Leaders in risk and security: As long as there are people, there will be risk

Issue 5 2020 Editor's Choice

Jenny Reid is a self-made success. She started her career in the security industry working as a PA for Griffiths & Associates, run by another well-known name in the South African security market, Howard Griffiths. Today she heads iFacts as well as 50 Plus Skills and The Orange (web links are included at the end of the article). Jenny is also a regular on the conference circuit as a speaker and facilitator.

Jenny Reid is a self-made success. She started her career in the security industry working as a PA for Griffiths & Associates, run by another well-known name in the South African security market, Howard Griffiths. Today she heads iFacts as well as 50 Plus Skills and The Orange (web links are included at the end of the article). Jenny is also a regular on the conference circuit as a speaker and facilitator.

Her initial stint as PA quickly ended as she entered the operational part of the business and took part in traditional investigations, including tasks such as undercover surveillance and operations. Eventually she bought into the company, which was renamed Griffiths-Reid, with Jenny as managing director.

While involved in investigations, Jenny says she saw that employees were often involved in fraud, either directly or as a support to third parties, and the victims only knew about this after the crime was committed. This created a passion in Jenny for understanding the human risk and how to assist organisations in avoiding those risks as far as possible.

In 2009, iFacts was born as Jenny bought the division out from Griffiths-Reid and set up an independent company. In developing her employee screening and vetting business, her aim was to create a company that allowed her to work from anywhere – a necessity in her busy life. Little did she know that in 2020 most of the world would suddenly be faced with the need to make remote working a reality en masse.

Growth over the years

iFacts started small with Jenny and one additional employee, and has now grown to a company employing 12 people. One of the strengths the company possessed from the start was adaptability, she says, meaning that so much of their work can be done online that an office is not really a necessity to ensure operations and customer service continues.

As it turns out, the pandemic has made her experience in setting up this type of operation valuable. As noted above, many companies have implemented work-from-home (WFH) policies, only to find that selecting the right people for this task is as important as making sure they have access to the organisation’s digital resources. How are top remote workers motivated to be productive when the boss isn’t always checking up on them?

This does not mean the traditional iFacts’ services are no longer required. Over the years, the services have expanded and today include a wide portfolio of options to assist organisations in mitigating the risks involved in hiring people. The services on offer include:

• Employee screening, vetting and verification services.

• Online employee engagement tools.

• Integrity and behavioural assessments.

• Coaching and wellness.

• Social media risk management (which is becoming an increasingly important, if not critical, service today where posts from a decade ago can destroy a career and cause companies financial and reputational harm).

An increasing network

As mentioned, Jenny’s work took her far and wide, including beyond the basic focus on iFacts. She is a regular speaker at conferences in the security as well as the HR and risk markets. Of course, while iFacts started in South Africa, Jenny has been asked to speak at conferences in various countries around the globe about the importance of vetting and screening.

Jenny was also the president of the Security Association of South Africa (SASA) for 10 years and was instrumental in growing the organisation. She says her years as president were busy, but she was able to grow her network tremendously, which delivered positive results way beyond her presidential term.

The market today

Thinking that the market iFacts serves would have changed over the years is a mistake. While there are new services on offer – such as the social media risk management mentioned previously – the basics are still just as important. Jenny laments that far too many people believe that pre-employment screening is simply a criminal record check. In reality, there is so much more than that.

As an aside, Jenny asks whether criminal records will remain a reason not to employ people in future. The reason is COVID-19; thousands of people will end up with a criminal record for breaking the lockdown rules. That won’t be a problem if you get a job as a member of parliament, but what about the real world? Will this be a good reason not to employ them?

Jenny adds that screening and vetting will become even more important in future as unemployment soars and people are more desperate than ever to get a job – and the syndicates offer new identities, fake education qualifications and certificates, and crystal-clear criminal records.

The process of screening and vetting is not an exercise of ticking the box, but must also go into more detail to ensure individuals are suited to their jobs and will be sustainable, productive employees in the long term. Again, the move to WFH policies changes things.


Jenny Reid

Jobs of the future

Just as the workplace has changed and the skills and attributes companies look for in new hires have also changed, Jenny explains that the job market and careers of the future have also changed. Young people looking to their future need to look beyond the traditions of their parents and what they learn in school.

