Integrators, How / Where Do You Hire From?

Since integration is typically a hands-on business, usually new employees are found in the local area.

How do you do so?

Hire from competitors? Local job listings? Please share.


As a small company we typically advertise technician positions on smaller job boards and sometimes sites like Kijiji. This has mixed results. We get a lot of resumes from guys who seemed to have moved around quite a bit. We also get a few overseas resumes. In Ontario Canada there are no licensing requirements to become a Security Technician which makes it challenging to find people with the required background. Our schools do not offer courses geared to security technicians so we do not have a graduating pool of students to entice.

Much like our sales opportunites, many opportunities to meet with and/or interview technicians is word of mouth from your employees, your associations (present and past) etc.

A second challenge we have is with Sales and finding the right fit for an always changing technical environment. We have found that in some cases Sales people who have been in the industry for a number of years and have had successes typically work for the larger firms with Design teams for the larger proposals. The transition to a smaller company can be difficult becuase there is no dedicated design team and the owner typically must also become the design team as well. The resources are not available to the Salesperson and they do understand the bigger picture but often miss alot of the smaller components (POE switches, Power supplies, etc.) to tie it all together.

The other option of finding a Sales from other industries (had contacts but no Security Sales experience) did not work well for us as the training curve was too steep.

For Sales I had posted the job on linkedin and this did produce numerous responses from what we felt were qualified professionals.

Our schools do not offer courses geared to security technicians so we do not have a graduating pool of students to entice.

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I do understand that IPVM offer courses as well as some other industry organizations. The problem is these courses are not marketed to kids finishing High School who are trying to figure out their career choices. They would generally look at courses available through the large Colleges in Toronto for courses or trades that may interest them. The colleges here do not offer any security related courses. They did a number of years ago but not now.

In other provinces in Canada where technicians must be certified the courses are availble through the colleges and even Universities. British Columbia as an example provides training through a dozen or so Colleges and Universities as well as many more private training facilities and it is recognized as trade in the province. This provides employers a pool of graduating Security Technicians to recruit. We just do not have this.

On the flip side, Fire alarm technicians here in Ontario must be certified so those career training courses are available through the colleges.

Claude, good points!

On the software developer side, there's been an emergence of private 'schools' typically that last a few months. The appeal is that the schools work with employers and either guarantee or make it easy to get jobs right away at a certain pay rate.

This would be nice for security integration, though the problem I suspect is that the pay rates are not going to be high enough to pay / cover the costs of training (unlike with software where junior developers are getting $60k, $80k, etc.)

Many of our employees have come over from competitors, with that being said we have never had an employee that we hired away from a competitor, they approached us. Local job listings do provide for a lot of applicants but oddly enough we have never hired an employee from one. We have hired employees that were recommended from friends that knew they were looking for work, usually they haven't been previously skilled in our industry but they have all turned out to be great workers and learners.

With this discussion in mind are you going to create a employement board on the site? I know it has been discussed in the past so I am curious to know what your thoughts are now.

Primarily outside recruiting firms and Ziprecruiter. The last few major hires have been through recruiters.

Finding quality technicians is probably one of our greatest challenges. It seems when conducting a job search, most of the experienced applicants have proven to have major flaws that simply are not acceptable. The last few years, we have shifted our strategy to finding the “right person” with some related skill(s) and train them up. Unfortunately, this process can take year or more before yielding the desired results.

What type of related skills would you typically consider?

I also agree with you on the experienced applicants:

1) They either oversell themselves on their resume

or

2) They have the experience and the training but you find some other underlying issues (flaws) that makes you question their true value to your organization.

We often find that the ones that are generally top shelf guys are taken care of by their current employer and generally are content and not willing to look at opportunities with smaller Integrators. Also these types of Technicians also are unwilling to take a risk with smaller organizations here as they are aware that many of the small companies here are small organizations trying to find their way in a hugely competitive environment and with no Security licensing requirements here for either the start-up company or technicians many companies start and disappear quickly.