Security Career Competition from The Public Sector
It is quite common to see executive leadership roles in corporate security filled by candidates from either current or former public sector roles. They are often law enforcement agency, intelligence. or military leaders seeking a second career.
SMR regularly runs studies on statistics for these types of candidates. In the last 10 years, 68 percent of our US-based candidates reported prior government employment. When we include candidates located outside of the States, the percentage increases to 72 percent. Year upon year, we have not found a significant difference in those numbers.
These statistics do not suggest that all these individuals were at once hired into the senior-most role upon leaving their public sector jobs. It does show that government background continues to be a major feed to the corporate security profession. It further illustrates that the security industry has failed to develop a maturity model that offers parallel career opportunities for those who did not have public sector experience.
This disparity is an ongoing point of contention for candidates who have spent their security careers within the private sector. We often hear questions with words to the effect of: “What does someone from the military or XYZ agency know about the private sector or corporate security?”. We appreciate the frustration level of these private sector candidates given the relatively small number of senior level roles that become available within the profession.
Companies hiring from the public sector is not unique nor is it unprecedented…
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