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  • The Race is on

    Snagged this from another thread, and felt it was a good enough topic for a fresh thread;

    Originally posted by Black Caesar View Post
    it's the fault of an industry with low sometimes non-existent hiring standards that is caught in a constant race to the bottom.....
    With most companies out there racing to the bottom and slashing eachothers throats faster then Fredy or Jason could ever hope to master, what can be done to stop the insanity?

    How much of this can our industry take before we are left with monkeys pointing people to the restrooms?

    Is it the fault of the company owners? The market?

    Looking down the road what do you see the future of our industry? What changes need to occur to make a positive difference in training and hiring standards that push us towards professionalism? You can be warm body (if you want to) and still be professional?

    BTW; Professionalism is not walking tall and carrying a big stick, gun and OC spray... It's just walking tall and being able to make, and stick to, the right decisions. That's the hard part, not so much knowing what is right, but doing what is right.
    ~Super Ninja Sniper~
    Corbier's Commandos

    Nemo me impune lacessit

    Grammical and Spelling errors may occur form time to time. Yoov bin worned

  • #2
    Originally posted by ValleyOne View Post
    Snagged this from another thread, and felt it was a good enough topic for a fresh thread;



    With most companies out there racing to the bottom and slashing eachothers throats faster then Fredy or Jason could ever hope to master, what can be done to stop the insanity?

    How much of this can our industry take before we are left with monkeys pointing people to the restrooms?

    Is it the fault of the company owners? The market?

    Looking down the road what do you see the future of our industry? What changes need to occur to make a positive difference in training and hiring standards that push us towards professionalism? You can be warm body (if you want to) and still be professional?

    BTW; Professionalism is not walking tall and carrying a big stick, gun and OC spray... It's just walking tall and being able to make, and stick to, the right decisions. That's the hard part, not so much knowing what is right, but doing what is right.
    This is a very complex problem, really. The "natural" mechanisms that are supposed to control and constrain market participants in a capitalistic economic system frankly just do not work well in our industry, just as they have not worked well in a number of other industries - usually, industries that are "labor-intensive", overcrowded with "sellers" relative to "buyers", and where the performance quality standard (exactly what is being purchased) is not clearly defined or easily measured.

    The dirty little secret in this industry is that most clients don't know what they need, have no idea what they're buying, do not know how to specify what they want, and cannot tell if they're getting what they're paying for anyway. And, there are other clients who do know what they need, but believe they can get away with buying something less. The net result is a lot of sellers out there who are eagerly willing to take advantage of either type of client.

    Sometimes, "artificial" mechanisms are required to bring the market back under control. Such mechanisms are usually legal in character - mainly, either government regulations mandating high officer selection and training standards which are then reflected in wages, for instance, or a union contract that addresses wages directly. It seems very apparent that even after 9/11, government has no intention of mandating high officer standards, to which I can only say "SHAME ON THE FEDERAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS FOR KOWTOWING TO THE BIG CORPORATE SECURITY LOBBYISTS"!!

    This leaves us with the union contract, doesn't it? As someone who did not come from a "labor" background and who has no particular love for unions, I know that in the past unions have actually ruined some of our industries. However, I now find myself believing that in the case of the security industry, nothing short of a strong union - i.e., one that is capable of pushing wages and benefits up from the bottom (raising the "floor" below which companies simply could not bid contracts and remain in business) - has a chance of arresting the slide.

    ...and even then, it would take a very special union.
    Last edited by SecTrainer; 09-10-2007, 12:07 AM.
    "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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    • #3
      Basically the way I see it you get what you pay for, when you scrimp on the actual components of a product/service the quality of what you're offering suffers directly

      Just recently a client swapped from our Security provider to a cheaper outfit, as a result one day when their SO decided not to turn up, the client was left with no security at all... they even had the gall to call up and request one of our crew cover that site

      If a group take on a contract to provide security, IHMO they should be able to guarantee that service or not bother taking on the contract in the first place

