May 23, 2016

Author: Jerry Brennan  

Ornate Hanging Lanterns at Japanese Temple

Recruitment and retention of regional talent in a Corporation's overall corporate security organization is key to the success of their security and risk management programs.

Markets in Asia, India and the Indian subcontinent continue to develop and grow, and more western and multi-national companies are recruiting for localized security talent in what is fast becoming a buyer’s market. Imbalances in compensation can lead to challenges in both hiring and retention of the best people in the region.

As large western corporations move in, several factors can come into play:

  • The role you are recruiting for is very unique and is in a profession that hasn’t yet evolved in the country in which they’re being placed.
  • There is not a lot of location-specific comparison data available.
  • The candidates are undervalued due to limited salary comparisons with similar jobs within the country.
  • Similarly titled jobs are not necessarily indicative of role – a security manager in Vietnam could be a guard-type position whereas a western company would envision a “security manager” would manage much more than the guard force.
  • Local management won’t approve a competitive international-level salary when they themselves aren’t earning at that level.
  • Lack of skill sets locally may mean mentorship, training and development are key to attracting motivated candidates.

These challenges mean that someone who has been successfully employed by a western company in a local region may be currently undervalued and underpaid. As these countries become more expensive in which to live, even a small amount more in salary can be enough of a catalyst for them to be recruited away. What may be an inconsequential amount of money to a large, western company could be the difference between retaining – and losing – the perfect person for the job.

So, what’s best practice in these circumstances? Clearly companies need better benchmarking data in order to level positions correctly. This likely means drawing comparisons from their own internal organizational alignment data and development of a plan to fully integrate the position into the overall corporate security structure.

The whole premise of retention is integration of your regional talent into the overall corporate security organization. They need to feel part of the team, with opportunities to broaden their responsibilities. Companies who offer their international hires temporary assignments at corporate locations outside of their home countries further enhance the value of the employee and reinforce the company’s commitment to a global workforce.

Hiring localized talent at an organizationally correct salary level is the first step to getting the best person for the job. Demonstrating they have a career track locally and within the corporation will motivate them to remain with you when the competition comes knocking.