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ISJ Influencer 2022: Mike Hurst, Director, HJA Consult


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A big part of my ‘day job’ is executive recruitment in the security and fire profession and when the first lockdown happened, there was certainly much less activity as companies took stock of the situation.

I am not a volume recruiter; I choose to focus on individual assignments and, now, post-pandemic (hopefully), I am at a ‘normal’ level of activity. Whilst, in many ways, not much has changed, it feels many companies are taking a more strategic view of recruitment with the need to get the ‘right person’ more important than ever. I suspect and hope this will continue to be the case in 2023.

The security world is close to being back to normal, with the events getting back to full strength. It’s still quite a crowded market in the UK, but I cannot see that changing anything soon. I also intend to attend some overseas events, ASIS Europe in Rotterdam and GSX in Dallas and maybe others. I spoke at the equivalent events in Prague and Atlanta this year and maintaining that global network is so important from a business perspective: I actually enjoyed a beverage or two with the ISJ team in Atlanta!

My volunteer roles take up over half my time these days. IFPO (The International Foundation for Protection Officers), with the support of an excellent UK & Ireland Advisory Board, is championing education/certification, career pathways and supporting Wellbeing and Mental Health for frontline security officers.

Security officers are on the frontline on both a security and a customer experience basis and ensuring they have the training and skills to meet increasingly demanding roles is crucial for them and for the whole profession. A skilled, motivated and well-paid workforce is good for everyone and when we are talking to end users and contract companies, we are, generally, pushing against an open door, or at the very least, one that is ajar.

The new Security Minds Matter project, supported by the Security Industry Authority has, after a year’s planning, now kicked off and we are hoping we can make some tangible, positive changes to the looming mental health issues. Talking of pushing against open doors, when I suggested to ASIS International that we could do with a Wellbeing Forum, they were happy to oblige and we now have over 100 members of the Mental Health and Wellness Working Group on ASIS Connects, their community platform.

So, much accomplished in 2022, but much yet to do in 2023.


Mike Hurst CPP, CPOI, MSyI has worked in the security and fire profession for over thirty years, initially in business development and general management, before moving into executive security recruitment in 1992 with HJA Consult. Mike is Director of the International Foundation for Protection Officers (IFPO) in the UK and Ireland, Secretary of the ASIS International Extremism and Political Instability Community (EPIC) and a member of its global Awards Committee. Mike established the Security Minds Matter project, supported by the SIA, to make improvements to mental health and wellbeing issues affecting security professionals.

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