Thursday, February 17, 2011

Why Use a Security Recruiter?

What Does Do?

At, we’re human puzzle builders.  We get paid by our client companies when we deliver the missing piece or in reality, the right security job candidate.  In our case, the missing piece is a professional whose background is highly specialized in information secruity, cyber security, corporate security, physical security, copmliance and/or risk management.

The opportunities we help companies create are not related to security technologies, they’re entirely related to getting the right people positioned in the right jobs. When the right people are positioned in the right jobs, great things can happen.

Good to Great

The book “Good to Great”, one of my favorites on the topic of properly placing the right people in the right jobs in an organization clearly addresses this issue.

Open for 9 Months
Early in 2010, we were called on to fill a Director of Global Corporate Security Job that had been open for 9 months. It wasn’t that this client wasn’t finding security job candidates to interview, it was that they weren’t finding the right candidates to interview.  In a matter of weeks, we identified a candidate pool of 4 appropriately skilled security job candidates.  In the end, 3 of our 4 identified candidates were flown in for final interviews and this client's puzzle piece was finally put in place.  I've spoken to this person recently and I'm happy to say that he is doing well after nearly one year in his new job.

An Efficient and Effective Security Recruiting Process

In Q4 of 2010, two Fortune 200 companies called on us to help them fill jobs that would focus on providing corporate security for Latin American locations. Once again, it wasn’t that either company didn’t have enough brand power for their job postings to generate interest. In fact, both companies generated hundreds of security job candidates for their openings. They just weren’t generating the right candidates.

For both Latin American Corporate Security Jobs, we started out by directly recruiting a pool of several hundred potential candidates who were not necessarily activley looking for new security jobs. These groups were broken down to 30 short list candidates for one client and 25 short list candidates for the other client. The clients didn't receive 30 and 25 resumes each.  These were our internal short lists.  From there, each candidate went through a deeper screening process. In the end, the top 5 candidates were presented to both clients.

One client phone interviewed all 5 of our top choices and ended up moving each of the 5 on to a second round of interviews. From the original group of 5, 4 candidates were flown in to Mexico City for final interviews. The other client also interviewed all 5 of our top choices. From this group of 5, 3 were flown in to Dallas for final interviews.

The Trend Continues

Today, I shared a conversation with a VP of Operations who called on me from a financial services company. I’m told that for many years, this company was very happy with their Corporate Security Manager until that person moved on 1.5 years ago. Over the past 1.5 years, they’ve hired and fired 3 replacements.

Opportunity Cost

As the conversation progressed, I learned that this VP of Operations has interviewed 50 security job candidates over the past 7 months. While he hasn’t yet paid a search fee, he could have. The amount of opportunity cost he has personally burned up at his earning level by interviewing security job candidates who don’t fit is nearing the amount we would charge to conduct a successful direct recruiting search. I don’t know exactly what this VP of Operations personal job description looks like but I suspect that it doesn’t talk about investing time to interview 50 security job candidates to not get a security job filled properly.

The Common Thread

What all of these clients have in common is a desire to have business focused security professionals on board. On their own, they’re finding no shortage of security job candidates to interview. However, when an expectation that security job candidates will also be business focused candidates, a gap forms between expectations and reality.

Hiring officials have admitted to me that they’ve hired the wrong person from time-to-time simply because they were worn out from the interview process and they simply wanted to get the job filled. They gave up and compromised.  There is a better way.

We don’t create security job candidates but we do separate those who understand business from those who do not. This is the value we bring to our clients.

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