Bridging the Gap Between Human Resources and Security: Strategies for Partnership

Sometimes it takes an unfortunate event to inspire change. For Melissa Muir, a Human Resources (HR) professional committed to bridging the gap between security and HR, this realization came to her as she was about to embark on an employee termination – but one that was potentially very dangerous. From this incident, she was drawn to learn more about workplace security and to find ways for HR and security departments to collaborate more closely together. She further pursued opportunities to learn how HR can participate in security by joining the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (ATAP) where she learned the value of collaboration across department lines in operating a threat management program.

In this episode, Muir explains how Human Resources is one of the most underutilized ingredients in holistically assessing a threat and enhancing workplace safety. HR personnel often see signs of troubling behavior early on in an employee’s journey, whether it be signs of deception in the interview process or signals of ill intent during a 90- day review with a manager. Tying these two areas together allows for collaboration when something doesn’t feel quite right, and it doesn’t take a seasoned security professional to realize Muir’s wise words — “you can’t paint a red flag green.”

Melissa Muir has been a Human Resources professional in the U.S. courts for 25 years, including the federal court in the State of Washington. She is currently the HR Director for her hometown of Shoreline, just north of Seattle. Informed by threat management principles, Melissa is passionate about bridging the gap between security and human resources to improve the safety and health of our organizations. Melissa is the Past President of the Northwest Chapter of ATAP and serves on the national sponsorship committee. Melissa has served as an instructor at the Gavin De Becker & Associates’ Advanced Threat Academy with Gabby Thompson, an Ontic Protective Intelligence Pioneer.