Bob Forsyth – Embracing talent in the security industry

Bob Forsyth - Managing Director of MITIE Total Security Management
Bob Forsyth - Managing Director of MITIE Total Security Management

Bob Forsyth, the Managing Director of MITIE Total Security Management (TSM) introduces his blog on (his twentieth feature overall) in which he discusses embracing talent in the industry.

I have always spoken a lot about how the security industry has changed in terms of client needs and expectations, the services delivered and how they have expanded, buying behaviour, and regulation. Another major change that has undoubtedly shaped our industry is the diversity in our personnel and management.

Traditionally, the security industry workforce was predominantly made up of ex-police and ex-forces individuals on their second career. Now we see people from different backgrounds, genders and age groups interested in working in security, providing us with a rich pool of talent to employ from.

It’s important that our industry attracts a diverse workforce so that we can match the right person for the right job according to skill set. This is an industry challenge and one we must all embrace to make security a career for the future.

By embracing diversity in all its factors, different skills can be mobilised for the benefit of the individual and the company, which in turn benefits our clients. This is a great way of creating a motivated and stable workforce, and an exciting work place. It can reduce the costs of labour turnover and absenteeism as well as making employees more responsive to change. If an individual is in the right role and sees a personal growth plan, they are more likely to be committed, have high morale and add value through their work.

The security industry offers a broad range of roles which is expanding all the time. It includes exciting areas of work that were never previously considered as ‘security’. The industry is becoming more technology-focused, moving away from the conventional approach of just people management to a risk approach, requiring new skills to be successful.

It is really important that we draw our people from a wider pool and that our industry is attractive to all as a first choice career decision.

Once we have the right people for the future of the sector, we must ensure that they are given development goals and milestones that are achievable by way of keeping talent in the industry.

I believe the industry is starting to, and will continue, to attract people that choose a career in security as their first choice rather than something they ‘fall into’. We do still have some way to go but I think we are making good strides.

A tremendous area of change is the growth in the academic studies now available in the sector which is encouraging many to return to studying and learn about risk and the wider scope of the sector that is so vital in the modern industry.

MITIE has launched its own diploma to give our core management the grounding and opportunity to learn that perhaps a lot of us have never had.

In my view, ability is always the reason people achieve, irrespective of gender, age and race, but we must encourage talent and give it room to grow.

Mitie Total Security Management Website

With over 17 years’ experience in the security industry, Bob is a proven achiever at a high level. He is a strong relationship builder who is financially astute with excellent negotiation and communication skills, with the ability to work with people at every level. A team player, Bob is able to lead by example.

Bob was promoted to the position of Managing Director of MITIE’s security business in April 2010 after several notable achievements since joining the company in 2004, including his win of the prestigious MITIE new business award.

Having successfully implemented the merger with Initial Security in the Southern region and developing a profitable part of the business, Bob has continuously worked towards expansion including the implementation of the response service, and has significantly contributed towards year on year growth. In June 2009, Bob initiated the launch of the business’ total security management ethos; to take an integrated risk-based approach to security, incorporating people, technology and consultancy services.

Bob continues to move the business forward and has delivered record EBITA profit. He has increased business retention and launched new services lines including lone worker, void secure, employee screening, and security risk and business resilience. Under his leadership, MITIE’s total security management business has grown into an organisation with a turnover in excess of £280m. He takes every opportunity to promote MITIE’s presence within the industry through his involvement with industry bodies such as City Security and Resilience Networks (CSARN) and the British Security Industry Authority (BSIA).

A member of the Institute of Directors (IOD), the Security Institute and Resilience Industry Suppliers Community (RISC), Bob is championing the development of the security industry from a guarding-focused, low-end purchase, to a risk-based, technology-driven industry, and plans to work closely with the BSIA and his peers to accomplish this. Bob is passionate about the security industry and enjoys speaking at events such as TINYg in New York, CSARN conferences, and various other security and risk events.

Bob writes a regular blog for the internet news provider to share his vision of the industry’s future. He is also an avid tweeter; taking to the social media site to both promote his ideas and listen to others from around the industry.

In his spare time Bob enjoys sports and is a devoted West Ham fan. He also appreciates current affairs, military history and travel.

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