July’s annual SSI Best of the Best Issue includes 2014 Installer of the Year (Large Company) Runner-Up Tech Systems Inc. (TSI). A leading reason Tech Systems was recognized for excellence was due to its crackerjack staff. Here, CEO Darryl Keeler lends more insight into how the firm ensures it has the “right people on the bus.” Be sure to check out my other Tech Systems blog in which Keeler addresses how TSI offers clients guaranteed response times and guaranteed functionality of their systems.
How does Tech Systems evaluate and recruit new employees? What qualities are important?
Darryl Keeler: It depends on the type of employee. Our organizational chart is an upside-down pyramid. As president/owner, I am at the bottom, senior managers are one level above, midlevel managers are above the senior managers, and our technicians and client support staff are at the top. We believe that we are here to serve each other in the same manner we serve our clients. Without the proper support, our field technicians would not be able to deliver the results our clients are expecting. With that said, we hire from a variety of sources … but the one key element to any candidate is if they embrace the FOCUS [For Our Clients’ Ultimate Satisfaction] philosophy. We have found that our values are aligned with individuals from all walks of life, but we have found some success in certain areas. Hiring from the military, Air Force and Navy works well for us. When recruiting for industry experience, we use LinkedIn, but in many cases we find good candidates through referrals. We’ve also been fortunate to add some of our previous clients to our team; individuals with experience as security directors who know first-hand what it’s like to be in the shoes of our clients. We are growing and are always looking to add new members to the team that share our passion of service and dedication.
How does TSI make sure its personnel are properly trained?
Keeler: We established an apprenticeship program that allows new hires the ability to see how we do things. We invest heavily in formal and informal training programs. We hire based on the candidate’s current abilities as well as their ability and willingness to adapt and learn over time. As technology continues to become more network-centric and complex, it is important that we provide ongoing learning opportunities so we can continue to stay ahead of the curve. We strongly believe in industry credentials. We have implemented an internal program to get all of our sales staff certified as ASIS Certified Protection Professionals. We make sure that IT/network training is done to establish a consistent knowledge base for our field teams. We believe in SIA’s Certified Security Project Manager credential for our project managers. We even have staff certified in the IAHSS’ [International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety] Certified Healthcare Protection Administrator program.
What do you do to keep its employees motivated and fulfilled?
Keeler: TSI has a culture of progression, where excellence is the expectation and employees are highly valued. TSI awards employees with Star Awards when customers go out of their way to compliment a TSI staff person for their work ethic, results and dedication to service. An Employee Advisory Board was established to create and maintain employee programs to empower employees to grow and make a difference. Some other perks include up to eight hours per month of paid leave is available to employees who wish to spend that time volunteering for a nonprofit organization, and employees can earn extra income by losing weight and keeping weight off over time. Finally, TSI has adopted the Motiv8 policy internally. Motiv8 is a program that demands TSI employees respond to the needs of clients, manufacturers and other TSI employees within eight business hours. Holding one another accountable and working together toward a common goal make it possible for TSI to achieve true excellence.