genuine fact-finding interview. Oddly enough, "gushy" or "mushy" or "soft" interviews convey exactly the opposite impression - i.e., that this is a company that will take anybody. The Marines learned that this is the wrong approach. As (I believe) Groucho Marx said once, "I wouldn't belong to a club that would have me for a member". Believe it or not, when you hire people "too easily", they come in with exactly the same feeling, rather than a sense of pride that they have been chosen by a tough selection process.

    When you interview applicants, you're not looking for a buddy. You're looking for a top-quality employee. Unfortunately, too many interviewers are looking for buddies and they can't bear to make the applicant "uncomfortable".

    Something else. The hiring process tells new employees a great deal about the company itself. Usually, it is the first contact that they have with the company and they might know very little about it otherwise. THE HIRING PROCESS TELLS THEM SOMETHING ABOUT THE COMPANY. When the hiring process impresses a new employee that "anything goes", that the company has no standards, that glaring inconsistencies are ignored, that it's easy to lie your way through an interview, etc., that is his FIRST IMPRESSION of your company and he carries that impression with him into the job itself. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. The first impression your applicant should get is that your company is competent, and that starts with a competent hiring process. And believe me, they know the difference between one that's competent and one that's not.
    Last edited by SecTrainer; 01-06-2011, 05:54 PM.

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  • CTEXSEC1
    replied
    Originally posted by SecTrainer View Post
    Or...and this is the worst: They blithely accept the applicant's lame explanations, which can usually be summarized as "Every one of my previous employers (or supervisors or jobs or coworkers) was crappy." This makes you a co-dependent, enabling and participating in the lousy employee's mental or social disorder, and validating his self-delusions.
    My question for this is: How do far into this do you look? I worked for one company that had probably a record high turnover rate. I started one week and, two weeks later, none of those guys were still around. Management was awful and I cut out as soon as an opening appeared elsewhere. In another company, I literally worked for eight minutes. The FTO I was assigned took us to Chili's to falsify our patrol hit paperwork and then told me he usually left halfway through the shift. I had a buddy meet me and left my uniform shirts with this hack.

    Sometimes, the company does suck and jumping ship is the only reasonable way to deal with it. What you appear to be saying will shaft the officer who was desperate for a job and got on board in the first place.

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  • SecTrainer
    replied
    Originally posted by Security Chief View Post
    I look for individuals who have some law enforcement, corrections, or prior security experience from a respectable organization. I also look at individuals who have at least two years of education. One major important trait that is desirable is a solid work history. Many times I see applicants who have only stayed at jobs for a few months at a time and this is of concern since so much time/money is put into training, uniforms, and salary/benefits.
    Amazing how many times the application and/or resume clearly point to problems of various kinds and yet are either completely missed or are not explored further in order to understand them. "He quit after six months!" they complain, but when you ask them to pull the individual's resume, you see that he's always been a "traveler", or a "malcontent", or that his life has been chaotic and interfered with his ability to get to work reliably. It was right there for anyone to see, but no one saw it (or ignored it).

    The question is, why do we think he'll be any different when he comes to work for us? When I've asked this question of employers, the answer always seems to be a mixture of groundless hope and magical thinking - sometimes with a bit of "I thought maybe he'd grown up" or "Everyone deserves a second chance" thrown in.

    This is a good one: "Well, he's married with two kids now". And that means exactly what?

    Some employers "feel sorry" for the applicant, seeming to believe that they're running a rehab center where rotten employees can come to "straighten up their lives". Well, that's okay as long as you know that's what you're doing and you're prepared for the inevitable consequences.

    Some employers take the attitude: "It's all a crap shoot anyway, so there's no point in trying to improve the odds."

    Or...and this is the worst: They blithely accept the applicant's lame explanations, which can usually be summarized as "Every one of my previous employers (or supervisors or jobs or coworkers) was crappy." This makes you a co-dependent, enabling and participating in the lousy employee's mental or social disorder, and validating his self-delusions.

    These aren't "reasons" for hiring someone. They're just excuses for making poor decisions.

    Hire tough...manage easy. It's the title of a great book, and even without reading the book at all it's the best insight you can have when it comes to hiring. It should be your motto. When it comes to employees, history is prologue. And what's more, if you could have access to their juvenile records in school, etc., you'd discover that the rotten traits they have as adults stretch all the way back into their adolescence and beyond. Do some people "square away" after a rocky period of employment? Sure. The question is whether that's a chance that you and your business can afford to take. You're playing with loaded dice, so make sure you know that's what you're doing.

    If you decide to take a chance despite the plain evidence this applicant is a lamer, the only way I know of to hedge your bet is to exercise very tight, scrupulous supervision of the employee for a significant period of time, be very cautious about increasing his responsibilities, and be prepared to fold your hand at the first sign this isn't going to work out.

    Are you set up to do all that?

    Can you afford the extra investment?