When the previous generation started their working lives, it was the norm to try for a job at a bank or in government because it was a stable job with a good pension. The outlook right now is that not even the comfortable jobs in the employ of the state are ‘jobs for life’. Moreover, kids in grade 1 and 2 today are expected to grow into careers we haven’t even heard of – careers, not jobs. Moreover, they are expected to have between five and seven careers (again, careers not jobs) over the course of their working lives.

Jenny adds that it is no longer a safe choice to think, for example, that you will become a teacher and be in a job for life.

You need to make sure your skills are adaptable beyond one specific industry. In particular, soft skills are fast becoming more important in the diverse world we live in. iFacts has an infographic on ‘Skills of the Future’ at www.securitysa.com/*ifacts1. Young people need to take note of what is happening in the world. Many companies do research into the future and publish papers on expected futures and the performance of their industries. These are an invaluable resource to determine which industries are growing and creating jobs.

It’s also worth noting, she adds, that the need to adapt and evolve with the reality ‘out there’ applies to industries as well. If you can’t adapt and change, you will struggle to survive.

For more information on the companies Jenny is involved with, go to:

https://www.ifacts.co.za

https://theorangesa.co.za

https://www.50plus-skills.co.za


Credit(s)





Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page



Further reading:

Autonomous construction site protection
Editor's Choice Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection
Ajax provides an autonomous security solution for a German construction site that is easy and flexible to install. It provides security against intrusions and theft via a 360-degree view.

Read more...
SMART and secure estates in Cape Town
Technews Publishing Axis Communications SA Gallagher DeepAlert Nemtek Electric Fencing Products Editor's Choice
In February 2024, SMART Security Solutions emigrated to the Western Cape to host its first SMART Estate Security Conference in the region in many years. For the day, we took over the prestigious D’Aria Wine Estate.

Read more...
Integrated, mobile access control
SA Technologies Entry Pro Technews Publishing Access Control & Identity Management
SMART Security Solutions spoke to SA Technologies to learn more about what is happening in the estate access world and what the company offers the residential estate market.

Read more...
New ransomware using BitLocker to encrypt data
Technews Publishing Information Security Residential Estate (Industry)
Kaspersky has identified ransomware attacks using Microsoft’s BitLocker to attempt encryption of corporate files. It can detect specific Windows versions and enable BitLocker according to those versions.

Read more...
SMART Estate Security returns to KZN
Nemtek Electric Fencing Products Technews Publishing Axis Communications SA OneSpace Editor's Choice News & Events Integrated Solutions IoT & Automation
The second SMART Estate Security Conference of 2024 was held in May in KwaZulu-Natal at the Mount Edgecombe Estate Conference Centre, which is located on the Estate’s pristine golf course.

Read more...
Creating employment through entrepreneurship
Technews Publishing Marathon Consulting Editor's Choice Integrated Solutions Residential Estate (Industry)
Eduardo Takacs’s journey is a testament to bona fide entrepreneurial resilience, making him stand out in a country desperate for resilient businesses in the small and medium enterprise space that can create employment opportunities.

Read more...
From the editor's desk: Just gooi a cable
Technews Publishing News & Events
      Welcome to the 2024 edition of the SMART Estate Security Handbook. We focus on a host of topics, and this year’s issue also has a larger-than-normal Product Showcase section. Perhaps the vendors are ...

Read more...
Kaspersky finds 24 vulnerabilities in biometric access systems
Technews Publishing Information Security
Customers urged to update firmware. Kaspersky has identified numerous flaws in the hybrid biometric terminal produced by international manufacturer ZKTeco, allowing a nefarious actor to bypass the verification process and gain unauthorised access.

Read more...
2024 Southern Africa OSPAs winners announced
Editor's Choice
The 2024 Southern Africa Outstanding Security Performance Awards (OSPAs) winners were revealed on Tuesday, June 11th, at the Securex South Africa Seminar Theatre hosted by SMART Security Solutions.

Read more...
Resident management app shows significant growth
Editor's Choice
My Estate Life is a mobile app for residents and managers in housing estates and buildings. Its core aim is to be an easy gateway for residents to manage visitors and staff, and to communicate and administer general property in a simple interface.

Read more...