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6.14.19 – SSI –

It’s no secret the security industry is facing a workforce shortage. Here’s why you need to hire talent that will embrace emerging trends and technologies.

You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs is an old cliché, but it sure makes a lot of sense, especially in our business. We live in a very traditional business mindset that shuns risks, new ideas and new technologies.

Get over it or get ready for a wake-up call that may be earlier than you want to get up. What could go wrong?

Lots of things, but primarily you will not have the talent/labor needed to keep your business running efficiently. Here is an interesting statistic that was shared at the PSA TEC “State of the Industry” panel; the industry has more than 17,000 job openings and there will be 17,000+ retiring security people this year!

Neither sounds like fun. Let’s think about this trend. Here’s your yummy talent hiring and technology omelet recipe:

  1. What worked in the past won’t work in the future, so give your old ways a hug and say goodbye.
  2. Change is hard, but not changing your hiring processes will be painful in the long run, so adapt, innovate and prevail. Shameless plug; if you are a SIA member check out the free “Employer’s Complete Guide to Hiring,” a 12-step process authored by yours truly and Jayne Boucherle, CSC. We guarantee it will help you!
  3. The next generation does love their technology. Do you stick to the same ol’ same ol’ solutions, or are you taking some calculated risks with new stuff that drives RMR?
  4. Retraining technicians and service teams is a fair point when considering newer technologies, right? That is unless you have new techs who want the challenge, don’t know the difference and you have not yet invested in their training.
  5. But Paul, our sales teams don’t know how to sell newer technologies with different pricing tactics from what they are used to selling!” Please reread No. 4.
  6. Start a “skunk works project” with a new small group; manager, technicians and salespeople, who have high degree of autonomy to create and deliver higher technology or business solutions and are unhampered by bureaucracy. I encourage you to use newer hires who embrace your vision of new opportunities. Existing personnel may carry preconceived biases unless they are really out-of-the-box thinkers and doers. You know, your middle children.
  7. Be creative in your kitchen and look for offerings that will allow you to have a “first mover” niche market advantage with strong margins and RMR to deliver your ROI. Plan on a three-year return window. If you try and compete with the big boys at their price points with same product sets, your accountant will hate you come April 15.
  8. Relationships are a big deal in our industry, specifically those that can work for or against good business planning. They will work against you if they discourage you from exploring new manufacturers because of the loyalty factor, and truth be told some companies are behind the development curve and fear more feature rich products available at lower costs. Relationships will work if you take calculated risks with companies that are new and hungry. They will remember who took them to their first dance.

I have been both an advocate and developer of emerging technology applications for over 30 years. We developed a customer counting system in 1998 and installed it in a pilot program at four national retailers.

We could deliver real-time traffic flow data to support decision-making for staffing levels, as well as optimize advertising effectiveness. The average RMR was $650 per store, compared to $150 in alarm monitoring and service.

Workplace violence, active shooter and extreme violence events continue a disturbing trend upward, according to the FBI statistics. We must all look for ways to help protect our customers with new services and solutions.

The Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS, find it on securityindustry.org) program is a great example of industry leadership by NSCA and SIA to enable integrators to begin productive dialogues.

Biometric access control as a service might be a good example of understanding how newer technologies can deliver business value and growth. They up the security of authorized access, yet lower overall deployment costs. Can you say RMR?

Finally, cybersecurity as a service is a cost-effective and low-overhead vehicle to deliver great business value, and to drive RMR from stickier commercial and residential clientele.

Paul C. Boucherle, Certified Protection Professional (CPP) and Certified Sherpa Coach (CSC), is Security Sales & Integration’s “Business Fitness” columnist. A principal of Matterhorn Consulting, he has more than 30 years of diverse security and safety industry experience including UL central station operations, risk-vulnerability assessments, strategic security program design and management of industry convergence challenges. Boucherle has successfully guided top-tier companies in achieving enhanced ROI resulting from improved sales and operational management techniques. He is a charismatic speaker and educator on a wide range of critical topics relating to the security industry of today and an accomplished corporate strategist and marketer whose vision and expertise in business performance have driven notable enterprise growth in the security industry sector.