What should you be looking for when you hire a top Security Guard Company? At Brosnan Risk Consultants we have minimum criteria that we consider when we hire someone new to fill one of our security officer positions. Our hiring process, advanced training, proprietary communications systems, and experience are what ultimately set us apart from our competition, but at the heart of what we do is our commitment to developing better security officers. Better Security Officers are better at deterring crime and better at retail loss prevention. In the competitive world of security services, a security guard company is only as good as their security personnel.
Basic Requirements for Hiring the Best Security Officers
So what should the minimum requirements be when you are looking for a security officer for business or property? Here are some requirements that we think are important to be considered for a spot on the security team:
- Have a high school diploma or equivalent
- Be 18 years of age or older
- If applicable, should possess a valid Security Guard License (requirements for this vary from state-to-state)
- If applicable, must successfully completed all state mandated training
- Should have a minimum of 1 year of experience in a security-related field
- Must be reasonably physically fit and able to stand for long periods of time
- Should possess excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Project a professional appearance
- Must have a reliable form of transportation
- Respect a drug free environment
- Clean background check
Additional Preferred Requirements for Hiring the Best Security Officers
In addition to these basic requirements, we also have list of additional preferred qualifications that we think we look for in all new candidates:
- Proven and specific experience as security officer or security guard
- Prior law enforcement or military experience is a huge bonus
- Excellent surveillance and observation skills
- Tech-savvy with experience in surveillance systems
Top 15 Traits of the Best Security Officers
The previous section was a list of the basic traits, experience, and skills that we look for in candidates for our security guard team, but what are the personality traits and characteristics that you really want to see in your security officers?
A security officer is very often the first person that interacts with your customers or visitors. Making sure that you hire a security guard company that accurately portrays your commitment to the safety and well-being of your employees, customers and vendors should be high on your priority list when evaluating your security services options. All security officers that are supplied by your security guard vendor should meet a standard that you set.
Here are the Top 15 Traits of the Best Security Officers:
- Being capable of clear communication is the number one skill that a security officer can have. If a security guard is a poor communicator, they are probably not a great security guard.
- A great security officer is always punctual. They show up on time for their shift, ready to work. That does not mean that they show up on time and then get ready to work. They show up prepared to start.
- Security guards that are trained in advanced security skills perform better than those that are not. Does your security guard company have a training program? If so, what does it entail?
- Great security teams are trained in the latest de-escalation techniques so that they have a high degree of success when attempting to calm down tense or stressful situations.
- A security guard may need to patrol a large area, outrun a thief, or become involved in a physical altercation. The best security guards maintain a level of physical fitness that allows them to function well in this role. The best security guards can gain control of a situation without getting physical, but if a situation becomes physical, strength and agility are great traits to possess.
- Security officers should always be vigilant and hyperaware of their surroundings. This means that they should not be texting, reading emails, or otherwise talking on their mobile devices. A security guard that is constantly distracted by an attractive store clerk is probably not doing a good job as a security guard.
- A good security officer must be able to take orders but also think on their own feet. Security situations arise a moment’s notice; someone that is not comfortable making quick and appropriate decisions could be caught flatfooted.
- Security guards should act as a visual deterrent against crime, delinquency, and transgression. Looking the part is important to their success but acting with courtesy and professionalism is paramount.
- Treating all people with respect is the mark of a great security guard service. A security officer can deter crime while still being courteous, kind, and cheerful. Remember: The job is to scare away thieves and potential wrongdoers, not customers.
- A great security officer always looks clean, well kempt, and professional.
- Using weapons or getting physical is always a last resort and the rules governing this type of engagement should not be taken lightly. The best security guard companies train their guards to use other tactics to avoid physical altercation unless absolutely necessary.
- A security guard is not a police officer or a representative of the military. The best security guards understand and respect the difference.
- The best security officers maintain a high degree of personal and professional integrity. They operate with honesty at all times. They are loyal and trustworthy.
- Being able to produce a security report with proper spelling and grammar is extremely important for someone in a security officer role.
- A security guard is an extension of your brand. The best security guards represent their company and yours to a standard that should surpass your expectations.
How to Hire the Best Security Guards
Unless you plan on hiring an in-house security guard team, your best bet is outsourcing to a company that specializes in security services. There are plenty to choose from but finding the best security services company to hire as your security vendor takes some preparation. There are many things that separate security guard companies – quality of personnel, training systems, innovations, remote support, scalability and, of course, price. The most expensive contract out there are not necessarily the best, but then again neither are least expensive. What should you be looking for in a security services company?
Focus on asking questions about training, supervision, monitoring, advanced capabilities, investigative service capabilities, intelligence as a service, and cost per man-hour. Most security guard companies claim to exhaustively train their guards. Ask how they do it? Make sure that the guards that are allocated to your account fulfill all state and local training and licensing requirements. Ask how your security officers will be supervised and monitored. Is there a system in place for this? How are hours tracked? Does the vendor have an offsite security command center that coordinates the in-field security officers? If so, how does their system differ from their competition?
Once you have acceptable answers to your questions you are ready to discuss entering into a security services contract, so make sure you understand what kind of flexibility your contract will have. What is the contract length? Can you extend it easy? What if you need additional security officers at some point during the calendar year? Can that be easily accommodated? And don’t just take a yes or no answer – find out how your vendor can accommodate those requests – especially around holiday seasons, if they pertain to your business.
Thanks for reading!
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