Assembling a qualified and highly educated team of security industry professionals can be a strenuous recruiting task. It requires companies to devote time and resources into finding and properly training candidates so they are equipped to work in the installing and monitoring security field. One firm that has made an uncommon commitment to this cause is Protection 1 (P1) with its management training program.
P1 is helping make the development of a career easier by providing vital tools, real-world training and the opportunity to succeed. It has designed a unique training process that allows both industry veterans and rookies to learn the basics of all departments within the company in order to best prepare them for management roles, positions they receive upon completion of the program.
P1 prides itself on providing an unmatched customer experience, peace of mind and security for large national and commercial accounts, and more than one million residences. It is important the company select future leaders who place a premium on customer retention and have a desire for a career that rewards their contributions. Established in 2011 as a way to elevate the level of professionalism companywide, P1’s unique trainee program is divided into two distinct career paths: general management and sales management trainee tracks.
The general management trainee track is geared toward both industry veterans from within P1, but also those industry rookies. These trainees are based in an area with a nearby call center and branch, and spend nine to 12 months learning all aspects of the business. This includes monitoring, customer service, sales, operations and organizational development, among others.
Tracks Target Management & Sales
Each trainee is assigned a senior team mentor at the beginning of the program and interacts with that person regularly via teleconference and, when possible, in-person sessions. Trainees spend eight to 16 weeks in each department, learning from P1 leaders in each area. As they complete each session, they have readouts with CEO Tim Whall and other senior-level executives to receive ongoing input, feedback and mentoring. At the completion of this trainee track, graduates are hired into a management role in the region of their choice.
The sales management trainee track is geared toward recent college graduates and those with limited sales and/or industry experience. These trainees spend two to three years learning the industry through the eyes of a successful, productive commercial sales consultant. Sales trainees are assigned to a branch, ideally with a partner trainee, and learn the ins and outs of the commercial sales business while receiving senior-level mentorship from sales leaders within P1.
This mentorship includes weekly conference calls, assignments and bimonthly readouts on topics such as organizational development, field operations and public relations. This gives trainees the ability to learn other areas of the business while developing the sales experience needed to be a successful leader. At the completion of this program, trainees are assigned to a sales management position in the region of their choice.
“We take a great deal of pride in our management trainee program,” says Whall. “The elite group of trainees we recruit are exposed to all facets of the security business by working directly in the fields of monitoring, customer service, and residential, commercial, national and multifamily accounts. Additionally, all trainees work on leadership projects, are routinely mentored by senior leaders and simultaneously develop selling skills.”
Recruiting Internally and Externally
The recruitment process for the trainee program is unique in that P1 finds potential trainee candidates from within the business, as well as from college campuses around the country. When finding college recruits, there is a focus on club sport athletes, campus recreation employees, as well as the general population using networking contacts and university job portals. Club sport athletes and campus recreation employees have proven to have the leadership experience and ability P1 seeks to work within a team.
“We have established such a distinctive program that not only properly trains these graduates for roles within the security industry, but presents an excellent introduction into the workforce environment,” says Michael Keen, P1’s vice president of commercial sales. “It can be a big jump to go from college student to full-time employee at a nationally recognized company, so we want to help make the transition as positive, and successful, as possible. When a trainee starts, we paint a clear picture of what the future looks like for them through this program and show them what an asset they can be as an employee at Protection 1.”
For many college graduates, P1’s management trainee programs offer exciting opportunities to not only become familiar with the company for which they work, but also to learn valuable expertise for future roles and careers. New trainees are chosen from hundreds of applicants and represent the best in terms of motivated team members eager to invest in their futures at the company. With a guaranteed management position within the region of their choice, trainees have a promising career opportunity that may seem rare given the recently bleak national job market.
“Applicants come to us with a variety of backgrounds and experiences — all of which can help mold valuable employees and effective leaders. We strive to set these individuals up for success within the security industry,” says Whall. “As we continue to expand our service and product offerings, it is important to have a diverse team of employees who can speak to the ever-changing industry.”
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