From one man to 90 staff: Huge success for Lismore business
Excellent communications skills are preferred over muscle when it comes to finding the right staff, according to a rapidly growing Northern Rivers security firm.
In the three years since it was founded, Herne's Security Solutions' innovative approach has seen the business grow, and its directors attribute their success to the high quality of their locally recruited personnel and suppliers.
Several years ago, Josh Herne, 28, and Levi Loughlin, 32, met while working for other security providers.
"Then Josh took a leap and started his own business which really impressed me," Mr Loughlin said.
"Very quickly by himself in three months he gained extreme traction, I wanted to work with him when I saw what he was doing, it was really innovative."
Now the dynamic duo have grown the business to have around 90 staff, with offices in Tweed Heads, Lismore, Byron Bay, Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie, a fleet of patrol vehicles and they are currently expanding into Queensland and the Northern Territory.
"Our clients have included Lismore City Council, Richmond Valley Council, Centrelink and Services Australian, Services NSW and Bunnings Australia," he said.
"And our CCTV and patrols services are growing fast."
Mr Loughlin said with COVID-19, it was often down to security staff to enforce the NSW Health and Australian Government regulations on behalf of their hospitality clients, so top-notch communication skills were essential.
He said a critical element had been to hire the best people and treat them well.
He said around 20 per cent of their staff were indigenous and women made up around 15 per cent.
"We pay way above the award for the best people and all our security staff are outstanding," he said.
"Being well treated and having the opportunity to work full time was not common when we started and now the majority of are staff have been there since the get go."
A decision to move away from the usual 'bouncer look' of black-on-black with a more corporate appearance had been well received by clients, Mr Herne said.
"Our uniform is a blue dress shirt, nice chinos and leather boots," he said.
"We purchase everything from local suppliers and really stand out."
Mr Herne said the firm gave back to the community through sponsorship of sporting clubs and events.
"In a year where the security industry has done well and others have taken a hit, we are happy to support our community," he said.
"This year we are sponsoring a women's soccer team at South Lismore Celtic FC and we sponsor Shikinah Roberts who is a young indigenous basketballer."
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