James Doyle – Technology in the changing world of security recruitment

James Doyle, Co-Founder & Director at Broadstone

James Doyle, Co-Founder & Director at Broadstone in his first blog for infologue.com writes: “Temporary recruitment is on the rise and the security industry is no exception when it comes to adoption of the gig economy. However, given it operates within a highly regulated environment combined with its typically traditional approach to recruitment, the security industry is overlooking the needs and preferences of the modern candidate.

“The security sector, therefore, faces an urgent need for transformation when it comes to the recruitment process.

“When looking for work, smartphones and tablets continue to take priority over high street recruitment branches. And any security firm not meeting this candidate need are likely to miss out on highly qualified and verified personnel at a time when fears of a skills shortage are pronounced.

Modernising the security industry

“Security is becoming a candidate-driven business, with officers increasingly dictating the way they want to work; flexibly, on smartphones and for a range of different companies.

“Forget searching jobs boards or visiting a high street recruiter. Nowadays, job seekers demand a smarter way of working that puts them in control and means they can find work, cover shifts and get paid much more efficiently and easily.

“Instead of a traditional nine to five, officers are increasingly looking for flexibility and hours that suit their lifestyles, fuelled further by increasing demand for secondary jobs to top up regular incomes. For example, officers on zero hours or part time contracts may look for additional flexible security shifts at evenings or weekends and they need a quick and easy way to find job openings and flexible roles.

“So, any security firm offering a job that doesn’t address the modern candidate is going to suffer.

“As such, rather than following the traditional ‘race to the bottom’ approach, security recruitment is becoming much more candidate-driven. So, how are innovations and emerging technologies supporting this new ‘race to the top approach’?

SecTech forges ahead

“Highly regulated industries, such as security, have evaded digital transformation for decades. However, the service economy is starting to realise that it can no longer avoid technological advancements if it is to meet modern consumer needs. Tech firms are learning from past growth of online marketplaces for goods, in order to infiltrate some of the toughest and most heavily regulated sectors. Security is one of them.

“In the security industry, there are three main technologies that are driving digital transformation: artificial intelligence (AI), gamification and apps. While these trends are not particularly revolutionary given their presence across many other markets and sectors, for an industry that’s been slow to adopt such as security, it is offering real disruption.

“Machine learning matching algorithms, facial recognition identity checks, automated invoice/payroll processing, AI-driven chatbots and a geolocation punch clock, gamification systems, and personalised apps have all been brought to the security sector.

“Security firms are using them for tasks such as interview scheduling, facial recognition, candidate screening, and communication.

“When deployed well, AI is an incredible boost to a security firm and its officers. AI will analyse data quickly and accurately, learn behaviours, identify trends and perform repetitive tasks much quicker than a human.

Gamification = Incentivisation

“Gamification is improving performance; by using game theory and designs, security firms are engaging with and motivating officers, as well as supporting the candidate screening and job application process.

“Gaming principles can include elements such as profile rating, badges awarded for certain performance-related milestones, employee of the month schemes, behavioural quizzes, and community engagement. It builds meaningful relationships, boosts employee motivation and even supports training and productivity.

“Critically, in a candidate-driven market, it allows security firms to reward officers for good practice, empowering them to drive higher standards.

“For those security firms that require access to a pool of vetted officers for immediate work, gamification can speed up the recruitment process, testing skills such as accuracy, time management, creative thinking and logic. These modern strategies are enabling firms to establish a real point of difference at a time when unemployment is at its lowest.

App-y officers

“As we have established, many security officers use their mobile device to find work but firms can take this one step further by managing the employment process via a personalised app – including timesheet management and payroll systems. Apps can discreetly send push notifications that match their profile, enable messaging, and offer urgent vacancies when time is tight or for out of hours requests. This is particularly useful for temporary roles.

“Security firms are operating more effectively and efficiently, reducing labour intensive tasks and streamlining processes. Officers are benefitting from instant engagement with their employer – completely overhauling the way they usually work.

Flexible work, flexible pay

“In such a candidate-driven market, and at a time when jobs outweigh the number of suitable officers, security firms must match their flexible approach to work with a flexible approach to pay.

“Innovative technologies are enabling firms to operate within the confines of high regulation while offering temporary, on-demand workers the option of drawing down on their pay when their shift is finished; vital in such a competitive sector.

“Driven by a shift in power from an employer to candidate-driven market, the security industry is undergoing major evolution and transformation.

“The power is now in officers’ hands.

“If they are to meet these new expectations, firms must adapt by placing digitalisation at the heart of their transformation. Emerging technologies that disrupt and challenge the traditional approach to security recruitment while meeting legislative requirements are not a silver bullet, but they offer security firms the opportunity to respond to an evolving workplace.”

Broadstone App Website


Broadstone’s Labour-as-a-Service temporary staffing platform leverages Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to match security jobseekers with fair and flexible temporary work opportunities with some of the UK’s largest security employers.

The platform features many tech innovations including a machine learning matching algorithm, facial recognition identity checks, automated invoice/payroll processing, AI-driven chatbot and a geolocation punch clock – making the product one of the most innovative staffing platforms in the market.

Broadstone operates within the highly regulated industries sectors, including security. Using these specific technologies, the platform is able to solve the recruitment element while providing more efficient and effective ways of satisfying legislative requirements such as licensing, screening and vetting.