      Originally posted by SecTrainer
      Sometimes, "artificial" mechanisms are required to bring the market back under control. Such mechanisms are usually legal in character - mainly, either government regulations mandating high officer selection and training standards which are then reflected in wages, for instance, or a union contract that addresses wages directly.
      I agree 100%, higher standards required of the Security Industry (and it's employees) should be met directly with an appropriate pay schedule perhaps in the form of a Government mandated payment award regulation
      Last edited by Maelstrom; 09-09-2007, 11:33 PM.
      "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give" - Winston Churchill

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by SecTrainer View Post
        This is a very complex problem, really. The "natural" mechanisms that are supposed to control and constrain market participants in a capitalistic economic system frankly just do not work well in our industry, just as they have not worked well in a number of other industries - usually, industries that are "labor-intensive", overcrowded with "sellers" relative to "buyers", and where the performance quality standard (exactly what is being purchased) is not clearly defined or easily measured.

        The dirty little secret in this industry is that most clients don't know what they need, have no idea what they're buying, do not know how to specify what they want, and cannot tell if they're getting what they're paying for anyway. And, there are other clients who do know what they need, but believe they can get away with buying something less. The net result is a lot of sellers out there who are eagerly willing to take advantage of either type of client.

        Sometimes, "artificial" mechanisms are required to bring the market back under control. Such mechanisms are usually legal in character - mainly, either government regulations mandating high officer selection and training standards which are then reflected in wages, for instance, or a union contract that addresses wages directly. It seems very apparent that even after 9/11, government has no intention of mandating high officer standards, to which I can only say "SHAME ON THE FEDERAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS FOR KOWTOWING TO THE BIG CORPORATE SECURITY LOBBYISTS"!!

        This leaves us with the union contract, doesn't it? As someone who did not come from a "labor" background and who has no particular love for unions, I know that in the past unions have actually ruined some of our industries. However, I now find myself believing that in the case of the security industry, nothing short of a strong union - i.e., one that is capable of pushing wages and benefits up from the bottom (raising the "floor" below which companies simply could not bid contracts and remain in business) - has a chance of arresting the slide.

        ...and even then, it would take a very special union.
        The problem with the Union idea is "right to work" states like Texas, where unions are weak. In places like that what can you do? It would almost have to be government regulations that set minimum standards to fix the problem.

        Because as long as things are the way they are now, some unscrupulous bastage (who happens to own a security company) will find a way to undercut the competition while screwing (pimping) his own employees just to make a buck.
        ~Black Caesar~
        Corbier's Commandos

        " "The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money." ~Margaret Thatcher

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Black Caesar View Post
          The problem with the Union idea is "right to work" states like Texas, where unions are weak. In places like that what can you do? It would almost have to be government regulations that set minimum standards to fix the problem.

          Because as long as things are the way they are now, some unscrupulous bastage (who happens to own a security company) will find a way to undercut the competition while screwing (pimping) his own employees just to make a buck.
          I agree completely and I don't mean to imply that a union would solve all the problems, in every state - especially in "right to work" states, as you mention.

          ...and we're not going to get government mandates for higher standards in security as long as the regulators are held captive politically by the big security companies who believe that higher standards would force increases in their rates that would cost them customers. (I doubt that this is nearly as true as they think, incidentally...a lot of their customers have no choice but to have security, and I doubt that the prorated difference in rates that higher standards would cause would run most clients off or cause them to significantly cut their forces.)
          "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

          Comment


          • #6
            great thread. I'll add my two cents by saying that I've seen some weirdos that don't look or act professional. From SOs that have more 5'oclock shadow than Don Johnson ever had to more jewelry than Saks 5th Avenue to wearing their slacks low enough to dust mop wherever they step. I'm not going to go into anything but image because image makes up 90% of what we do. Anyone that blows off a post is bad news to begin with.

