were-hiring-sign-300x300As we march into May many of us are receiving graduation party invitations in the mail and watching loved ones walk across the stage at commencement ceremonies. This leaves students making decisions on how to start their career and leaves us with the difficult task of scooping up the best talent on the market before our competition does.

Acting as the recruiter for a start-up organization I have had the opportunity to try various methods and test the waters to see what works and what doesn’t. From recruitment agencies to word of mouth, getting the best quality without overspending are the considerations I stick with when coming up with my recruitment plan.

Word of Mouth:
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard someone say “this is a small industry” when referring to the world of security. Either your co-worker used to be your brother’s manager or your new boss worked with your old boss, but it seems as though everyone is connected in some way. And this is a good thing! Many of our hires have been based on past working relationships. Since we are in a technical business this allows us to know upfront their skills, strengths, how they operate in an environment like ours, and it also fosters loyalty. Turnover with this group is extremely low or non-existent because on the other side of the coin they too know what they were getting into. Both sides have more drive to make the working relationship function since there is a trust and a personal relationship existing as the foundation.

University Recruiting:
I have found this to be one of the most successful methods of finding quality candidates for entry level positions. First of all, posting on University career sites is generally free. You are also only getting clicks from your target audience – every student looking through job postings is actively seeking employment, that’s basically like selling ice cream on a hot day. There is the additional benefit of automatically knowing their educational background which, depending on the position, can be extremely helpful if a school ranks high in something you are looking for.   Another aspect of this method is career fairs. These are well organized by the school and often free or low cost. It is great exposure and you get to meet the candidates face to face and start to analyze their fit for the job rather than having the initial screening through a phone conversation.

Job Posting Websites:
Maybe it’s just me, but I haven’t had as much luck lately utilizing sites meant specifically for job searching. With a slew of social networking sites at our finger tips I think people now have many other options when it comes to their job hunt than they used to, as do companies when making connections with potential candidates. With that said, it depends on the position and it is nice to be partnered up with an account manager who will help you find success through their site. You can also negotiate deals or packages to help lower the cost, and if you are able to find a match it is still a huge return on your investment since the post will only cost you a couple hundred dollars.

Social Media/Website:
Maintaining a relevant presence on social media and on your website is important for a whole bunch of other marketing and sales related reasons, but they aren’t limited to just connecting with customers. These outlets can be equally as effective in attracting the best talent in your industry. Make sure your website has a careers section listing all open positions. Here is an example of what the job postings on our website look like. This web page can then be used as the link you share on your LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. paired with a quick blurb that you are hiring. Assuming most of your connections on these platforms are industry related, your target audience is already there. Going this route will also drive traffic to your website and foster a general interest in your company.

I think recruiters are great, and in my own little way I enjoy the act of recruiting myself. As recruiters relate to the security industry I have found that the success level is highly dependent on the position you are looking for. I would recommend utilizing their services for higher level positions or back office roles rather than site technicians or entry level jobs. One of my main reasons here is the cost. Recruiting services are not cheap, so in positions where the turnover is historically high or can be filled by other effective means (like the aforementioned University Recruiting methods or social networking and media) the cost might not be worth it. The pros here are that the recruiter will often do much of the early screening process for you after finding out exactly what you’re looking for – so if you don’t have the time or resources to allocate to this process yourself than they can definitely be a time saver.


For more tips or to further the discussion on recruiting in the security industry don’t hesitate to reach out at brooke.stewart@nextgensecured.com