Security Industry Recruiters DirectoryBy: IPVM Team, Published on Sep 20, 2013
Recruiters, aka 'headhunters', are commonly used by companies to find new employees. Though the security industry uses recruiters similarly to many other industries, because it is a niche, a relatively small number of specialist recruiters focus in physical security.
Here is a list of 13 specialist recruiters recommended by IPVM members and reviewed by IPVM inside:
- Aaron Kutz Direct Recruiters, Inc.
- Alan Chamberlin Beneva Group [link no longer available]
- Alexander Ross Kaye Bassman
- Bill McQuade Final Image [link no longer available]
- Chris Staniforth ALC Consulting
- Don Agee ARG
- George Robert McCaffery at McCafferty McCabe & Assoc
- Goede Premier Recruitment
- Harlan Katz and Associates
- John Woolf [link no longer available] SSR
- Kevin Spagone Reitman Security Search
- Noel Glacer Answerquest
- Tom Verzuh SCW Consulting
How Candidates Can Benefit
It is free for a candidate to use a recruiter to help them find work. When you respond to headhunter phone calls, you should at least entertain the call. "Listen to find out what the position is. You never know, it could be your own job," noted one industry professional. By the description and location of a company, a person can get a general idea of what company the recruiter is working for.
Tip: If they say the company they are representing is confidential, there is a good chance they are replacing someone.
Why Candidates Should Be Cautious
Candidates have more to gain by dealing with recruiters. They do not have to pay anything and some recruiters have a high success rate of placing people. But even though everything is supposed to be confidential, it is not. Reusmes are sometimes shopped around. So if you are using a headhunter, be prepared to leave your job.
Why Manufacturers Should Be Catious
The first thing to keep in mind if you are a company using a recruiting service is that to them, people are a product. The job of a recruiter is to get a commission (typically ~20% of first year salary) out of a company by placing a person in a vacancy. Manufacturers worry, and they should, that these recruiters would just as soon remarket these people as soon as they put them somewhere.
A recruiter's job is not to help unemployed people, it is to covertly recruit people from jobs that they are happy in, many argue. The downside is that the recruiter could market that person to other companies later or use them as an in to place employees at other places.
What Could Change This
The recruiting business could be different if companies tried to protect themselves by adding conditions to contracts that bar the company from placing that employee again or using their employee pool as a candidate pool.
Profiles of Individual Recruiters
Direct Recruiters, Inc.
Aaron Kutz is the Practice Leader for Security for Ohio-based Direct Recruiters, which has been around for 35 years and has offered its services to the security industry for around 7 years. Kutz has been making placements across all verticals of the security industry ("access control, IP/analog cameras, CCTV, NVR, DVR, integrated security systems, intrusion detection, personnel ID & authentication, biometrics, video management software, analytics, PSIM software and more,") and, specifically, placements of higher-level professionals ($80,000 - $400,000).
Kutz's team made around 50 placements in 2018. Direct keeps its client list confidential.
Kutz said one trend that is increasingly prominent going into 2019 is "a push towards knowledge in software and, specifically, software as a service." Kutz said that hiring companies want candidates who have a "background to learn new technology," rather than any specific expertise.
Kutz says Direct Recruiters is set apart from other recruiters in the industry due to their "Market Mastery," augmented by "attending trade shows, joining trade organizations, and networking with Security professionals":
Our team lives and breathes the security industry. This is where we spend all our time and focus our efforts into serving our clients. By knowing the industry, our clients do not need to spend time explaining the industry to us. It allows us to be more efficient and more strategic in our searches.
Alan Chamberlin is the executive director of the Sarasota, Fla.-based Beneva Group. His focus is on working with manufacturers to place candidates in leadership positions in access control, biometrics and "emerging technologies."
"My focus is primarily leadership roles and those can be operational, technical or sales leaders and also individual contribute like the regional sales or director of business development," he said. Chamberlin has placed candidates at G4s, MorphoTrak, Optellios, Amag and March Networks.
Some recently placed positions have been CTO, vice president of global sales, two company presidents and senior vice president sales and marketing. He has placed 26 people in the past year, but the number for the whole firm is "quite a bit higher," he said.
