Improve hiring and retention of dispersed security teams with technology
In the global security industry, hiring and retention efforts remain tough. Wants and needs of the labour force are changing, urging companies to go beyond the topic of hourly wages in order to successfully attract – and retain – employees.
The state of the UK labour market
The rate of unemployed persons per job opening remains high across the globe. Although the UK reported the number of job vacancies decreased by approximately 47,000 in first quarter 2023 compared with fourth quarter 2022, they are still higher than pre-pandemic levels. The UK even reported that the number of vacancies remains at historic high levels, even considering three consecutive quarterly vacancy decreases. All findings suggest a continued tight labour market as job openings exceed unemployed workers.
In addition, the number of unemployed persons per vacancy was at 1.2 during the first quarter, meaning in order to maintain a headcount of, let’s say, 100 employees, 120 unemployed persons must be actively seeking work.
Changing demands from the labour force
While compensation is an important factor for employees – especially in high-churn industries such as the field of security – there are several other factors that are becoming just as important to the workforce. Flexibility in work arrangements and pay are becoming differentiators in hiring strategies, and a higher emphasis is being placed on employee engagement than ever before.
The reasons for this are twofold. First, security companies must ensure they’re offering a competitive package to attract candidates who are both a good fit for the work and likely to stay on past the 90-day employment mark. Second, they must ensure the framework exists to retain that employee as long as possible. In achieving these two goals, security companies can work to lower hiring costs while keeping contracts staffed in a manner demanded by SLAs.
Tactics for attracting your workforce in a tight labour market
While accurately paying your workforce may seem obvious, the fact of the matter is that payroll errors can decrease employee morale and job satisfaction, leading to an increased likelihood of turnover. Every person wants accurate compensation for their work. Apart from employee churn, missteps here can also lead to compliance issues for your business.
Therefore, it is of utmost importance to prioritise your payroll processes and make investments to optimise the preparation and processing of employee wages, particularly if you can make investments in software to track hours worked and integrate that data into your payroll procedures. You can also analyse data from software solutions to explore your company’s specific labour costs and turnover rates to help make data-driven decisions on how to improve compensation and benefits offerings in a way that will keep your employees satisfied.
Security companies also have the opportunity to be ingenuitive in the benefits they’re offering to attract employees. For example, flexible pay – where employees can receive payment for hours worked before the regular pay cycle is processed – is a proven tactic to attract job applicants. For many, more frequent pay schedules can help employees address immediate financial needs – especially when personal finances are feeling the strain exacerbated by rising inflation and energy costs. Still, many security companies cannot afford to process payroll any more frequently than their established pay cycles. Flexible pay offers an integration where employees can access their earned wages, without impacting your company’s payroll processes.
Tactics for retaining your workforce
Employee engagement is a critical factor in employee retention because it has a significant impact on job satisfaction, productivity and company loyalty. Engaged employees are more likely to feel valued and motivated, which can lead to improved job performance and commitment to quality assurance. Additionally, engaged employees are more likely to stay with the organisation long-term, reducing turnover and associated hiring costs.
Technology exists to make engaging with dispersed workforces less challenging. Self-service portals, for example, are a feature growing in popularity among users in the field, as they enable employees to have greater control over their work schedules, benefits and employee information. This increases the feeling of autonomy – and reduces the intake of queries your contract management staff sort through.
It’s also important to think creatively about how you can use these technologies to form a stronger bond between your employees and the company at large. We’ve seen some industry leaders leverage these portals as a method of offering a communication channel directly to the company’s CEO. That way every employee – from guard in the field, to regional area managers and directors, through to the C-suite – can engage leadership in a transparent way.
Tactics like these which put an emphasis on the value of each individual employee have a minimal impact on your compensation and benefit expenditures, yet can have substantial impact on the improvement of attrition rates.
Head of New Business
TEAM Software by WorkWave