Quality Employees – How to become one and how to find one

When I woke up this morning, I had something stuck in my mind that I could just not shake. Much to my surprise, I turned to Facebook and found that three of my friends had posted articles regarding that very thing. So, what was it that I’d been thinking about?

“How do we separate ourselves from the pack in the market place, not only as a business, but as an individual as well?” You see, in this high-speed, low-drag world, individuals who make decisions without the foundation for doing so, surround us. The HR Manager or Recruiter who is told to fill a security position, or the mid-level manager who is told to shop for a security contractor, are all tasked with duties that they are not familiar with, wherein they must acquire information from the right people.

I recall two experiences immediately…

As a business owner, it is important for me to know and understand what our potential clients want in the services we provide. So a number of years ago, I was skimming job openings to see what people were looking for. I found one in Florida that read, “must have a bachelors degree (with some type of core study that was unrelated to the position), 10 years field experience, 10 years of management level experience and be under the age of 40 or 50 (I cannot remember as I am getting old)”.

I wrote an email to the recruiter with one word “why?” along with a pasting of the ad. Interestingly enough, I received a response from the recruiter saying, “I don’t understand.” “Exactly,” I said.

A friend posted an article this morning from a writer for Forbes titled,  “Why So Many Job Postings Are So Ridiculous”. If you are seeking employment, read the article for some ideas on how to overcome this issue. If you are an HR person, read the article and take some time to reflect.

So on to the next experience…

When I was looking to conclude my college degree, I was searching for work that would keep the bills paid and decided to apply for an armed security position that would involve watching equipment for a military facility. I interviewed for the position with a self-proclaimed “house painter” who became a security manager due to his political connections. After surmising that this man was truly what he claimed, “a house painter with no security background”, he posed a question to me, “you wrote “the” book on security, why are you looking for a job here?” Apparently he overlooked the part of the conversation where I told him I was looking for a job that would allow me to eat and focus on my studies. You see, at that point in my life, I really didn’t write a book on security, just two manuals for standard operating procedures for a previous employer. Have you ever heard of that saying, “don’t look a gift horse in the mouth?” Needless to say, I agreed with him and said you are right, “why do I want this job?”

So what does this particular story have to do with my topic? This person did not only lack knowledge of the security field, he also lacked the common sense of knowing that he would have had someone with a seasoned background which he could have drawn from for a period of at least two years; (the time it would take for me to finish my studies) who really posed no threat to his mid-level management position.

I often find education in not only the people I look to for mentoring but also within the people that commonly surround and work for me. Sometimes, we find ourselves in need of counsel for decision-making. The talent comes with knowing who and when we need to repose ourselves and obtain that counsel.

So when have you become an expert, or at least a knowledgeable person within your given trade? First off, I am too humbled to refer to myself as an expert in anything, as that is something bestowed upon us by the people whom we have served. Having said this, we need to have time, grade and yes, “talent,” to apply our trade. But as pointed out in a video posted by a friend, it takes more than just a few years of doing something before you feel comfortable developing your talent.

Finally, this brings me to the last post up for discussion; the move of some companies from outsourcing to in-sourcing security positions within their company. In this USA Today article, Google has decided to continue their trend of bringing all facility security personnel to positions within their direct employment. The article touches on the idea that many companies continue to outsource security operations for lesser cost.

If you are looking to outsource your security services based on a low-bid or low-cost platform, then you are going to get what you pay for. Hey, why not? This has worked so well for many of our government agencies, hasn’t it? I digress; if you are looking to outsource your security services, you should look for consultation with a firm that offers the blueprint for doing this appropriately and who may truly identify what your security program needs are.

I am going to give you some hard truth here, if you did not know what to look for when outsourcing your security needs, what then leads you to believe this will change by directly employing your security staff?

For a long time, I have watched the contractual security industry attempt to satisfy the desires of clients by providing low cost services with these magical “out-of-the-box solutions”. What has been lost in these transactions is the means to provide security and protection for the client. The truth of the matter is that we have no magical cost solution. Security contractors have to pay overhead and labor costs just like you. Where I would like to think the magic resides is in the talent we have in providing protection for your assets. This is not to say that cost saving may not be experienced in the contracting of outsourced solutions, but it must be done without cutting corners.

The answer to my question as I see it…

So the answer to the question I woke up to this morning on how we might separate ourselves from others in the market as a business and an individual was already in my possession, but rarely spoken aloud to potential employers. We must educate the employer on the fact that their desires are not necessarily what they need.

As with many of my writings, I try to make points with some levity… as often advised by my wife, “get some help!”


Bill Peeler is the Founder and Director of Peeler Group International


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