Larry Heathcott, president of Clarion Security LLC, started his business venture in Memphis in 2009 with three accounts. It rapidly ballooned to more than 20 accounts in three states.
Clarion’s success is based on respect for individuals and the community, Heathcott said. Keeping this in mind, he set guidelines to help him find the best employees.
“We’re 100 percent into treating our officers well,” Heathcott said. “We offer health care options – give employees sick time when they need it for themselves or their children. We also do more to screen our officers. We drug test them every three months, and we background check them every six months.”
Believing in the old adage “you get what you pay for,” Heathcott doesn’t ask his security officers to work for minimum wage, he said. He tells his clients that if they’re only willing to pay the minimum, they shouldn’t be surprised when they get minimum effort from employees.
“The bulk of my work is $8.50 or above per hour for the officer,” Heathcott said. “You can’t even work and catch your breath for $7.25 per hour. Gas is high. The cost of living is high. So I go to the clients and tell them if they want a body here for cheap, they can find one, but they’re probably not going to stay long. … We pay officers a better wage because if you do more to make somebody feel good about working for $8.50 per hour, they’ll stay, and if they stay, I can go back to the client in six months or a year and get the officer a raise.”
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