Changing Trends in Security Recruitment

21 March 2022

A decline in zero-hours employee contracts in the security sector could indicate a wider changing trend in recruitment as a whole, says Chloe Jehu, People Services Coordinator at Expeditious Services.

Chloe Jehu started at Expeditious Services in 2020 looking after screening & vetting within the recruitment team, after spending seven years in retail and retail store management working for large corporate businesses. Chloe now works in the People Services department assisting the People Services Manager with recruitment, in particular, TUPE transfers, screening & vetting, onboarding and selection, and assisting with the HR tasks throughout the full life cycle of employees. She is currently completing her CIPD Level 5 in HR Management.

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What’s Changing in Employment Culture and Why?

Not many years ago, zero-hour contracts were preferred by many in the security industry to have employment on their terms, greater flexibility, and a work-life balance. Employers were making the most of this open working commitment to fill labor gaps (such as sickness or holiday) at short notice.

Today, many are leaving the unpredictable and unstable world of zero-hours contracts, in favor of full-time work; a complete shift in working culture. After nearly two years of job insecurity from COVID and Brexit, I’ve noticed a rise in security officers looking for guaranteed hours and pay, willing to compromise on their flexibility for stability.

What’s the Bigger Picture?

Of course, it’s not just the security industry this trend is impacting. Some other sectors most affected include hospitality, arts and recreation, and construction, which all tend to recruit workers on zero-hour contracts, which the government has failed to ban. Companies firing and rehiring workers has been widespread during the pandemic, with almost one in ten workers told to re-apply for their jobs on worse terms and conditions. There are however, calls for zero hour contracts to be abolished completely, in support of creating a more stable economy.

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Picture: a photograph of Chloe Jehu. Image Credit: Expeditious Services

How Does this Impact Businesses and the Security Industry?

The shift in recruitment culture and employment expectations are having a significant impact on businesses; both good and bad.

Advantages:
  1. It helps businesses who looking to recruit their own internal team of security officers
  2. This would provide them with a dedicated workforce, giving a more reliable team, delivering a better quality of work, control over their training and governance, nurturing company values ​​and culture.
  3. It also improves stability in the workforce, helping employee retention and lowering the risks of corruption and other similar incidents
Disadvantages:

  1. Difficult to create these roles with clients as not all work can be guaranteed. A large portion of security work is reactive and ad-hoc in its nature
  2. Many self-employed officers could charge more than what might be available to them on a salary, and so are expecting higher pay rates
  3. Some officers might not assimilate back into a fully employed role well
  4. Some security companies and clients might struggle to find ad-hoc officers for short-term work

How are Expeditious Services Managing This Shift in Employment Expectations?

  1. Offering a variety of roles, trying to be as flexible and accommodating to both client and employee needs as possible
  2. Redefined our employee experience during the onboarding process, to help us plan a new resourcing and retention strategy to meet this shift in culture.
  3. Additional planning during the recruitment process to help us understand what we can guarantee the employee when working for clients.
  4. Enhancing the employee experience by pushing engagement to build trusting relationships from day one

Picture: a photograph of a security control room, showing multiple screens and a desk. A person can be seen sitting at the right of the desk, wearing a headset. Image Credit: Expeditious Services

Article written by Chloe Jehu | Published 21 March 2022

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