High security with a smile

PHOTO: High security with a smile

What you need

Entry requirements to be a security concierge in Certis Cisco:

At least N-levels

Enthusiasm and discipline

Present oneself well

Well-groomed, with short hair and short nails

Career prospects:

Applicants looking to join Certis Cisco can start as security concierges after completing several training programmes, and may go on to become senior security concierges.

Individuals who stand out may be selected to also take on the secondary role of close protection personnel, protecting local and foreign VIPs.

For individuals who show ability and hard work, there is an opportunity to move to managerial and supervisory positions, such as that of security executive.

Customer service and security are not usually associated with each other.

The security concierges of Certis Cisco aim to change this perception.

Singapore's largest private security corporation's new breed of personnel are young, well-groomed, and armed with both charm and protection skills - a far cry from the "job for retirees" impression usually associated with the security industry.

"The job of a security concierge is a step above that of a regular security guard. We provide top-notch customer service and security for high-end events and clients," said Mr Muhd Faizal Ambiak, 23, senior security concierge and security executive at Certis Cisco.

Mr Faizal carries himself with a poise and maturity far beyond his years, exemplary of this new breed of customer-centric security personnel.

When asked what drew him to the job, he said: "I've always been quite a big guy, and was interested in martial arts from a young age. In addition, I like helping people.

"This job is a constructive outlet, allowing me to use my passion and talent to help others."

He said: "There is a common misconception that security personnel are rough and not well-educated (he said this? - change made). My team and I have gone some way in correcting that.

"We always smile and try to blend in so patrons at events do not feel intimidated by our presence. There have been times when I have talked to patrons who mistake me for regular event management staff.

"They are always pleasantly surprised to find out that I am a security concierge from Certis Cisco."

But Mr Faizal's pleasant and reassuring demeanour belies his discipline and ability to protect.

He was formerly a bouncer before joining Certis Cisco, and is trained in various martial arts such as taekwondo, muay thai, Brazilian jujitsu and, most recently, hapkido.

He said: "Of course, I never use martial arts as a weapon - only as a means of defence."

Mr Faizal's ability has not gone unnoticed.

Fast Promotion

He started off as a part-time protection officer, and has been promoted four times in just two years.

He now also has a special role as a close protection personnel, where he is essentially a bodyguard to local and visiting VIPs, who have included Fifa chairman Sepp Blatter and pop-stars A1, Blue and 98 Degrees.

His role as a security executive also sees him overseeing junior security concierges, which shows that hard work and ability do result in opportunities for career progression to managerial or supervisory roles at Certis Cisco.

He said: "I believe that if you give 100 per cent, you will not go unrecognised. People will notice your effort, from the man on the ground to management.

"Sometimes the job gets tough, especially when facing the occasional difficult patron. I used to have an anger management problem, but with the help of my bosses, I overcame that and learned to react using customer service skills."

Being a security concierge at Certis Cisco comes with benefits.

Medical benefits for employees and their families are provided, and there are schemes including bursary awards, performance incentives, corporate passes to national attractions like the Singapore Flyer, and access to recreational facilities at the HQ such as a gym and futsal court.

Mr Faisal said: "Each new event is a learning experience. It's a very rewarding job, especially since making the client happy makes me happy. A compliment from the client can put a smile on my whole team's faces."

He has this piece of advice for anyone aspiring for a job like his: "Find a job that is suitable for you, and is to your liking. Right now there are many companies offering good pay, but look for a company that offers you better long-term prospects and a good career path."