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  • Recruitment Methods

    Do you believe there are unique strategies to successfully recruit good security officers? How does your company approach recruitment in general? What methods do you use? Is it in the nature of the industry that the turnover rate is high, or that can be avoided through proper recruitment?

  • #2
    If you find the answer, let me know...

    High turnover is part of this industry, mostly due to wages and conditions. Recruitment for small companies is tough, because there generally isn't a big budget for it.

    The following statements are my opinion, based on my company's experience. Skip Craig's List - you get what you pay for, and while it is cheaper than your city's daily paper, most of your applicants are not qualified. If you can spend the money, advertise on the largest, most reputable site - either a major employment site like Monster, or, again, your city or state's largest paper.

    You can try to weed out the losers by advertising "drug free workplace," etc. but you're still going to get them applying. If you are looking for specific skills, figure out who has those skills and reach out to them. If you like vets, contact the local VA office and they'll steer you to the right person. But it doesn't always work. We advertised one year for criminal justice or paraleagal majors at two of the local community colleges - we got ONE resume.

    Word of mouth works best - ask your best employees if they know anyone good. Chances are, they might. One company years ago offered a pretty nice bonus if someone you referred to them was hired and stayed at least a year.

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    • #3
      Very helpful information, Condo. Excellent. Thank you! You covered my problem areas.

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      • #4
        "Skip Craig's List - you get what you pay for"?!?!!?

        I resemble that remark. CL is about all I look in.

        In my exp., the #1 reason for high turn over isn't the low wages, but the crazy scheduling and low hours some companies have.

        The "disease" is: They want lots of "on call" guards, so they want lots of guys "on staff" hungry for hours, but because they aren't getting the hours promised, they tend to quit, often without notice, for sheer survival, so the company needs more guys "on call".

        I would suggest having prospects stop by for 2 minute "meet and greet". Like "speed dating" but different. Then go from there. Then you will know if they are likely to be able to foot patrol for 8+ hours without needing medical afterwords, if they can speak decent English, that they don't stink, etc.

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        • #5
          I find that CL works both ways. It can screw the potential employee and employer.

          NUMEROUS security companies post ads that are VERY misleading. Everything from using stock photos that look nothing like their crap patrol units to posting outright lies about their equipment, training, hours, whatever.

          During my job search, I have found that I have to verify every company's post against online reviews to determine if it's a waste of MY time to talk to them.
          A wise son hears his father's instruction,but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke. Proverbs 13:1

          "My “Black-Ops” history ensures that you will never know about the missions I accepted in my younger days, and Vietnam still shudders when it hears the name of a an assasin so skillful and deadly, he is remembered decades later. " G-45

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          • #6
            First and foremost, can you write out a full description of the "ideal" officer, by which I don't mean one who's "perfect" in some imaginary sense, but one who is right for the job in a very practical sense:

            * Fits your company's culture.
            * Wants the hours you're prepared to give him (not "promise" him!), whether a few or a lot.
            * Wants the schedule you need to fill (days of week, hours of day).
            * Has reliable transportation and communication.
            * Can communicate verbally and in writing without unusual difficulties.
            * Is personally presentable.
            * Understands and is capable of performing the duties required in the job.
            * Has a demonstrated history of reliability and honesty.
            * Has no insurmountable barriers to security employment (felony convictions, bad driving record, etc.).
            * Is in possession of or can obtain necessary state or local licensing, etc.
            * Has any additional training, experience, permits, etc. that the job requires (advanced first aid, firearm, or other).
            * Knows and accepts the starting wage and also when, and under what circumstances, he can expect wage increases, job advancement, etc.

            Then, it seems to me, it's a matter of communicating these things to an applicant in a very honest and forthright manner, without painting any rosy pictures, without making any false promises, without "forgetting" to mention any of the less pleasant aspects of the job, etc.

            A great deal of turnover - even in this industry - arises from the fact that the employee discovers that the job isn't "as advertised" by the employer. They will forgive you for this - maybe - if they know that something has changed beyond your control since they were hired. They'll often even remain in the job, at least for awhile, and give you the benefit of the doubt.

