Takeoffs from southern settlements led to increased demand for private security services/ShutterStock
"As of October 7, following the events in the south and the tense situation in the north, citizens' sense of personal security in the public and private spheres has been significantly damaged. We started receiving thousands of requests for security, reinforcement from existing customers, and also from new customers who wanted to be guarded.
There were inquiries from all walks of life, whether it was companies and institutions, government offices, schools, kindergartens, various businesses, as well as neighborhoods and communities. At this time, everyone wants to reinforce and consume guard services, with an emphasis on armed guards," says Hemi Ben-Arieh, CEO of the security division of G1, which provides security, security and safety services nationwide.
On the one hand, there are businesses that barely exist since the beginning of the fighting, and there are even those that have been forced to close due to their geographical location; On the other hand, there are companies whose activities have actually increased the current situation. "The first break in citizens' sense of personal security in the public sphere began about two and a half years ago with Operation Guardian of the Walls," says Ben-Arieh.
"It's a feeling that accompanied the citizens for quite a few months, and then it became less intense. Now, however, the events of Black Sabbath and the harm to communities and civilians have intensified these feelings more significantly.
In relation to normal days, in the current period we see increased demand in the field of security and security. There is an increased demand, an increase of hundreds of percent, in requests for services in the field."
Chemi Ben Arieh, CEO of G1/Ron Yuval Security Division
According to Ben-Arieh, "Our world is divided into property security (for example, guarding a factory) and securing human life (for example, in malls). The drastic increase we are experiencing these days has to do with preserving human life. The demand today is more for active armed security, one that moves more in space.
For example, we maintain a special unit for skipping security, that is, security patrols mounted on motorcycles, with fighters who actually carry out territorial, regional security, which gives a sense of personal security in the public space."
Among the new customers the company has begun servicing, says Ben-Arieh, are many residential neighborhoods. "We also had residential neighborhoods before, but in relatively small numbers, and what mainly characterized them was that they were relatively closed, enclosed by gates, and required guarding throughout the year," he notes.
"But now we see that many neighborhoods that did not need security services before want to strengthen their sense of personal security. Neighborhood representatives come and say that following the incidents, the personal security of neighborhood residents has decreased, and they ask for security services adjacent to the neighborhood, or skipping security services, that is, a mounted security guard who comes once every few hours, walks around the neighborhood, is near kindergartens, educational institutions and gives people a sense of security."
Who pays for neighborhood security?
"This is one of the main problems, how do you collect the money in a neighborhood that has hundreds or even thousands of households, when it comes to, for example, a high-rise neighborhood. Usually, there are representatives of the neighborhood. Sometimes it's the neighborhood committee or tenants who initiated the application or the request, and they're the ones who collected the money and pay that way. The cost varies according to the number of hours requested by the neighborhood, the level of patrol found, and more. But in general, it's tens of thousands of shekels a month."
I assume that a large part of the company's employees are being recruited. How do you address the growing demand for security in such a situation?
"In the first two weeks since October 7, about 500 of our employees were recruited under Order 8. On the other hand, some of our customers, who are mostly audience recipients, have reduced standards and lowered positions, so some of our manpower that was freed up from these positions was directed towards demand.
We also launched a very significant recruitment campaign on social networks that generated thousands of inquiries, of which we have already recruited 150-200 new employees in the weeks since the outbreak of hostilities. As soon as the demand for reinforcements began, it was very important for us to provide an immediate response to our existing customers who receive ongoing service from us. We were also able to respond to most of the requests from customers who were not our customers before."
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Jobs with confidence
According to data from the job and job search website, AllJobs, there has been an increase in resume submissions in the past two months for security guard/guard/patrol jobs (23% in October-November compared to September; 25% increase in November compared to October), security checker jobs (18% in October-November compared to September; 17% increase in November compared to October), and security center/control room jobs (21% in October-November compared to September; 24% increase in November compared to October).
"During normal times, until the outbreak of hostilities, there was a demand for people to work in the security field, but not in an increased way," says Ben-Arieh. "We can see that there is now increased demand. Part of the demand stems from people's need to make a living, and for some it's a mission. Everyone wants to enlist in order to improve security in the country both militarily and civilianly.
We received many resumes from across the spectrum of Israeli society: people who were unemployed, people who were placed on unpaid leave, employees who left their jobs and decided to come to us. We approached young people in their 20s, and we also took in people between the ages of 60 and 65. We took in everyone who applied and was suitable, men and women."
According to Ben-Arieh, in recent years there has been an improvement in the status of those engaged in security. "As part of the intensive joint activity of the management of the National Organization of Security and Security Companies in Israel, headed by CEO Pini Schiff, and Adv. David Bechor, the organization's legal advisor, together with Histadrut Chairman Arnon Bar-David, and Yossi Barbi, director of the Histadrut's trade union in the field of security, cleaning and nursing care workers, there has been a significant improvement in the employment conditions of security industry workers in the State of Israel, both in direct wages and in beneficial social benefits. Such as a study fund and more.
Today you earn a respectable salary in the field of security. With us, for example, in general, salaries can range from about 7,000 shekels, and we also have those who earn 17,000 shekels. Roles in the world of security are wide-ranging. In some places, the requirements are basic, and in some positions there is a requirement to classify employees more thoroughly, such as security clearances, applications for weapons licenses, and more."
Improved wages and a collective bargaining agreement for workers in the industry have made the profession a preferred option for many/ShutterStock
As best they can
G1 was founded in 1937 as the "Guard Company", joined the global G4S corporation in 2002, and in July 2017 was acquired by the FIMI Foundation. The company, which employs 5,000 employees, provides in addition to comprehensive security and security services (for institutions, private businesses, government companies, etc.) also provides a solution for the private citizen who wants to feel safe at home.
"As a result of the fact that on October 7 terrorists reached people's homes, there is now also an increase in demand for everything related to home protection, whether it is CCTV systems, alarm systems, distress pressures, and more. Our group also provides technological solutions that meet exactly these needs," says Ben-Arieh.
"There's a smart home system, and if, for example, you go into the safe room now and lock it, you can still see what's happening inside the house. If, for example, the safe rooms of the important people in the envelope had such a system, then in some cases the residents could understand whether the IDF or terrorists were walking around their homes, and that might have helped. There is also a panic button system that opens a call line to a call center that is staffed 24/7, which can also direct skipping security to the location if necessary.
One of the main difficulties in the events of October 7 was the difficulty of communicating with the outside world by those sitting in the safe rooms. So now there is also an increase in demand for products of this type. We also recognize the need to market these systems precisely at such a time, because in the end, the end customer is not always aware of all the technological solutions that exist that can provide him with a solution for personal safety within the home."
Like any field, says Ben-Arieh, the world of security is competitive. "Hundreds of security companies operate in the State of Israel, which actually increases and increases competition in a very significant way. In such a competitive market, in order to operate among existing and new customers, you need to place a very significant emphasis on the level of service, on the quality of the people you provide. It is required to give added values that go beyond the price. There are many customers who consume security services and will want an attractive price, but not necessarily the cheap price will win. Many customers are looking for quality."
What is your outlook for security personnel demand for the coming months?
"I think that the security apparatuses in the State of Israel, the IDF, the police, are doing their best to provide a good sense of security. At the same time, citizens' sense of security has suffered, and therefore I believe that in the coming months the demand for increased security services will continue. In the longer term there will be a decline, but there will still be an increased need compared to what it was before October 7."
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