Personnel Turnover

Posted May 15th, 2007 by

Personnel turnover has to be the bane of life as a contractor in the DC area. As soon as you get somebody hired and trained, they’re out the door, taking the life of the project that they started with them. I think the average is less than a year.

I’m really rare. I’ve worked with the same company for 4.5 years. That’s an eternity in the environment I’m in. Granted I took a “little vacation” to “someplace sunny” in 1994, but still, I came back.

There are a couple of reasons that we have such a high turnover rate in the area:

  • The demand is high and the supply of good security people is low. That means that the salaries are going up just as fast.
  • Because salaries are so high, there is a very sizeable gap between entry-level positions and the top positions. HR raise formulas don’t compensate for this, so the only way to get a good salary increase year after year is to job-hop.
  • Key personnel change at your company? No problem, you can very easily land somewhere more friendly. There isn’t much encouragement to stick around and work out your differences.

Like I say all the time, there are 2 job markets for me as a security professional: DC and the rest of the world.

As for why I’ve been at the same place for over 4 years, well, I hop around from project to project and site to site inside the company. In some ways, I’m letting the staffing burn rate make opportunities for me.

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Posted in Rants, The Guerilla CISO | 1 Comment »

One Response

  1.  halon73 Says:

    Well I have had the interesting experience of seeing DC from outside the fishbowl! I think that the folks that run the companies want the turn over. Benefits can be kept low and salaries don’t necessarily rise with a flow of folks who run through companies. But the thing that got me is when I heard that it really is slave labor. You get someone in who is young or old and work them 90 hours a week at the same rate then they leave and you turn over to a new person. Net effect is that the 80k you paid gets you two workers for one! Here the standard is to put your 40 in and your done for the week. Not that I think that is a good thing either.

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