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Security industry staffing remains an issue during COVID, SSN Poll shows

Security industry staffing remains an issue during COVID, SSN Poll shows Companies respond unanimously that they are posting openings on job websites or social media to address staffing shortages

Security industry staffing

YARMOUTH, Maine—The entire staffing landscape in the security industry remains a concern during year three of the COVID-19 pandemic, as our latest Security Systems News Poll revealed.

Nearly 55 percent of our respondents in the July News Poll indicated that COVID-19 has impacted employee turnover “a lot,” with 27 percent saying that the pandemic’s impact is “middle of the road,” and 18 percent saying that it has not impacted turnover at all.

When asked what security industry businesses are doing to address staffing shortages, a unanimous 100 percent said they were posting openings on job websites or social media, with none attending recruiting events or job fairs.

“We are receiving far less applicants today,” one respondent noted. “Additionally, it's not uncommon now to see applicants interview, accept a job offer and then not show up for day one of training.”

Another respondent pointed out, “There is a lack of technical/trades related staffing available. I believe this will continue. I've had conversations with plumbing, appliance repair, HVAC and gas fitter employers – no one in the trades is having an easy time of finding either skilled employees or those who want to learn the skills.”

Kevin Spagone, Director of Reitman Security Search, told Security Systems News that staffing shortages are not limited to the security industry.

“Recruiting in the space for over 25 years, I can tell you for certain that these same challenges are being felt by other industries as well - the forces are more complex than just the post-Covid rapid-recovery economy (although that’s a significant part of it),” he explained. “Over 47 million Americans left their jobs in 2021 for employers that are more responsive to their priorities, values and yes-offer higher compensation (SHRM reports that wages have grown by 5.5 percent in the past year). This has created one of the most competitive talent markets in history.

“Part of it is driven by demographics: the Congressional Budget Office says that American workforce will grow by just 4 percent during the entire 2020s (it was 9.2 percent in 2000s and 30.2 percent in the 1970s). We’re in a space where the technology has been outpacing the talent for many years.

Spagone noted, however, that with the security industry introducing more and more cloud-based technology solutions, salaries have the potential to increase significantly.

“With the security industry adopting more cloud-centric ‘connected’ solutions, we’re now competing squarely with the broader tech/software giants (and startups) where salaries and progressive tech cultures have historically been far more lucrative/attractive than the security space,” he noted.

Approximately 73 percent of respondents predicted it would take about two to four years for staffing to return to pre-pandemic levels, with 18 percent saying it would happen within one year, and nine percent saying it would take five years or longer.


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