You need the best people, so
Every organization needs the best & brightest people they can find. And it doesn’t really matter if you’re involved in security or not, you still need the best people. Sometimes you find them rotting away at a car wash or sitting at home twiddling their thumbs. So what should you look for in the way you recruit and interview?
That is not an easy question to answer. And I’m sure that there will be many who will disagree with me on this topic. But I fervently believe that these are the best qualities for any organization, especially a security one, to look for in hiring officers, supervisors, managers, & directors.
- Customer service, retail or service, background was an added bonus. This would allow them to concentrate on the customer as well as security and add value to the client. Security experience was nice but not necessary, mainly because they may have learned some bad habits from a company that didn’t care about nothing but a warm body and the client check getting there on time
- Held their past jobs for at least 12 – 18 months. This would mean that you can hold onto them for a while, if they have been trained & management is competent enough to do their jobs
- Able to answer all of your probing questions quickly and succinctly. Whether that is in the interview or when on post is of paramount importance. It shows that they have given thought to their answers and have analyzed an issue. If it’s routine while on post even better, they know their site
- Willing to listen and learn from an experienced pro. Too many inexperienced, and even older more experienced, officers refuse to listen and learn, which is usually to their or the clients detriment. They should be avoided
- Do they think creatively, or in the vernacular, out-of-the-box? These are some of the best people I ever hired. Their solutions may have been on the weird side, but…they worked. And they were very good at solving problems on post, with or without a formal edumacation
- Willing to give value added service. If they do something extra for someone and the client notices… then it helps everyone, including the employees
- Attentive and observant of their surroundings. If they can have the situational awareness on post all the better for you & the client. They may actually complete the job of securing instead of observe & report
- Talkative and alert – even at 0300 hours. This usually meant that they had had too much caffeine or actually got enough sleep. And unless they have health issues because of it…
- Willing to volunteer to complete extra duties or hours. And whether it was for the extra money or to genuinely help didn’t really matter they’ll be there when you need them
- Always willing to learn something new that was changed on post or in the company. This showed me that they were open minded. It also shows how easily they can adjust to a changing situation
- Arriving early for the interview or post. 10 – 15 minutes was absolutely wonderful, because it allowed the person on duty to pass along necessary information quicker, talk about other things, and leave early. The interviewer also had more time for probing questions
- Showing up in apparel that was appropriate for the interview. Not trying to make a fashion statement with their uniform with baggy pants, shirt hanging out, & etc. And should we mention shaggy hair, unkempt beards, and no personal hygiene? And of course that would go for officers & applicants
- If they are willing to ask questions during the interview. This was also a vital aspect for me. Asking thoughtful questions during an interview. If they stop you to clarify or ask you a question then it shows initiative and the willingness to do the job and question something
- Do they have personality and willing to show it? Do they wear a beard for non-religious reasons? Are they a little bit on the bizarre side? How about just a quirky personality and like to laugh & joke. Many companies would summarily dismiss them after the interview, but these are the ones that make the company fun
These are just a few of the qualities I looked for in an interview. This is by no means an all-inclusive list. I’m sure that you have your own list. Likewise in the interview, you’ll usually know within a couple of minutes whether this person is for you and your company.
Have I ever been disappointed by someone we hired on my recommendation? Of course I have! Have I ever been disappointed that an officer turned out totally different after we hired them, in other words a lazy bum instead of the bright eager person I thought? You durned right. Have I ever been burned by a bad decision after following the above & my gut? Of course I have. But, then again, who hasn’t?
Did this dissuade me from looking at these qualities in a security officer? No. Some of these traits are what makes the best lead officers, supervisors, and managers. And the industry is constantly looking for these kinds of people.
Now, go make your list and stop hiring by the Warm Body Syndrome. It literally means you are so hard up for people that you will literally hire anyone that walks through your door and fills out the app – even if they can’t spell or write gud. And you know what that means for you and the client.
Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent 33 years in the security field. Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many, where you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.
I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear