Security companies offering $8K+ joining bonuses

If the cash bonus isn't enough, they are throwing in free mobile phones and even MRT rides.

No, it's not for a contest.

Security companies here are dangling carrots to get young people to join the industry.

Certis Cisco offers up to $8,200 to experienced auxillary police officers, while Aetos offers up to $8,000 as a joining bonus.

Those in the industry say they are facing a manpower crunch, not just in high-end security but also for condominium guards.

Mr Desmond Choo, executive secretary of the Union of Security Employees, said: "As there are more commercial and residential developments, the demand for security officers has increased."

He added: "In terms of supply, more needs to be done to attract more to join this sector."

Low pay is an issue.

According to the Report on Wages done by the Ministry of Manpower in 2010, the average gross starting wage of a security guard is $1,309.

It doesn't get better. The average gross wage of a security guard is $1,441. And in some places, guards may have to handle 12-hour shifts.

Certis Cisco has been offering a joining bonus since 2004. Its latest strategy, however, includes a lucky draw, with three mobile phones up for grabs and $300 worth of free MRT rides for three winners.

Mr Andy Tan, Head of Integrated Recruitment Agency, Certis Cisco, said this was the first time that they were giving out phones and MRT rides in their recruitment campaigns. He explained: "We align our ads with today's youths' aspiration."

Both Aetos and Certis Cisco are also using an attractive pay package to attract and retain staff.

For instance, the entry level gross salary for an auxillary police officer at Aetos is about $1,800, but after revisions in salary andallowance, it can go up to $2,100.

Both companies said the joining bonus will be paid over a three-year period. Ms Pearl Hue, corporate communication executive at Aetos said: "We are hopeful that with the plans, we will be able to attract more people to join us as security personnel, not just as a job but a career."

Human resource specialist Paul Heng from NeXT Corporate Coaching Services, said that while pay is a factor that would attract people to the job, it is also important to improve the profile of the industry.

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