We are less than a week away from Security Magazine’s Security 500 Report, which not only outlines the top leaders and organizations in the Security industry, but looks at common challenges and trends facing the industry and how these companies are handling them. We will have to wait for the report and subsequent webinar to know what those trends, but there are two areas we think will most certainly come up.
Staffing and Training in the Security Workforce
This is a common trend in the industry at large, but from our perspective, there is more emphasis on the physical security sector. We’ve reported earlier this year about the top challenges facing security guard companies and the results have aligned to this trend:
You can see that the top challenge in our report was turnover – the ability to attract and retain talent. The current wage and labor market is extremely competitive, and many security firms at not only competitive within themselves for top talent, the are also competing with companies outside of the industry. So the challenge becomes critical in determining what makes security firms unique and would sway a potential employee from say, a Starbucks, Home Depot, or other companies that offer favorable rates.
It will be increasingly important to provide a narrative on the security guard that promotes security – but also safety – of the employee, the customer, and the people they protect. Technology will be able to augment the ability to find talent in application tracking, onboarding and visibility and control of employee performance. However, it is important to invest not only in the activities leading up to the hire, but post-hire as well. Recognition, benefits, continual training and competitive pay help to stave off the impact of turnover and ensure that the efforts invested in hiring the workforce are also leveraged to retain them against competitive threats from within the industry and from outside markets.
Security Technology in Workforce Management
Technology will always play a role in the security workforce operation, but when it comes to security officers on a post, the human element still is the “alpha”. As we reported in a previous article on facial recognition, while new technologies will be introduces, they cannot replace the human factor of seeing a physical officer on site to provide the safety and security needed. The key will be on how to properly integrate technology into the operation and enhance, but not replace the physical guard.
Some of the trends around this augmentation center around productivity. While drones, robots and facial recognition technologies are on the bleeding edge of the discussion, it is the more common technologies that have a true impact in today’s security workforce management operations.
One such element is mobile, and using mobile devices as an extension of the guard’s activities. Having mobile technology enables a guard to track their tours, record incidents as they happen, receive in-field notifications and post orders, record visitors and unforeseen events, and track their time and attendance in the field. Having this technology has helped to improve productivity, increase safety, and create a higher level of awareness for both the security officer and the administrator in the command center.
Trends Change, but the Mission Remains
While this upcoming Security 500 Report and subsequent webinar will demonstrate evolving trends facing the leaders of the industry, the mission still remains. The importance of having a strong security management workforce, security tools in place to mitigate risks and threats, and the ability to scale as the global perspective and reach scales is important to keep up with the pace of threats.
This industry often focuses on security, naturally. But the other component that is equally important, if not more is safety. Safety of the places being protected, safety of the people, but also – the safety of the officers that stand a post every day – are a major trend to make sure you consider when building out and scaling your operation.