Louise McCree – Effective HR in the security sector

Louise McCree
Louise McCree

Louise McCree, founder of effectivehr, discusses HR’s role in the security sector. “In her recent birthday statement the Queen acknowledged the “sombre national mood”. Over the past 6 months our country has unfortunately been victim to several appalling tragedies. One of the industries significantly affected is security.

“Many of our people are at the forefront when ‘events’ take place. HR have an obligation to partner with business leaders and managers to support employees, prepare them for incidents and ensure they have the necessary tools for the job and sufficient training.

“In addition to the increased threat level, there have been a number of factors contributing to the operational challenges we face; not least vetting and licensing. We have a responsibility to ensure that those employed have compliant checks, correct documentation and proof of identity. This is a significant responsibly but one which we should view seriously. Remaining vigilant is crucial.

“This year has seen significant change to the SIA licensing process. Since introducing its new system, all applicants for an SIA licence are now required to set up an online account. This new process is more time consuming and there have been hurdles along the way, which have in turn put an additional strain on licensing teams across the industry.

“As HR professionals is it crucial that we remain up to date with change, communicate with our teams, including senior management, and liaise with the workforce so that they are prepared. We must be willing to book training for those in positions of responsibility (e.g. document checkers, vetting officers, licensing coordinators), undertake roadshows to share knowledge and expertise, and above all ensure we keep excellent records and a strong a paper trail in order to evidence compliance.

“Simultaneously, the industry has had to deal with numerous technological advances, the risk of cyber threats and increasing mobile technology. This is all in addition to Brexit which could potentially impact the industry’s ability to source and retain employees. In the CIPD report published in 16 June 2017, the post Brexit immigration policy looks set to have far reaching consequences for businesses whose workforce is largely made up of EU migrants.

“So what can HR do?

  • Stay ahead of developments – horizon scan, talk to people, research and share what you know.
  • Discuss potential future challenges with the board and make a structured and targeted plan to tackle them.
  • Collaborate with clients – they want and need to know what is happening and it may well be necessary to partner with them when addressing some of these issues.
  • Be vigilant – HR have a responsibility where compliance is concerned!”

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