The role of pre-employment integrity testing in reducing staff turnover

Photography by Jeremy Glyn for AI Surveilance in October 2020.

Successful offsite CCTV surveillance companies recognise that even the most advanced technology is only as good as the people who monitor, control and make the decisions in the control room. 

Hiring security personnel quickly can probably be easy but it could cost more than it’s worth in the end. Finding people who could potentially thrive in a secure offsite control room environment is a different and much more complex exercise. 

Luckily there is sufficient industry experience to prove that the best controllers are grown internally by careful selection and by focusing on specific skill sets and  positive, well communicated company values. 

Good advice for the security industry comes from Warren Buffet who famously said, “If you’re looking to hire new people, look for three qualities—integrity, intelligence and energy. If you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.”

Polygraph testing of employees is a contenious option and probably not the best way to find employees with integrity. It simply looks for potential dishonesty and ignoring the fact that the trait of integrity is different to mere honesty.

A valuable alternative is pre-employment integrity testing. It was developed in the US when lie detectors were prohibited and has been popular in other countries for more than three decades. In South Africa, the demand for pre-employment integrity testing for employees has grown. 

An integrity test is a reliable and non-confrontational method to test the ethics of potential employees. As it involves background investigations, qualification and education verification, police clearance and credit checks, it does not only provide a much clearer picture of the personality and personal values of the potential employee, it also measures the suitability of the candidate for the position.

When a potential employee knows that their integrity is tested and validated it becomes a positive experience that creates a greater awareness of expected values and behaviours within the company. It also establishes a platform for transparency, accountability and fairness that can reduce staff turnover, improve productivity and create a culture where all staff feel safe and valued. 

Once you have established that you have the right talent, extensive and ongoing internal training will ensure that controllers are as skilled and reliable as the technology is advanced. Crime awareness and detection are critical success factors and we place tremendous value on in situ control room training to ensure a common understanding of requirements and behaviours and to build a team with a common purpose: successful outcomes, reduced crime and an improved company reputation. 

Whilst AI Surveillance (AIS) is a proud market leader in the South African security industry offering cutting-edge technology, we are relentless when it comes to staff training. We know that our people have to make many difficult decisions under pressure every day with the knowledge that each decision could have potentially life changing results.