Security Industry Specialists Security Specialist Reviews | Glassdoor

Security Industry Specialists Security Specialist Reviews

Updated August 3, 2017
57 reviews

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Security Specialist

3.7
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John Spesak
36 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Good pay compared to other companies (in 20 reviews)

  • Benefits, room for advancement, great pay, helpful departments and leadership (in 18 reviews)

Cons
  • Work/ Life balance could be challenging at times (in 7 reviews)

  • Pay is on the lower end, unless you're in upper management or a techie (in 12 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Friendly Environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Security Specialist in Cupertino, CA
    Former Employee - Security Specialist in Cupertino, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Security Industry Specialists part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Lots of hours to be had

    Cons

    Lots of standing
    Little social interaction


  2. Helpful (1)

    "good place to work with good benefits"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Security Specialist in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Security Specialist in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Security Industry Specialists full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    good pay-15.50 an hour
    subsidized orca card
    uniforms
    good place to work

    Cons

    There are no raises, speaks for itself.

    Advice to Management

    request raises from the client and implement them every 6 months

  3. "No growth"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Security Specialist
    Current Employee - Security Specialist
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Security Industry Specialists full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The management is great and the team is fantastic! I get along with just about everyone on the team and the extra assignments are fun to have when on the team. Pay is nice for just starting out.

    Cons

    There is no growth in the company. At least not from the ground level. The chance of a position above you opening up is slim to none where as some companies have substantial growth. Over time is in abundance and can be good if you like that sort of thing but it also takes away from your home time.

    Advice to Management

    Not much advice can be given when the issues don't seem to be something that is controllable.

    Security Industry Specialists Response

    Jul 31, 2017 – Social Media Marketing Manager

    We're sorry you aren't experiencing our commitment to employee growth and promotion — we have an open door policy and encourage you to speak to your supervisor about furthering your career goals with... More


  4. Helpful (2)

    "THE BEST IN CLASS AS FAR AS SECURITY COMPANIES GO"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Security Specialist in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Security Specialist in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Security Industry Specialists full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    1. An eight hour day if that's all you want to work.

    2. Great benefits including an ORCA bus card.

    3. Pay rate has been better than most.

    4. Atmosphere is pretty great for security work.

    5. Work/life balance is unbeatable for a security company.

    Cons

    1. SIS could seriously work on hiring more employees so one doesn't have to stress their whole shift on if they're going to get relieved or not. Employees commute from all over nearby counties and it's vital for employees to connect with their prospective buses. It's also important to note that SIS is always short on help. This shortage never seems to get addressed. Why? Are they trying to cut corners for profits sake? Sometimes it's spread just a little too thin...and that gets old.

    2. Supervisors could be more hands on with their specific sites. An example I could give would be, if an employee tells you as a supervisor, you need to supply a new radio battery for a particular site, please follow up and make it happen. It shouldn't have to be this back and forth trying to get certain things done. I want to do the right thing but not having the right equipment for the job at hand compounds the difficulty. I personally find this extremely frustrating, as it happens on numerous sites. I know this because I get posted on numerous sites.

    3. Also, wage rate should go up in small increments yearly. Reward the employees that do care. There hasn't been an increase in four years and the request is reasonable.

    Would paying a higher wage rate get you someone with better qualifications? Possibly. At least there is that possibility SIS could attract people with more life/work experience offering a slightly higher starting wage. There's no doubt SIS is making a handsome profit as a sub-contractor for Amazon. The people at the top know it.

    In the beginning SIS was great with their pay rate. Now, it's on the verge of falling behind and it hasn't kept up. Everything in our personal lives goes up i.e., rent, insurance, cost of living, especially in the Seattle area.

    4. And finally, the Recruiting Dept could do a much better job with the QUALITY of the prospective employees they hire. It seems like much of SIS's money is spent on that vicious cycle of hiring/firing. What a waste. Maybe recruiters are lacking experience/wisdom in their own right. Hiring someone who's never had any experience could be somewhat of a red flag. And that does appear to be the case with some of the force currently working.

    Advice to Management

    Address "key" issues. If someone has a valid suggestion, don't just dismiss it. There have been suggestions submitted I'm sure, that get little to no attention. Before you know it another year has come and gone with little change.

    I have personally conversed with Field Training Specialists when they were regular specialists and valid points were brought concerning key issues/areas that need improvement. These issues seem to be ongoing and never get addressed.

    There are enough site supervisors and Watch Commanders. What do they do when they get together? Do they discuss these key issues that need attention? They are the ones with the power that can make the change.

