Wednesday, September 28, 2011

5 Steps to Hiring the Perfect Security Employee

Your company is growing and you find yourself reassessing your security team needs. Or, you find yourself severely lacking the personnel required to effectively perform security functions. In either case, it is up to you to hire the perfect employee.

Find the perfect employee? Though a daunting task, it is important that you hire and build a team of excellent security managers. Never, ever settle for a warm body just to get the job done. Many of you know from experience the issues of hiring the wrong candidate bring about.

There are a few good observations about potential candidates that can further them into the hiring process. These are 5 considerations you should employ befire hiring a security team member.
1.  All qualified applicants must reflect the company culture. What kind of employee does the company value? You must know this before you begin the search process. If your company values initiative, make sure your prescreen selects thinkers who can execute security functions with limited supervision.

2.  Know yourself and what you value. Obviously your values support the company culture, but here is where you use your “gut” to identify successful people. The successful person must also be mindful of the Government regulations required for the job. For example if your desire is to hire a document custodian, potential candidates should have an excellent knowledge of the National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual NISPOM. Your job is to filter technically proficient applicants with initiative to learn and execute security procedures. Then, recommend them for the interview.

3.  Find these successful people? Network with your industry peers; don't forget your professional networks and organizations. Review your job announcement and make sure it specifically identifies the need and requirements. Do they need a security certification? What security clearance level is necessary? Do they need one now or can you initate one later? How much experience is necessary? Is there a requirement for college?

If qulification aren't spelled out, spend some time editing it. This will prevent wasted time reviewing unqualified resumes.

Word of mouth and networking is another great resource. You never know who might be looking for a career boosting job or different work experiences. Also, consider temporary agencies. They are a resource full of qualified potential applicants.

4. Conduct the interview. Alright, here is where you need to be the most prepared. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse! Here is your first impression of the applicant and vice-versa. It is important to find out everything about this applicant and see if they will be a good fit to existing company culture and whether or not they have the minimum qualifications.

During the interview, tell the applicant about the job description and the company. Use this time to evaluate their posture, bearing and interest. Then use open ended questions to assess their capabilities. For company culture consider questions like:
     a. Describe at time you made a decision
     b. What security initiatives have you implemented and how were they received by management?
     c. Describe how to wrap classified material?
     d. Describe how you open a safe?
     e. What steps do you follow to send a visit request?
Be as specific as possible. Remember, you want to identify someone who supports company culture and is capable of either learning or performing the job.

5. Finally, once you have made a decision to hire, assimilate this person onto the team. On the first day, invest a few hours with your new hire to review company values, introduce to the team, and further outline the job requirements. Be quick to welcome this person and involve the rest of the team. Later, help foster relationships between coworkers. The best way is have them train and cross train. This builds cohesion and breaks down pre-existing barriers. Your team will communicate better and appreciate your decision to hire this applicant.

With practice and the right skills your journey to hiring the perfect candidate and building a great team will be rewarding. Know your company, your requirements, identify qualifications, rehearse and conduct the interview, then build your team.

Jeffrey W. Bennett, ISP is the owner of Red Bike Publishing Red Bike Publishing . Jeff is an accomplished writer of non-fiction books, novels and periodicals. He also owns Red bike Publishing. Published books include: "Get Rich in a Niche-Insider's Guide to Self Publishing in a Specialized Industry" and "Commitment-A Novel". Jeff is an expert in security and has written many security books including: "Insider's Guide to Security Clearances" and "DoD Security Clearances and Contracts Guidebook", "ISP Certification-The Industrial Security Professional Exam Manual", and NISPOM/FSO Training" See Red Bike Publishing for print copies of: Army Leadership The Ranger Handbook The Army Physical Readiness Manual Drill and Ceremonies The ITAR The NISPOM

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