Embrace Challenges and Take Action to Prevent Problems
As with all industries, the electronic security and life safety channel is full of challenges — meeting customer expectations, the upcoming 3G sunset, DIY, cybersecurity and talent acquisition, to name a few — but it is when we refuse to boldly confront challenges such as these that problems develop. A challenge is simply an opportunity prompting action; a problem is unruly, has gotten completely out of hand and hinders forward progress.
At this juncture in time, I would say that procuring and retaining qualified security technicians is a pertinent challenge for our industry and based on research from SalesForce of 2,000+ business owners and leaders worldwide and published in their “Small & Medium Business Trends Report, Third Edition,” they face the same exact challenge: 59 percent of participants said that hiring the right talent is one of their biggest constraints on business activities.
This needs to be addressed now before it transforms and morphs into a problem.
In response, ESA has developed a new, valuable, cost-efficient tool to assist the industry in the hiring process through the power of assessment, resulting in clarity of a candidates’ skillset before an offer of employment is made, understanding any initial training that will be required to establish baseline skills as well as planning ahead for additional training to promote career growth.
Our eight online aptitude tests are found at ESA’s National Train School and consist of 25 questions, each allowing individual proficiencies to be gauged in video surveillance, access control, fire and intrusion. And, because we are discussing a current challenge in our industry, I, too, have a challenge for you — to use our tool as:
Pre-hire assessments – Choose from ESA’s “entry level” assessments in the appropriate proficiency and administer to security technician job candidates during the initial interview process to determine if that candidate has the skillset you are seeking, prior to offering employment. These results will also empower you to determine if the candidate lacks any basic skills and should you hire them, then as their employer, if you are willing to train them to bring them up to baseline.
Skills assessments – Choose from ESA’s “experienced level” assessments in the appropriate proficiency and administer to currently employed security technicians to gauge their current skills, determine what skills they still need to be effective in their current position and develop additional training needed for career growth.
In the spirit of boldly taking action, I have a bonus challenge for you. Because each assessment produces an outcome report weighing the assessment takers’ skills as beginner, intermediate or advanced as well as shows areas of strengths and weaknesses, organize them into stacks based on overall skill level, then take a moment to highlight strengths in one color and weaknesses in another. This creates a visual, at-a-glance resource to compare multiple pre-hire candidate assessments quickly by level, and for current employees, to assign tasks that match their skill level and design training programs to include curriculum that enhances their weaknesses to bring them to the next level as well as improve upon their proficiencies.
With any challenge you face —professionally or personally — I urge you to take a moment to acknowledge it, develop a plan and then immediately take action to prevent future problems from emerging.