Hiring Blitz by Big Security Firms Continues, Despite Record Unemployment
As U.S. unemployment reaches the highest level since the Great Depression, some large security services firms are bucking the trend and moving forward with a hiring blitz.
The U.S. Department of Labor announced on 8 May that the unemployment rate jumped to 14.7 percent in April, as 20.5 million U.S. workers lost their jobs with countless companies curtailing operations during the coronavirus pandemic.
Nonetheless, G4S is moving forward with its plan of hiring more than 15,000 security employees nationwide, with a goal of finishing the hiring spree by the end of June, company representatives confirmed on 8 May.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused extensive business disruption and change in a variety of sectors—including healthcare, government, finance, and technology—leading to an increased demand for security personnel across the country,” says Drew Levine, president of G4S Secure Solutions (USA).
And Allied Universal is in the middle of an even bigger hiring push, with a plan to bring aboard more than 30,000 new security professionals and administrative staff by about 1 July, company representatives confirmed.
“Our security professionals play a pivotal part ensuring facilities can continue business as usual, and for other businesses that had to close, they can rest assured that their assets will remain protected,” says Steve Jones, Allied Universal’s chairman and CEO.
Both firms said they were taking extra measures to protect both new and existing employees from the pandemic.
G4S is conducting virtual interviewing, hiring, and training where possible, with certain exceptions, Levine says. Generally, those exceptions occur if they are required by state licensing laws and screening procedures “As part of initial screening, we are also inquiring about their travel history and personal interactions, and any directives they have received to self-quarantine,” he says.
Once on board, G4S employees are being provided the necessary protective gear to stay safe, such as gloves and masks, Levine says. The company is also training employees on interaction and distancing protocols, as well as health evaluations, based on CDC guidelines. And the firm is providing employees with free access to a telemedicine service.
Similarly, Allied Universal is conducting a virtual interview process, and training staff. “We have a dedicated safety team constantly monitoring all COVID-19 developments ensuring we continuously educate our employees to understand and follow the CDC guidelines,” Jones says.