Security Business

MAR 2019

Find news and information for the executive corporate security director, CSO, facility manager and assets protection manager on issues of policy, products, incidents, risk management, threat assessments and preparedness.

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26 Security Business / www.SecurityInfoWatch.com / March 2019 report – research by the makers of TurboTax and QuickBooks soware that looks at trends and forces affect- ing consumers and small businesses over the next decade – the long-term trend of hiring contingent workers will continue to accelerate, with more than 80 percent of large corporations planning to substantially increase their use of a flexible workforce (read more at www.intuit.com/2020). ose in the gig economy are also commonly referred to as "contingent workers" or "independent contrac- tors." Although there are slight differ- ences between them, in general, their focus is on short-term employment or work tied to a specific project or con- tract. ese workers prefer the flexibil- ity of the arrangement, working in a different environment or location per project, and typically with time off on weekends or holidays. While this freedom is attractive to many, these workers do not enjoy the benefits, insurance and security of being an employee of the company – and conversely, the systems integra- tion firm does not have the overhead associated with a full-time hire. While the costs of subcontracted labor are lower because there is no overhead for the installation company, contingent workers are considered highly skilled experts in their fields, and as such will oen command a higher pay scale than in-house per- sonnel – depending on their certifica- tions, credentials and proficiencies. In addition to traditional indepen- dent subcontractors, there are agen- cies specific to the security and IT industries, such as Outsource, which specializes in placement of low volt- age and electrical talent; or Anistar Technologies, which recruits and hires employees for outsourcing labor – offering benefits that include health insurance, paid holidays and vaca- tions, and retirement savings plans. What does the gig economy look like in the security integration space? ere's no single, consistent method in finding workers; instead, there seem to be varying approaches to turning the gig economy into an opportunity to build the business. "It is the new reality," says Steven Paley, president and CEO of Flori- da-based integrator Rapid Security Solutions. "When we first started in business, I didn't want to use subcon- tractors because I wanted to con- trol the client experience. I thought the only way to do that was with our own team members. Ten years later, we realized we were not able to grow the business in the way we wanted because we couldn't find enough tech- nicians. To meet our expansion plans, we started using subcontractors – pri- marily for installation and service." Vetting and Other Safeguards Paley says he controls the client experience by providing appropriate uniforms and signage for the work van. Many of the subcontractors have worked for the company in the past or for other companies, and they have been vetted by known industry col- leagues and through networking with other organizations. "We certainly don't just go out and hire someone simply because they are breathing – that can be disastrous," Paley says. "ey have to be vetted like a new employee, because our brand is at stake. Our lead technicians talk to potential subcontractors to determine if they are well-versed in the equip- ment and technology. ey need to have an alarm contractor's license and insurance, and we ask to be an addi- tional insured on their policy." While the pay rate for these work- ers may be higher than their in-house fully-loaded labor counterparts, the trade-off for Rapid Security Solu- tions is foregoing the administration and overhead associated with having another team member. "We give them a dollar amount to complete the work and they agree to it or not – but there is always room for negotiation," Paley says. "For service tickets, we usually just accept the subcontractor's rate. ere is less profit margin, but they are helping us by expanding our staff without having a full-time employee." Paley adds that when you pay a subcontractor, it is ultimately for the work they do, so it makes the process more efficient. With in-house tech- nicians, their work is actually about 70 percent billable and the rest is Hiring & Recruiting We realized we were not able to grow the business in the way we wanted because we couldn't find enough technicians. To meet our expansion plans, we started using subcontractors – primarily for installation and service." — Steven Paley, Rapid Security Solutions

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