Hiring and training employees, especially in a post-pandemic world, is one of the biggest challenges faced by the security industry.
Recruitment is a natural part of growing a business. A Center for American Progress study found that turnover can cost anywhere between 16% and 213% of the employee in question’s annual salary. This means the pressure is on managers to make sure that every person who joins the company will be a good fit and can hit the ground running.
If you want to improve your hiring and employee retention practices, here are three great tips:
1. Hire with a cultural fit in mind.
Most security managers focus on experience when looking for a new employee, and that’s certainly important. If you have two very similar candidates, the one with the most experience will probably win. It’s also easy to compare and be objective about.
Every company has its own workplace culture; it is shaped by leadership, the sector where they operate, and many other factors. Some are highly organized and have a strict hierarchy, while others work more like a band of experts, where socializing matters. Regardless of where your company fits, any new hire should be considered for their personality, as well as their skills. You can teach anything to someone eager to learn, but if a potential hire thinks they already know everything, no amount of experience will turn them into a good employee.
Asking the right interview questions can be the best way of gauging if a person is the right fit. In addition to position and skills-specific questions, you should always ask what motivates them, what they consider a “job well done,” and other open-ended personality queries. This will help when it comes to finding a cultural match.
2. Automate repetitive admin tasks.
Once you’ve mastered hiring the right people, providing them with the right tools is essential. No technician would stick around if you forced them to use poor-quality tools, so if you’re looking to lower your turnover, don’t force staff to deal with excessive admin because they lack the right software to organize their work.
Repetition and boredom are some of the biggest drivers of costly employee turnover. According to Forbes, managers and senior leaders rarely consider boredom an issue because their position implies cognitively complex tasks and diverse interactions. But have you thought about your scheduling admin? Or your customer service representative? When work lacks meaning, it’s human nature to resist it.
Automating most of these repetitive tasks — like sending template emails and confirmations to customers, generating security invoices, or gathering reviews — will go a long way towards demonstrating that you care about their work environment and want to provide them with the best tools.
3. Investing in high-quality training is investing in your business.
The most significant push-back against training employees is always “What if I invest in them, and they leave?” when the question you should be asking is: “What if I don’t, and they stay?”. After all, lack of training and failure to provide opportunities to improve are significant reasons for losing high-potential employees. If they feel unchallenged and unappreciated, it can lead to low productivity stemming from inadequate knowledge.
For instance, learning how to use new tools, like different software, can be a big motivator for your admin by enabling them to work more efficiently. At the same time, helping your installers adapt to changing consumer preferences in security appliances can create stronger customer relationships, which benefit the business in the long run.
At the same time, post-pandemic, some white-collar employees will be tempted to make a jump to hands-on work, so asking if anyone on your admin team would be interested in becoming an apprentice might yield unexpected results that will help with technician shortages.
All in all, security businesses are going through a challenging period. Still, the best part about challenges is that once they’re overcome, you stand to emerge stronger and more capable of weathering through whatever the future brings.
A digital tool can make a huge difference in creating a future-proof business and establishing an excellent employee hiring and retention strategy.