    Can you absorb the probable loss?

    If not, you shouldn't be running a rehab center. Satisfy your charitable urges with a donation to your favorite charity instead. It will be cheaper, and your money will do someone some good.
    Last edited by SecTrainer; 01-06-2011, 11:17 AM.

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  • Security Chief
    replied
    I look for individuals who have some law enforcement, corrections, or prior security experience from a respectable organization. I also look at individuals who have at least two years of education. One major important trait that is desirable is a solid work history. Many times I see applicants who have only stayed at jobs for a few months at a time and this is of concern since so much time/money is put into training, uniforms, and salary/benefits.

    Leave a comment:


  • HotelSecurity
    replied
    Originally posted by Son-Of-A-Pilot View Post
    As long as the minimun requirements are met, I like to see someone who has good customer service or interpersonnel skills. Our site has a lot of client contact. I will not hire a slob. If you come in looking like a street bum (yes it has happened) you aren't going to get far. I am not asking for a 3-piece suit, but I do expect my interviewees to be clean and in clean clothes. Experience is good, but if I think you can be molded then I will give you a chance.
    When we used to have 24 hour a day security we didn't want people boithering the front desk staff or going into the administration office area so the appliucations were kept at the security office for all departments. I would throw out an application if the person didn't bother to bring a pen with them. Coming in to apply for a job being unprepared like that is a good indicator of how your work habits are.

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  • Son-Of-A-Pilot
    replied
    As long as the minimun requirements are met, I like to see someone who has good customer service or interpersonnel skills. Our site has a lot of client contact. I will not hire a slob. If you come in looking like a street bum (yes it has happened) you aren't going to get far. I am not asking for a 3-piece suit, but I do expect my interviewees to be clean and in clean clothes. Experience is good, but if I think you can be molded then I will give you a chance.

    Leave a comment:


  • Leatherneck
    replied
    Originally posted by SecTrainer View Post
    Do you inform your applicants that she is a psychologist prior to the interview, or obtain their consent for her to be present? In a lot of jurisdictions, you can't conduct "stealth psychological exams" on people, especially in the first stages of the hiring process (prior to making a job offer) because these fall under the rules for medical exams. Is she a licensed practitioner? You might be getting into some tall weeds here, bro'.


    I have all my bases covered! She is a clinical social worker, and all of my applicants know why she is there. It is perfectly legal in my state. But you do have a good point, I would never go this route without doing some research first!





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  • SecTrainer
    replied
    Originally posted by Leatherneck View Post
    I agree with your statement 100%, I am a Vet as well. And believe it or not, I have a psychologist on staff, and she sits in on all of my interviews! Its great!
    Do you inform your applicants that she is a psychologist prior to the interview, or obtain their consent for her to be present? In a lot of jurisdictions, you can't conduct "stealth psychological exams" on people, especially in the first stages of the hiring process (prior to making a job offer) because these fall under the rules for medical exams. Is she a licensed practitioner? You might be getting into some tall weeds here, bro'.
    Last edited by SecTrainer; 12-24-2010, 09:20 AM.

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  • Condo Guard
    replied
    We like vets - they know how to take orders, but they also know how to work independently, and they don't panic in emergencies. For day shifts we tend to hire those with strong customer service backrounds, since there is a lot of public contact.

    The biggest thing we look for is "common sense" - we try to train them for anything and everything, but there's always something new or unusual that comes up. They either have it, or they don't. If they don't have common sense, they don't last long...

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  • FireRanger
    replied
    There are the basic requirements that any successfull candidate must meet, once those have been met. I generally take into account the person in all aspects (experience, training, demeanor/attitude/personality shown during the interview and skills assessment phases) and try to fit that to the specific shift I am hiring them for. An example would be if I am hiring for reception, I want someone who is strong in customer service skills and can prioritize things quickly. If I am hiring for a single officer shift, I want an officer who is confident and sure of themselves but not to the point they are a jerk. Its really hard that I look for any one thing. I also go for diversity of backgrounds, I like having some people who are LEO, some who are veterans, some who are FRES, some prior security and some with no security, military or public safety background. I think by having a wide range of backgrounds, it allows me to draw more and better opinions about how to solve problems. I like try and have my staff work as a team as much as possible and thus I am open to their thoughts.

    A side note, just because I am willing to listen to an officer's thoughts and opinions does not mean that I will change a policy or procedure. It just simply means I accept that I am a human and subject to error, and someone else may have a better way of doing things.

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  • Leatherneck
    replied
    Originally posted by DazednadConfused View Post
    As a Veteran I like to see a Vet in front of me - or a LEO background. But I have hired plenty of people from outside of those demographics. Education is important but will not overshadow "real-world" operational experience.

    I prefer a behavioral interview as this demands more input from the candidate.

    I agree with your statement 100%, I am a Vet as well. And believe it or not, I have a psychologist on staff, and she sits in on all of my interviews! Its great!

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