Pensioners and women close the ‘gap’ in the ranks of professional security guards
How security companies are struggling with a shortage of personnel due to partial mobilisation and the flow of volunteers to the special military operation
The partial mobilisation has “drained” PSCs across Russia a few months ago, but representatives of this type of business in Tatarstan complain about personnel problems only on condition of anonymity, and officially assure that they do not have a shortage of workers. Realnoe Vremya — about the real security situation, the “aging” of employees of security companies, and the role of women in ensuring security in children's educational institutions.
Cadres have gone to the “front”
“The beginning of partial mobilisation led to a sharp shortage of personnel in Russian private security companies," Igor Mikhaltsov, the executive director of the Union of Private Enterprises in the Field of Security “Peacemaker Commonwealth”, explained to Realnoe Vremya.
Employees of many Kazan private security companies confirm the lack of specialists. Moreover, the PSCs felt the first signs of a shortage of personnel already at the beginning of March — in the first month of their work, when some of the employees signed up as contract employees. And with the beginning of mobilisation, the ranks of the guards thinned again — those who came to work after serving in the army were called up. New employees, of course, are recruited, but not always with the proper experience. However, this affected not all firms.
“We did not feel any problems with personnel in connection with the special military operation and mobilisation," assured the director of Professional PSC in Kazan Aleksey Tsarevsky. “None of our employees have been mobilised, everything is in place. People who have been trained in security guard training centres and schools come to work for us — professionals.
According to Tsarevsky, his company does not hire people with a dark past or poorly trained, and they could not: they take with a license and only those who are checked through the information centre of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
However, Tsarevsky added that the shortage of personnel in PSCs “has always been there”: “People want to sit and do nothing, do not want to move, do not want to walk, control the protected area, monitor public order, observe people's behaviour.
And now, in the light of all sorts of incidents, when there are incidents here and there, it is very important.
Kazan is far from Izhevsk
At the time of preparation of the article, more than 50 vacancies in Kazan security organisations and almost a hundred vacancies in Tatarstan could be counted in the public domain. And in many cases, the guards were offered a salary of up to 80-85 thousand rubles. This allows us to conclude that good security guards are now in price. And what is in short supply is always in price, so the conclusion is that the local PSCs still have personnel problems.
However, the situation in our region is still better than in some neighbouring regions. For example, the media wrote back in March that in Izhevsk the shortage of licensed security guards did not allow all children's educational institutions to be protected by PSCs.
In Kazan, according to the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Tatarstan, 100% of kindergartens and schools are under protection, in large cities — about 80%, and in general in the republic — about 60%.
“A significant part of the young people of conscription experience has been mobilised”
The PSCs felt the second wave of serious personnel losses in September. “This happened due to that a significant part of the young people of conscription experience was mobilised. However, now the situation is getting better, it is almost the same as it was before the mobilisation," Igor Mikhaltsov said.
At the same time, the problem affected not only Tatarstan, but the whole of Russia: “After all, private security companies are everywhere, security services are required everywhere, and people today work without being tied to their place of residence. For example, we have employees from both Saratov Oblast and Rostov Oblast.” Each security company solves the problems of personnel starvation in its own way: somewhere more successfully, somewhere less. “There has been no shortage of personnel in our organisation for about a month: people of a different age have come — older.”
How has such a replacement of specialists affected the efficiency of PSCs? So “older” is weaker and with a less acute reaction?
No, I think it has not affected the quality of security services. As a rule, people who were previously somehow connected with the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and retired, or young people who served in the army but have not yet found their vocation in other areas," the source assured the publication.
The PSCs do not hide that the shortage of employees that arose as a result of the mobilisation of men had to be closed at the expense of women.
“Yes, women work for us, but it's not bad. Moreover, there are such facilities, for example schools, kindergartens, where a female guard, not a male guard, looks more appropriate — women are more loyal and look more harmoniously there than men. And they perform their functions perfectly if they have the necessary training," Mikhaltsov is convinced.
At the same time, it will not work here to close the personnel “gap” with guest workers, as is customary in many other industries.
“According to the law, we cannot hire guest workers as security guards. And this is probably correct — we have repeatedly observed outbursts of hooliganism, illegal actions on their part. But in general, this is a difficult question, I am definitely not ready to answer it now — it needs to be studied," the expert believes.
Age is not a hindrance, the hindrance is the absence of a “capsule”
Discussing with Mikhaltsov about the age and gender composition of the staff after they were “altered” by the special military operation and partial mobilisation, the correspondent recalled the tragic situation in Kazan Gymnasium No. 175, where an elderly guard was on duty, who tried but could not protect the students. And then it turned out that age and strength are not the main thing for effective protection at all:
“In situations like the one that arose in Kazan gymnasium No. 175, the age of the guard would not matter — it is unlikely that a younger employee would react differently," said Igor Mikhaltsov. “If we want to exclude the recurrence of such tragedies, we must exclude direct contact of the guards at the entrance with the people they control. Some special room should be allocated for them, which protects them from attack — relatively speaking, a bulletproof capsule. Then, in the event of an attack, there will be no surprise effect, and the guard will certainly have time to react correctly, that is, press the “alarm button”, call for help, and then try to neutralise the attacker. In the 175th gymnasium, everything happened quickly and spontaneously: a man came in, shot and went on.
Alas, the latest data released by the Mayor's Office of Kazan indicate the absence of protective “capsules” in 20% of city schools and kindergartens. At the end of the last academic year, 66 institutions were equipped with full-fledged security points for PSC employees, by the beginning of 2022, the authorities promised to increase their number to 80%.