            But if they suspect that you hid or misrepresented facts that they should have had in order to make a proper decision to hire on with your company, they'll leave you flat, curse you and your offspring for seven generations, and most importantly they will tell everyone they know (and, on Facebook etc., many that they do not know) that you're an employer who can't be trusted.

            As for the hiring process itself, there are many strategies for attracting employees, many legalities that must be observed, etc., so that's a topic for whole books. Unfortunately, it is true that even though absolute honesty and clarity in hiring is one way to reduce turnover, this is still an industry that, under the best of circumstances, still experiences substantial turnover. What that means, and what many companies do not do, is "ABR" - Always Be Recruiting. It's too late to start looking for - and hiring - good people when you need them yesterday, or even today or a week from today. One thing this means is that an applicant - even one who just walks in off the street when you're not advertising (which should be never, but...) - is one of your highest priorities, always. So many security companies blow people out the door because "we're not hiring right now". Wow! Some of them will let the applicant fill out the application and say "We'll be in touch". Some of them will even have some underling do a two-minute "drive-by" with the applicant.

            ___________

            SIDE NOTE: OXYMORON ALERT: Juxtapose in your mind these statements: "We're not hiring right now" and "This industry has high turnover". The fact is, you never know for sure when you'll be hiring, do you? The second statement makes that very clear, so the first statement has absolutely no practical meaning or value to your organization whatsoever. Maybe you're not hiring at 9:05 AM, but you could very well be hiring at 9:06 AM! You have no way of knowing when an officer might walk in, turn in his gear and leave. That's the cold truth, and one that should factor into your thinking.
            END OF SIDE NOTE
            ___________

            All of these are rotten strategies for the security company that has - as its ONLY PRODUCT TO OFFER - people. That's what you're selling...people. In that sense, people are your inventory, your stock in trade. Can there be anything MORE important than finding good people? Well, you won't find them if you act like an applicant is a big burden to you, you can scarcely manage to find the time for them, you didn't advertise so what the hell are they doing in your office, and you wish you were anywhere else other than looking at another applicant, who's probably rotten anyway, and dammit you forgot to put the golf clubs in your trunk this morning.

            Think you don't convey these attitudes to people? Well, if those ARE your attitudes you can believe that you DO convey them. And you'll miss the gems, because the fact is that they do walk in off the street, they do come in when you're not hiring, they do come in when you're not advertising, they do call up on the phone to inquire about possible employment, and they even do come in wearing dirty clothes - and yes maybe even with body odor - from their job in construction or maybe sweating over a stove as a short-order cook, or their job as a landscaper. And this might be the only time that they could get away from the job to talk to you.

            When you look at someone, the fact is you know jack crap about them until you make it your business to learn more. Assume otherwise, and you're the loser. Yes, I know this will take a chunk of your managerial time and effort, but if it's not Job One (getting business is Job One), it is certainly Job Two. And the fact is, you cannot do Job One at all unless you become very adept at doing Job Two. Clients and your employees - your whole mission is to bring them together in an operationally successful way. Everything else is detail.
            Last edited by SecTrainer; 06-12-2013, 12:38 PM.
            "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

            "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

            "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

            "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

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            • #7
              Sec hit it hard and on the head. I *finally* had an interview that left nothing (in my mind) unanswered. The manager was very honest. He told me that I *could* be a solid supervisor, but that some of my experience as a bouncer made him hesitate and he would rather start me as a post officer to gauge my mentality. Wages, benefits, training, etc were covered in detail. The interview was over an hour long and more in-depth than any I have ever done. He admitted there would be hiccups, as the site is a start-up and his company will be getting in at the beginning and developing all of the protocols, etc. I was offered a position and have never felt more confident accepting one in my life.

              It's all about honesty, really. The employer expects it from the applicant and should act accordingly.
              A wise son hears his father's instruction,but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke. Proverbs 13:1

              "My “Black-Ops” history ensures that you will never know about the missions I accepted in my younger days, and Vietnam still shudders when it hears the name of a an assasin so skillful and deadly, he is remembered decades later. " G-45

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