Daniëlle, that photograph looks like you mean business!
(Laughs) “I’m the general manager of a security company. Not a profession for wimps! I’d like to show Rotterdam that D&B has a solid footprint here and provides a strong security service. It’s a privilege to work at the World Port Center, WTC, Groot Handelsgebouw, Stedin and Delftse Poort. All are clients with real roots in Rotterdam and iconic buildings that we’re proud to keep secure. And we’re keen to supply our security services to more clients as well.”
What is it that makes D&B’s security concept so special?
“Hospitality and a customer focus are what drive us. D&B Security is part of D&B The Facility Group and, like all its divisions, was founded on the conviction that clients deserve the best in quality. The ‘5-star experience’, we call it, and that sets us apart in the security landscape.”
“Our take on security is fresh and different, and we have a clear focus: on ambitious corporate clients and property owners. Most are based in metropolitan centres, so we’ve been active in Rotterdam for years. We’re keen to expand our portfolio as well, to clients who want to approach security from a different perspective.”
“When hiring, we apply a specific selection policy to ensure we tap the best applicants. I’m looking for security personnel who will strictly follow protocols while also keeping abreast of the latest developments in our field. At the same time, authenticity is essential. You have to follow rules, but also listen to your feelings and intuition.”
What drives you, personally, to work in the security sector?
“I started my career in fashion and later event organization, and that has certainly given me a different angle on this work. When I started working in security, I was surprised by the lack of change. It’s a male-dominated world and had a fairly bad image. Supply was largely price-driven, there was no innovation to speak of, and the motto was: ‘In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king’. When D&B set up our Security division, we felt we could do quite a lot better.”
“I’m out in the field a lot as that’s where it all happens. It’s a privilege to be able to forge so many individuals into a close-knit team and work with colleagues to invest our energy for clients. No two days are the same. What I enjoy most is coaching my managers and team leaders on their leadership skills – on how to keep that personal focus on our people in the field. The minute those people turn into a personnel number, you’re well and truly lost, if you ask me. We set a very high bar, by deploying security guards who are fit in body and mind but also a bit independent-minded.”
“You don’t want people in this job who just blindly follow orders. You need to be able to act forcefully. But we also want you to be yourself. To show who you are, and your intrinsic motivations. ‘Only dead fish go with the flow’, I always say!”
Lastly, Covid-19 has been a game changer in many regards. What are the lessons for security, and what will it mean going forward?
“We’ve been incredibly busy. Many buildings emptied out and there was greater demand for security, but also for a different kind of security. Our people had to shift towards facility and safety support, and that has led us to develop new concepts for our clients. A good example is our ‘safety host’. That’s someone who welcomes office workers and explains how to use the space safely. And, don’t forget, there’s been a breakthrough in the use of sensors and smart cameras. Technology is becoming ever easier to integrate into our services, and it’s improving them. We firmly believe technology exists to serve humans, not the other way around.”
“The most important effect of the pandemic, I think, has been the appreciation for our people. Security has proved to be a crucial job. Suddenly, it was clear our work contributes to keeping corporate Holland safe and healthy. That’s positive. It means more people will choose this great profession. And our clients will benefit.”