Whether you’re commanding an internal security staff at a college or managing a contract security force of 300 officers, it’s no secret that recruiting and retaining staff continues to be the leading consumer of our time, money and efforts.
How much time have you spent in the past year reviewing employment applications, interviewing potential candidates, conducting orientation and on the job training, providing uniforms and equipping new hires and filling the holes in your schedule only to have to do it all over again in a few weeks?
As we all know, there are a lot of variables as to why employees don’t stick around but more times than not, it’s because they’re not happy where they’re at.
We all have heard about the low wages, not enough hours, feeling unappreciated, and the one that I’ve heard since I started in security forty years ago, “they didn’t keep their promises”.
There are four essential keys to retaining personnel and developing some of them to move through the ranks and becoming supervisory and management team members.
- It all begins long before the interview. Take time to review the applicant’s credentials, resume, application, references, experience and hone in on the green and red flags.
Did the applicant list different details, dates or information on his resume and application? Are there discrepancies or other details that are inconsistent or is everything balancing out and being verified through further documentation such as references and verification of education, training and work history. Has the applicant received high marks and rave reviews from previous employers and personal references or were they less than favorable?
- Straight forward interviews will cut down on terminations and no-shows, employee misconduct and new hire miscommunications. Explaining what the company expects from all employees, giving complete details of current job openings, hours and wages as well as the opportunities available within the company without the fluff or pie in the sky sale tactics.
- Guidance, grooming and mentoring are not words heard or actions used enough in the private security field. Finding a diamond in the rough in our employees and helping them become more than an hourly employee through training, counseling and encouragement will reduce the revolving door, assure employees that there is a future with a caring company and provide employee incentives to be the best employee that they can be.
- Structured training programs and management development processes will pay dividends when a company no longer has to recruit their supervisory and management staff and can promote from within.
The benefits of promoting from within include the obvious ones such as familiarity with the person taking over management roles, proven loyalty, work ethics and dedication of the employee as well as advance knowledge of their dependability and commitment to the company.
And then there are of course the benefits of saving time and money on recruitment.
But there’s also that good feeling that you get when you’ve helped someone become a better person or to go further than they had expected, while helping them to make a decent livable wage to support their family.
Of course not everyone wants to work in security forever and some are just there to make a paycheck for a short time. Others will not be management material but how will you ever know who is and who isn’t, if you don’t hold the door open and show them what the possibilities are just across the threshold.