            When I hear about cops sticking their noses up at SOs I know who to blame for it.
            sigpicMy ideal security vehicle and uniforms:

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            • #7
              The ole catch 22. Every other industry seems to know you get what you pay for except security

              Comment


              • #8
                From my point of view Contract Security going downhill is a GOOD thing. I'm In-House Contract companies have for years been trying to take us over, some even at a loss, in order to be able to advertise that they have a big hotel as one of their customers. My owner is Jewish. One company is owned by a former Israeli security specalist. My owner has given him some work. One was when a Head Rabbi from Israel was staying here. The contract company sent "their best man" to protect the Rabbi. We found the guy sound asleep on the chair outside the Rabbi's room 2 or 3 times. Things like this are really good for us keeping our In-House jobs!!
                I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
                Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by HotelSecurity View Post
                  The contract company sent "their best man" to protect the Rabbi. We found the guy sound asleep on the chair outside the Rabbi's room 2 or 3 times. Things like this are really good for us keeping our In-House jobs!!
                  He wasn't really sleeping/napping... just checking for light leaks (on the inside of his eyelids)
                  "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give" - Winston Churchill

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I don't believe that this problem will improve in the near future. We see the same business practices among the airlines and it shows.
                    Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

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                    • #11
                      In my opinion, a large part of the problem is inherent in the nature of the service itself. When the janitorial staff shows up and cleans, the result and the quality of their work is obvious to everyone in the morning. When the work gets sloppy or paper weights go missing, everyone in the client organization supports a change in contractors and understands the value of having to pay more to the new provider. When the $8.00/hr security officer shows up and nothing bad happens that night, how do you measure the quality of the work and justify a switch to a more expensive contractor or a higher bill rate for the incumbent in order to pay the officer more? Obviously, I'm generalizing and we're not talking about all those incidents like an officer being caught sleeping, viewing **** websites, 900 calls, etc. Those will often trigger a change in contractor, possibly at a higher rate. Truth is, the new provider may or may not pay the officer more and even if they do, they are most times hiring from the same labor pool and are just as vulnerable to hiring a sleepy officer as the original contractor.

                      In many high end security market segments, the "Presentation" of the security efforts are very critical. An example is in the property management industry. In a prestigious and expensive office complex, the tenant's perception of the security program is most important. That's why commercial property security is at the high end of the scale in terms of bill and pay rates.

                      Unfortunately, in the lower segments, security is a necessary evil, especially if the client organization does not perceive any particular threat level at its sites. It is not unlike property/casuality insurance except the insurance industry is more highly regulated.

                      I have to agree with Security Trainer. I also am not a big proponent of unions, but I too think that a combination of organized labor and state and/or federal regulation would have a positive effect.

                      The other answer is educating the market. The few national firms remaining will always have their big national accounts and I say "let them have them". On a local and regional level, however, there is a void left by the industry consolidation over the last few years.

                      Smaller companies need to capitalize on this opportunity and add value to their services. They also have to sell that added value if the client is to be convinced to pay more. It might be more extensive training, benefits, appearance, technology, supervision, stability, response integration, whatever. If packaged and marketed properly, I dare say that any quality local company, in any good size market, should be able to take at least one 168 from the big "S" and at a higher rate. Also, the more added value components that are built into a bill rate, the less significant the pay rate becomes (or and increase thereto).

                      We have to stop thinking of our service as a commodity if we ever expect the market to change.
                      Richard Dickinson
                      Dickinson Security Management Group, LLC
                      DSMG Provides a Variety of Software Products and Consulting Services to the Contract Security Industry
                      www.hrdickinson.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I posted earlier today about the 2 x S/O pretenders who turned up yesterday to guard a 1 of our store refits for 12 hrs / day over the next 10 days. Both looked like slobs with remnants of breakfast down their shirts only to come unprepared without pens, log books or equipment. This was arranged by the Facilities Mgr behind my back he copped both barrels from me for booking contract security staff without me knowing and also for using a cheap service. At $26.00 / hr (including tax) these guys are only paid $14.25 /hr (award rate is $19.13). I sent them home as they were unsuitable and contacted a friend's firm to supply me 2 x bodies asap as the shopfitters refused to work without security onsite (I went back to S/O work in a suit for 2 hours).

                        The other company was $37.00 / hr and I do know the crew is paid correctly. When they got onsite, they brought all gear and table and chairs before asking me for site orders. Everyone was happy but again you get what you pay for and now with a new security officer needing to fork out about $2,000 US to get standard qualifications to earn minimum $$$ many will soon leave.

                        Sure I had to cover my decision and the cost was 2 x $36.00 / hr but the crew came on with equipment, 1st aid kit, chair and table for CP and above all asked for directions from me first.
                        "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

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