Doesn't 'Chase Leads'
"Most recruiters in the industry are reactionary. If there is a posting or someone has a lead then they are ready to reach in their file and pull a candidate. We meet with the clients twice a year to produce a talent acquisition strategy so these moves are planned 6-12 months out for some companies," Chamberlin said. "We become partners with executive team and plan to acquire and identify talent instead of reacting to specific need. They can rely on me as much as a consultant as they can a recruiter."
Kaye/Bassman [link no longer available]
Kaye/Bassman specializes in manufacturing and integration sectors and covers 25 countries. The practice has two divisions. Once focuses on C-level and senior management positions and the other focuses on regional sales positions.
Its client list is confidential, but Ross says "75% in the video surveillance solution market and the remainder is split between access control and intruder sectors." He also noted that they are "being pushed more into the IT market to find our talent for the security industry." He did not provide a number on how many client they have placed in the last year.
"What makes us stand out, well I can tell you that we must be doing something right as 68 percent of our revenue is from existing clients," Ross said. "Offering a few facts, we are the largest single site search firm in the U.S., ranked among the top 10 U.S. search firms and are the leading training organization for the Search Industry (NLE) with over 1000 search firms across the globe using our training."
Final Image [link no longer available]
Final Image serves clients worldwide, filling "a wide range of positions," however the positions placed most often are in sales and project management. He provided this breakdown:
- 60% sales
- 15% project management
- 15% IT
- 10% senior leadership positions
McQuade has placed candidates in companies such as G4s, Diebold, Avigilon and IndigoVision. He declined to disclose the number of candidates placed in the last year.
There is a lot of negative perception about recruitment companies, McQuade says. "They aren't held in very high esteem. There is a strong perception that they are just filling vacancies instead of providing companies a positive contribution. There are some very credible companies, but some of those perception or notions are right. I think that's a big problem with recruiting today," he said.
Final Image says they view themselves as stakeholders as well when pairing up candidates with clients. "We are very accountable, and we also offer a six-month guarantee on people we place. We are security professionals involved in recruitment, not recruitment people trying to fit in to security," he said.
Staniforth serves manufacturers and distributors the U.S. and Canada. He recruits for positions he says are usually "IP-centric."
He declined to name any of his corporate clients, but testimonials from the ALC Consulting website show comments from Axis (who says he's placed dozens of candidates for them) Milestone and Salient Systems. He says he has placed around 25 people in the last year.
"I’ve been in the industry since 1992 so I've been in the shoes of most of my clients when it comes to the sales force. For a lot of people I've place, I've had jobs like their jobs. When someone tells me their value proposition, I can tell what they are talking about and I can educate the client on what the candidate has to offer, he said.
Job Market Favors the Candidates
The job outlook in the security industry has shifted in favor of the candidate, says Staniforth. There has been more growth in terms of positions being created than last year and that year it was more than 2011. As far as companies expanding and putting more people on the street, there's been a lot more of that going on," he said.
Transparency in Recruiting
"If someone tells me they are interested in an organization, I'll tell them who I'm recruiting for. I'm honest about the advantages and disadvantages are about candidates as well. Some recruiters are secret about all this," he says.
Agee works nationally with integrators, suppliers, manufacturers and A&E firms. He focuses mainly on "providing contract labor to electronic security, fire alarm / life safety, building controls and datacom contractors," but says he places anything from administrative to C-level on up. Some of the positions he's placed in the past year are VP of Sales, director of sales, product managers and regional sales managers.
He declined to disclose the names of any clients, but says he's placed candidates in 25 positions in the last year.
Not Mass Marketing to Clients
In his 25 years in the industry, Agee says he's seen a lot of recruiters take the approach of mass marketing candidates to clients. "And in a lot of cases, these candidates just aren't qualified," he said. "I'm not out mass marketing candidates in a cold call scenario. I like to work with a lower volume of business so I can be a little more selective on who I work with and go a lot deeper with it."
