When people think of security, they probably think of what they see every day and night outside shops and nightclubs. Bouncers and retail security are the stereotype that most of us are used to but there is so much more to the modern security industry with a place for everyone at its broad and colourful table.
“Not everyone knows about the corporate side of security and the different skill sets that are involved,” says Anthea Lalor, HR Manager at Provincial. “We are changing that image of security in Ireland and are trying to educate people around that change. We want to encourage people who might never have given a thought to a career in security to get involved in what is a great and rewarding career.”
Provincial already boasts a broad team of talent with backgrounds in law, retail, hospitality and many other fields. Anthea says that candidates looking to join Provincial “can come to us with no skills or loads of skills” as long as they have the right attitude.
“When our security officers and receptionists meet visitors to our customers’ sites, we want to welcome them in,” says Anthea. “We find it a much easier way of assessing risk. Not only does being friendly and welcoming have the benefit of giving a good first impression, but by looking into the eyes of people who are coming on to our customers’ sites and talking to them in that first conversation, we can pick up things and assess risk straight away.”
Evaluating people at the front door, making sure they should be where they are, making sure they know where they are going and looking out for them is all part and parcel of that first few seconds of interaction. It is a complete risk assessment as a line of defense but not in the manner that people might normally think.
“It’s about having the right attitude and bringing that to your work rather than having the stereotype of the big burly man at the door scaring people off,” says Anthea. “We much prefer using communication rather than brawn to resolve problems. To be honest, if it gets to a point where we have to intervene physically then something has probably gone wrong. It’s about communication and teamwork.”
Corporate clients now have an expectation around their security teams and their profile. Diversity is a key component of a modern security offering and Provincial has been well ahead of the curve when it comes to putting teams together that are rich in cultural difference. We are striving to correct the gender imbalance that has persisted in the industry and are always actively encouraging more women to join our teams. We realise that security has not always been a welcoming workplace for women but we are changing that.
“Before I started with Provincial I didn’t think there would be as many women as there are,” says Cátia Catarina Sousa da Silva Correia. “I have to say there were more women than I thought. There could of course be more but I think some of that is on us too. I think when women think about security, they don’t think it’s for us. They think it is only for big strong men. But there is so much more to it than that. We just need to be ourselves and know how to do the job.”
Catia has worked with one of Provincial’s best known clients for almost two years. She says she would encourage any women thinking of getting into the industry to do exactly that.
“I have never felt uncomfortable in my job because I am a woman,” says the 29-year-old. “Nobody patronises me or tells me how to do something. If you’re a woman that wants to work in security, you don't need to be afraid. You only have to use your empathy, give one hundred percent and you’ll be great.”
“Our clients are diverse so we need our teams to be diverse,” says Anthea. “People might think they don’t fit the stereotype of what a security officer is, but we want all sorts of people. In fact the further from the stereotype we can get, the better.”
“We have teams, for example, that have a mix of students and people who have retired from their previous professions but still want to work. Our younger people might not have the life experience that the older members of the team have but together they work really well. It creates really unique teams; teams that we are very confident in and our clients are really happy with.”
"We understand that people need security and to feel valued and one of the best ways of ensuring that is simply by paying people well. Why wouldn’t we? Our people do a great job"
And as long as our clients are happy with our teams, Provincial are happy to pay our people more. Simply put, we expect more so it’s only fair that the people we hire are rewarded accordingly. We have an industry leading wage package and quite a few more benefits that go along with that too.
“Again it goes back to hanging on to good people,” says Anthea. “ We understand that people need security and to feel valued and one of the best ways of ensuring that is simply by paying people well. Why wouldn’t we? Our people do a great job.”
At Provincial, we don’t want our security officers stuck to the same spot all day long. Stagnation takes its toll both physically and mentally. On most sites, we rotate our teams as much as possible and encourage officers to be involved in as many stations and posts as they can manage.
“On some sites we rotate every hour on others every three hours,” says Anthea. “You could be on reception, then be on patrols, then monitoring CCTV or looking after a secondary access point, you can be dealing with lost property, a first aid incident and then there are ad hoc requests that we get from clients. We also have to deliver quite a few reports and we use a lot of technology in everything we do. So it’s not a case of getting your post and being stuck there every day for however long you’re with us. If I was to guess, that’s probably one of the reasons people stay with us so long - the fact that you’re constantly on the move not just in your current position but also in your career. The scope for progression at Provincial is better than any other security company in Ireland I would say. We hire with a view to the long term and that’s why we have such loyal people working with us.”
If you're interested in joining the Provincial team, contact our team today