    SIS does have that potential to be the best. I think it's a team effort, most definitely. There are a lot of Specialists that do care including myself and want to do the best job that they can every single day. It is a great company overall and I appreciate the learning curve given by upper management as we all continually learn what's expected by trial and error as some of us have never done security so it is a learning, hands on experience.

    Then you have those very few specialists that just don't care what so ever. They give SIS a bad name. They stink it up and it's hard to change that perception with the Client. It takes a lot of work to change the mind of someone who has had a bad experience.

    As for myself, I take this job very seriously. The kind of exposure that we have as Security on this campus daily is huge, across the board in all the buildings. No one should underestimate how important our responsibility is. It's a privilege. Amazon IS watching..


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Company has a lot of potential, but needs to improve in some big ways"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Security Specialist in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Security Specialist in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Security Industry Specialists full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    1. Great schedule flexibility. Perfect for parents, students, artists, and aspiring entrepreneurs.

    2. Lots of overtime opportunities. Like to live at work and stack fat paychecks? You can do that here also.

    3. A decent open-door policy, in which employees (specialists, especially) are able and encouraged to escalate their concerns, complaints, and requests high up the corporate ladder.

    4. Easy. As a security specialist, your duties are pretty limited in scope and the learning curve is pretty low. Although some posts are definitely more stressful and active than others, I think on average, the workload is lighter than most occupations (e.g. food industry, sales, etc...).

    5. Diverse. Despite high-profile criticisms of SIS for workplace discrimination, the reality is that SIS has one of the most diverse employee bases I've seen in Seattle. The company seems to do an adequate job of accommodating religious practices, and I've never experienced bigotry or discrimination at the job (I'm a PoC). Most of the complaints of discrimination come from disgruntled former employees who were terminated for legit reasons, but who want to play victim after the fact. This is the reality, although I'm not suggesting that a few bad apples in SIS leadership are incapable of discrimination or bigotry (it can happen anywhere).

    6. Opportunities to move up. SIS's Seattle site has lots of opportunities to move up and into leadership, training, alarm dispatching, and a few other admin positions.

    7. Decent benefits for an entry-level security job.

    Cons

    1. Ridiculous "blanket" penalties. If one specialist messes up, everyone is punished. This is an irrational "military-style" policy that has terrible effects on morale, and makes it seem like no matter how hard you work, someone else's mistakes will invalidate your efforts (it doesn't work the other way around). Many accommodations and privileges have been revoked for EVERYBODY because a few employees violated policy... and instead of simply counseling/punishing the offending employees, punitive measures are levied on EVERYONE. Very unfair. Very ineffective. Very irrational.

    2. Standing posts: Most corporate lobby posts require specialists to stand for 6.5-7 hours out of an 8 hour shift. Although stools and chairs were provided previously, they were eliminated for reasons I specified in (1). This has resulted in an increase in the rate of call-offs and a severe decrease in morale. Not only that, it looks weird and unprofessional to the client. On numerous occasions, I've had visitors, vendors, and employees ask why they force us to stand awkwardly in lobbies. Likewise, I've had visitors, vendors, and employees express concern about my well being. The fact that this "no sitting" policy is so rigidly enforced leads me to believe someone in leadership is helplessly disconnected to public perception and the experiences of specialists on the ground. There isn't a GOOD reason why stools aren't allowed at lobby posts -- the negatives certainly outweigh any positives.

    3. Poor training. Although the learning-curve is relatively low, the fact remains, training is atrocious. Much of the training material is outdated; many of the trainers aren't well-versed in correct policy; the duration of the initial training period is far too short. Specialists are expected to "sink or swim," essentially.

    4. Terrible employee vetting. Most of my personal frustrations with SIS haven't come from supervisors, but rather, other specialists. Bad attitudes and bad work ethics plague SIS's Seattle deployment and make life very difficult for employees who want to run a tight ship. While this issue is beginning to be addressed thanks to an increase of supervision, the fact remains, SIS is getting what it pays for (which leads me to my next point):

    5. Terrible pay. Several years ago, SIS's pay was considered above average for the industry. But this isn't the case anymore thanks to the rising cost of living in Seattle as well as minimum wage increases. Soon, SIS will have a tough time competing with McDonald's. I think PAYING MORE for BETTER LABOR would solve this issue to a large extent.

    6. Toxic company culture. Although there are many competent and helpful supervisors and excellent Watch Commanders on campus, SIS's culture is haunted by low morale and distrust. Because SIS refuses to pay a decent wage and invest in training, they get bottom-of-the-barrel specialists. Because they get bottom-of-the-barrel specialists, leadership becomes frustrated and loses faith in the specialists. This dynamic creates an atmosphere in which everyone is viewed with suspicion, including hardworking specialists. Leadership has even used poor specialist performance (in the aggregate) to justify not fighting for better wages for their professional and above-average employees. Thus, the cycle continues.