George Robert McCafferty
McCafferty McCabe & Associates
McCafferty McCabe & Associates work exclusively with hardware and software developers in the security industry worldwide. They recruit for positions that are "anything sales, marketing and business development related," McCafferty said. In the last year they have filled positions for product managers, vice presidents, business development managers and field sales managers. "We're typically putting people in positions where the starting salary is $90-$100,000," says George Robert McCafferty. "We're not doing high volume, low level jobs.
"Our client list is very confidential, but most are multinationals and most of them tend to be in the $30-100 million range. They need our service because they are trying to grow their businesses," he said. The firm averages about two-three placements a month (24-36 per year).
"We have a very high success rate and that builds a reputation that make people want to choose you over someone else because you have access to the right players and have the ability to get people into the organizations they're looking for," McCafferty said.
Downing & Downing
Downing & Downing on its website claims it has "staffed more senior Loss Prevention positions, and helped design and build more Loss Prevention teams than any other firm in history." The firm's sole focus is recruiting loss prevention candidates "from senior vice president all the way down to district loss prevention manager."
However, the number of candidate placed, and the names of client's they've worked work with confidential, Downing told me. Their website features a list of openings from Baltimore to Houston to the Midwest and Toronto.
What Separates Them from Other Firms
"Because we are loss prevention executives ourselves, we bring a level of expertise to these searches that no one else does. Plus, we're the oldest and largest in American. Bottom line," he said.
Harlan Katz and Associates
Harlan Katz says his firm recruits nationally for a very wide range of positions including technicians, sales people, regional sales managers, engineers and designers throughout the industry.
Katz declined naming any of his clients or how many people he's placed in the last year. He declined to provide any additional detail on operations, saying what sets them apart from other firms is "relationships."
"It's about relationships. It's not just about the money. Money comes when relationships are strong. Most people chase the money. I don't chase the money. Relationships," he said.
Reitman Security Search
Spagone covers "mostly North America" and recruits and matches candidates for access control and video manufacturers and distributors. Recent placements include regional sales managers, project directors and a CTO.
As for the companies he's working with: "A lot of that is somewhat confidential. We used to work with the UTCs of the world and companies like that. We’re a boutique so we don't necessarily compete in the big corporate contracting kind of community. We are still doing business with some of the larger diversified companies." He estimates they fill 65-70 positions annually.
Most Candidates Not Actively Looking for Jobs
"Most our candidates are passive candidates. They're not hopping around the job board. He’s got a shortlist of companies he wants to work for. And we talk to the companies and ask 'How do you see a fit?' Our clients know that we’re going to be able to get a good handle on what the culture fit is and a candidate that that we have some sort of a relationship with," he said.
Reitman refrains from shopping candidate resumes around because he said candidates often worried that their resume will end up somewhere they don't know about.
"The market has very much improved over the last years. It is certainly better than it was three or four years ago. [HR Departments] still think its a very client driven market but really it's migrating back to a candidate driven market to a certain extent," Spagone says.
Noel Glacer [link no longer available]Answerquest
Glacer says 99 percent of his business comes from North America, but the company has been expanding its reach into South and Central American in the last eight months. "I work with manufacturers. I work with integrators. I work with biometric companies. I work with guard companies. So I'm not really limited," he said. Eighty percent of the business is commercial industrial, and 20 percent is government.
Recent placements have been CEO, COO, VP of sales, director of ales, RSM and other sales positions, operations mangers. Glacer says sales engineering positions have been hot the last year and a half.
In the past he's worked with Siemens, Stanley and UTC and clients have ranged from $4 million companies to $50 billion companies. Forty placements a year is a conservative estimate, he says.
Answerquest focuses on very targeted placements. "We are not using the shotgun approach. Our approach is more of a .30-06 with a scope. For any position there is only going to be two or three people who are actually going to be a good fit. We're not going to throw resumes at a client so we spend a lot of time learning exactly what they're looking for," he said.
Glacer also says it's a candidate's market right now in the security field."It's been so long since it's been that way that the companies aren't recognizing it yet. These candidates are out there getting two or there jobs offers."
Verzuh's website says he works with clients nationally and internationally focusing on jobs in video management, network video, IP video, video analytics, CCTV, IP access control and fire/life safety. Job titles he's placed include vice presidents, account managers, operations managers and application engineers.