Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Improving Operations and Bottom Line of a Private Security Firm

The Bureau of Labor Statistics offers this description of the security guard’s job: “Guards, who are also called security officers, patrol and inspect property to protect against fire, theft, vandalism, terrorism, and illegal activity. These workers protect their
employer’s investment, enforce laws on the property, and deter criminal activity or other problems. They use radio and telephone communications to call for assistance from police, fire, or emergency medical services as the situation dictates.” The field is described by one worker as “a lot like being a pilot—hours and hours of working boredom, punctuated by infrequent moments of sheer terror.”

As a successful provider of private security guards, RAMS Specialized Security Service, Inc has become an industry leader, respected by peers and clients, and is experiencing steady growth. In an industry plagued by turnover estimated to average as high as 300% per year (J.R. Roberts, Security Strategies), relatively low wages (national average is less than $12/hour), 24-hour work schedules, and the real possibility of danger, they have managed to build a very stable workforce , with an annual turnover percentage of only 22%! Furthermore, they have avoided the headline producing missteps of some of their competition.

Consider these headlines, generated last year by other security companies:

“Schoolteacher robbed and beaten at mall while security guards meet in food court!”
“Guard smokes crack, burns factory to ground!”
“Two security guards face off in shoot-out—14 shots, no one injured!”

Given that this company has avoided the negatives, keeps their clients, and has an enviably low turnover in their ranks, it might be easy for the owner to rest on her laurels, happy just to maintain a comfortable and profitable position. On the other hand, that kind of thinking is not what put her in this good situation, and she is highly motivated to continuously improve.

At the end of 2003, the owner and managers of this company calculated, even with their low rate of 22%, turnover cost the company nearly $80,000 over the course of the year! They decided to attack this problem with the Step One Survey II TM pre-screener, reasoning it would not only impact turnover, but further lower their risk of hiring someone who might produce one of those ugly headlines. Through the 2004 calendar year, the SOS2 was used to prescreen applicants for security guard positions, and the interview guide was used in the pre-hire interviews.

The results were striking: Even with the very low comparative rate of 22% in 2003, the screening and interview process further reduced turnover, to only 17% in 2004. This reduction of 22% in the base rate of turnover produced a savings of over $14,000 with
an investment of less than $2,000—a return on investment of $7 for each $1 spent!

The moral of the story is obvious: Even when you’re small, even when you’re doing a lot of things right, there’s money to be saved by doing them better! What’s more, this owner does not lose much sleep in asking the question J.R. Roberts has adopted as a company
motto: “Quis Custodiat Ipso Custodes?”—Who will guard the guards?

iApplicants is proud to be integrated with the Step One Survey II TM. Over 40% of our clients currently use the SOS2 to help reduce their turnover and improve the quality of their interviews. Even if you do not use iApplicants, we can still help you effectively use the Step One Survey II TM as part of your hiring process.

If you would like to see the SOS2 in action, contact iApplicants today and request a FREE TRIAL of the Step One Survey II by calling 888-633-9269.

More about John

No comments: