Has your security firm been facing some recruitment challenges in the past couple of years? You certainly aren’t alone. A combination of changing trends, new demand in other industries, and even the “Great Resignation” effect seen at the end of the COVID-19 pandemic have led to a shortage of security guards for businesses.

If your job postings are staying open longer than you’re comfortable with, there are a few steps you can take to help increase your applicant pools. Here’s what to think about when trying to hire new security guards.

Create Versatile Hiring Options

Many applicants have been used to online interviews, teleconferencing, and remote application processes in the past few years. These methods make it easier to apply, faster to interview, and are generally popular with all kinds of workers. To expand your applicant pool, consider enabling remote interviews and online communication as part of your hiring process. It could streamline existing hiring steps and make it easier for some guards to apply.

Emphasize Paid Training

On-the-job benefits are always an important way to attract new hires. For the security industry, paid training options are an excellent benefit for many guards. If you can guarantee that newly hired guards will be able to complete important training and receive certification for things like firearms, emergency medical response, and general private security, then more people will be interested in the job. It’s also a very good idea to avoid making new hires pay for their uniforms, equipment, etc., and instead to promise that all necessary equipment will be provided.

Rethink What Past Experience You Require

Security guards can come from many different life experiences. While applicants are often drawn from a military or law enforcement background, this isn’t always necessary. That’s especially true if you are willing to offer the necessary training like we mentioned above. Your firm may want to avoid making certain backgrounds a requirement when posting new security jobs. This can open up the number of applications you receive and encourage competent applicants who would otherwise not apply for the position.

Expand the Areas Where You Advertise

The combination of online applications and remote interviews means that geographical distance isn’t as important when first looking for new hires. Additionally, many people may be looking to move to a new area and will want to make sure they have employment first. That’s why it’s a good idea to make sure the first stage of the hiring process – and associated job listings – target a wide area, or don’t include any regional limitations. You can also go a step further and offer relocation funding as part of your compensation package. That brings us to another important point…

Be Completely Honest About Compensation

Today’s employees want accurate compensation information and are frustrated when it isn’t provided. Not providing information about compensation in a job listing could drive many potential applicants away. State your compensation clearly when seeking out new hires. When possible, avoid giving a salary “range” that employees see as unnecessary wiggle room to pay them less. State the exact salary number employees can expect upfront, including overtime payment information, and offer information about additional compensation, like health insurance, 401ks, and so on.

Go Where the Guards Are

This may seem like obvious advice, but targeted advertisements like this can be very useful. Make sure you are posting your jobs at guard training centers and academies, along with other educational centers like trade schools, community colleges, and so on. This can help you find talented and eager applicants faster and cut down on the number of unqualified applicants that you get.

Create a Referral Program

In the security industry, guards often know other guards and people who may be qualified to be security guards. Tap into that resource by creating a referral program that asks your guards to refer others to the company as potential hires. Typically, referral programs include some kind of cash reward or other kinds of compensation for each referral that a guard completes. This can be a powerful encouragement to refer peers to your security firm.

Offer a Hiring Bonus

A tried-and-true method of encouraging applications is to offer a hiring bonus as part of your job listing. The amount can vary depending on what you’re comfortable with, but security firms have offered $900 hiring bonuses in places like New Mexico before. A hiring bonus not only shows that you are serious about hiring new guards ASAP but can also help encourage applicants who may otherwise be attracted to other jobs instead.

Final Notes: Review Your Job Listings

In addition to our tips, it may be a good idea to review your job listing from the ground up. Job listings should always be accurate and avoid problematic language. There are many handy tips to help you write a job listing and review what should be included (and what shouldn’t). Sometimes, a revised job listing with a clear explanation of the position can make a big difference when it comes to attracting potential hires. Good luck and stick with us to follow the latest trends in the security industry!