Top 5 security recruitment challenges, and how GuardPass solves them
Reaching the right people in a tough labour market
Last year the BSIA released a study that indicated that there would be a shortfall of over 60,000 available licensed security officers in the UK during 2023. As we move towards the last quarter of 2023, most security companies would confirm these findings, with recruitment being harder than ever before. Just two years ago, I advertised for a role at a site in Ashford, Kent. It was for a Security Officer, working a flexible shift pattern, with a higher than average pay rate. In one week my company received over 60 applications. I interviewed over 35 people. We ended up recruiting 2 officers as the calibre of applicants was outstanding.
Recently, using the traditional online recruitment methods, I advertised for a highly paid Security Officer role in Surrey, and received just 2 applications. Neither candidate was suitable. Where have all the decent Security Officers gone?
Successful recruitment now needs different thinking. The GuardPass app for mobile devices, already has well over 100,000 users and features a new security industry dedicated jobs board. The vast majority of the UK’s top companies now post their jobs there, and the Security Officers that use it, by nature of simply downloading the app, tend to be engaged professionals. Companies looking to place an ad utilise a simple employers portal called GuardHire.
Recruitment has always been a slow process.
For many years now, the standard way to recruit new Security Personnel, at all levels, was via one of the traditional online recruitment services. These generic services have proved hard to navigate, and with so many dubious and misleading job titles and descriptions used, the whole experience is time consuming and frustrating for jobseekers.
…… But not anymore.
The dedicated GuardPass security jobs board, is immensely simple to use. Vacancies are listed with the vital job information, front and centre. The pages of generic and useless waffle have been done away with, and jobseekers can now find the sort of work that they are looking for, quickly and easily. This is why it has proven so popular so quickly.
With legions of front line security professionals now gravitating towards GuardPass when they need a new position, this has a dramatic effect on the amount, and quality of candidates that apply. Probably best of all is that the traditional online recruitment systems would sometimes take days for an application to be received, and would sometimes only get a handful of interested applicants over the weeks that an ad would run. GuardPass research, and my own experience, demonstrates that the first application to a jobs ad may arrive within just minutes of it being placed. Better still, most job advertisements can be withdrawn after just a few days as in this time, dozens of applications are received.
Application forms don’t necessarily reflect the applicant
Some application forms and CVs look mighty impressive. However, at a face to face interview, things seem very different. This wastes so much time for HR and operations management, having to interview all those that look good on paper. The vast majority of GuardPass applicants however have posted a short 20 second introductory video with their online personal profile. Potential new employers can gain a huge amount of information from these mini videos including a candidate’s communication skills, standard of dress, and personality. Whilst you wouldn’t employ anyone on the strength of a 20 second video alone, it makes it quick and easy to draw up a shortlist of the most suitable candidates for your vacancy, and hugely reduces the amount of face to face interviews that you need to perform.
Ensuring that recruits have had competent training
Sadly, we work in an industry tainted by cowboy, and fraudulently operating, training providers. Annoyingly, having a “valid” Security Industry Authority License, is no guarantee that the holder has received competent mandatory training, or in some cases, any training at all.
Some employers are now performing basic industry knowledge tests as part of the interview process, in an attempt to weed out these dangerously incompetent individuals. Security professionals that have created a professional profile on GuardPass however can easily demonstrate their knowledge on a range of important security subjects by performing “skills tests”. These are a range of online tests that are not only great CPD for those that take part, but more importantly, those that finish each course with a score over 70%, are awarded “skills badges” which can be displayed on their profile, and give prospective new employers a good idea of the level of knowledge possessed by the candidate. I’ve personally done a few of these, and whilst many were straight forward for those who have any security knowledge, I am not too proud to say that I failed a couple of courses at the first attempt. They are worthwhile.
For the growing number of employers that are now agreeing to put quality recruits through their mandatory SIA training and pay for the license application, GuardPass provides employers with the GuardHire system. This gives access to the exceptionally highly regarded Get Licensed approved training network. Not only are the courses quality guaranteed, companies can also receive corporate and group booking discounts on the already superb value prices. These courses are currently regularly held at 85 locations across the UK, meaning that your new recruits will never have too far to travel.
GuardHire also offers training solutions for your existing security personnel, with SIA top up courses, and useful additional training, also available from the same exceptional training network.
Vetting is of fundamental importance for any security company, but it is also extremely time consuming and a drain on the physical resources of the HR department. The depth and accuracy of the vetting process, and the associated documentation required to prove that full and diligent vetting has taken place, must be carefully administered to avoid potentially horrific legal repercussions. It is never just a box ticking exercise.
So why not get the experts to do all this for you?
GuardCheck is a ground breaking new system designed to fully vet your new recruits to BS7858 standards. All essential documentation is expertly checked using cutting edge technology. Work records are confirmed, and every aspect of the vetting process is taken care of for you. GuardCheck then provides all the required information and records for your HR department.
Find out more about what GuardPass can do for your company by visiting: https://www.guardpass.com/employers
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