    Advice to Management

    (1): Stop punishing everyone for the sins of the few. If a few specialists are consistently violating policy or inappropriately taking advantage of freedoms/privileges, ONLY FOCUS ON THOSE EMPLOYEES and leave everyone else alone.

    (2) Get stools at lobby posts ASAP. They WILL NOT decrease mobility in any significant way. They DO NOT look unprofessional (quite the opposite). They WILL decrease call-offs and turnover rate. Supervisors, scheduling, and specialists will thank you.

    (3) Invest in digital training material/post orders that can be updated from a centralized location and accessed remotely via online employee accounts (i.e. a wiki). The fact that most post orders and training material are outdated is unacceptable.

    (4), (5) & (6): Start paying more to increase employee retention rate and improve your vetting processes and procedures for hiring. Become competitive again. Invest in your employees and actually give a damn, and they will invest back into the company & give a damn. And from a purely financial standpoint, I imagine decreasing turnover rate will positively impact the company's bottom-line in the long run, even if it's expensive initially.


  6. "Former Security Specialist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Security Specialist in Sunnyvale, CA
    Former Employee - Security Specialist in Sunnyvale, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    This company has good benefits. There is the ability to move up with this company if you show the experience and knowledge.

    Cons

    This company has a lack of communication when it comes to scheduling. There is no consideration taken on behalf of the management to talk to their employees before a decision is made about their schedules. This company makes it known to their employees by making threats that if an employee doesn't like a particular post then they are told to either resign their employment or move to a FLEX position which does not allow for a 40 hour work week.

    Advice to Management

    Management needs to be more forthcoming in scheduling changes. There needs to be open communication regarding open job postings within in the company and not to only people that have shown "perfect" attendance, attitude, or appearance (Three A's) that the company so highly stresses to its employees.


  7. "On the right path"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Security Specialist in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Security Specialist in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Security Industry Specialists (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Company actually cares about their clients and providing good service. Company is smart about the contracts they pick up and uses that to provide a solid foundation for setting themselves up for success.

    Cons

    Account manager was inexperienced and made poor decisions. There was no local managerial support staff to help him and understand local market to obtain best value for company.

    Advice to Management

    Revamp recruiting methods for entry level employees. With the wages they pay, they can get much higher quality than what they had.

  8. "Ok"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Security Specialist
    Current Employee - Security Specialist
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Security Industry Specialists full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great team and a fairly good schedule if you manage to bid at the right time. Pay is good and it's nice to have PTO.

    Cons

    They preach certain policy's like no toleration for sleeping on the job but when someone is caught doing this multiple times nothing is done.

    Advice to Management

    Follow through.


  9. "Gets your foot in the door"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Safety and Security Specialist in South Jordan, UT
    Former Employee - Safety and Security Specialist in South Jordan, UT
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Security Industry Specialists (More than a year)

    Pros

    Pay, Leadership, Training, Values, Culture

    Cons

    Hours, Constant OT, Not enough recognition, bad benefits

    Advice to Management

    Fix some of the Cons, reduce turnover, more benefits


  10. "Great company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Security Specialist
    Current Employee - Security Specialist
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Security Industry Specialists full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I've had the opportunity to work on two different contracts and across the board, management has been great. If you're willing to put in the work, they'll assist you and work around your schedule as they can. The benefits for full time employees are very competitive with other companies.

    Cons

    One of my main dislikes is that as minimum wage and cost of living have gone up, the pay for specialists has not increased to stay competitive. It's getting harder and harder to find living arrangements close to work without spending over half my monthly pay. Even if I were to live further away for cheaper, my fuel consumption in my car would raise significantly.

    Advice to Management

    I've worked on two contracts with SIS, and I love working for this company. But, to be completely honest, finding housing that I can afford staying under an hour drive to work, is getting harder and harder.

    I haven't seen a contract base pay increase in almost 4 years, and even when that happened there was a group of specialists that had received a merit raise months before and lost it because they did not also get the contract raise, putting them back on the same pay scale as the other specialists who got the contract raise. Basically null and voiding the fact that SIS appreciated their hard work and dedication to doing above and beyond.

    Security Industry Specialists Response

    Jan 17, 2017 – Social Media Marketing Manager

    We're so happy you love the benefits SIS offers, and feel supported here. In regards to your concern about pay increases: pay on sites are a conversation between us and our clients. We understand the... More