If you’ve done your homework and researched the security companies that you have been considering you will probably have a short list of companies that made the cut. Performing due diligence in choosing the right security company is not easy, but it is a worthwhile step to consider for your overall peace of mind. One important function that we have not yet discussed, that a security agency can serve, is taking care of you. We’ve discussed how they take care of your assets and customers, but we should also mention that a well performing security system, should make for one less worry that you have to constantly manage. Peace of mind is an important dividend to be enjoyed when you know you’ve made the right decision, and the job is in the hands of an agency that you feel comfortable with.
With this in mind, you have this short list of companies. How do you decide who gets the nod and who gets the cut? This can be tough, because at this point, there are things that you like about EACH of these candidates on your list, and depending upon how warm and friendly and accommodating these companies were, it is not uncommon to have a fleeting wish that you could “hire them all” much like you might feel when trying to choose a cute puppy (Oh you are so cute I wish I could take you all home). The next step in the process, will help you manage that decision objectively. It’s time to ask some pointed questions about their guards.
Your security guard is your point man (or person, as many well trained and capable guards are women) in your security plan. They will be the one that your customers see. It’s important that we understand as much about their job, background and training as we can, before they ever set foot on your job site. Let’s take a look at some questions we might ask. Depending upon specific situations, not all of these may be needed, so use your best judgment:
History – How long has the guard been with the security company? Has a background check been conducted on this individual, and if so, what kind(s)? Was there a reference check when the guard applied to join your agency, and if so how thorough? Is there a drug test policy in place, and if so how is it implemented and when? Have they had other guard experiences at sites similar to yours? If so, how long did they serve (a short assignment may indicate that there was a problem, but not always).
Dependability – What is their record of attendance over the past 6 months? Have they ever been written up? Have they ever been a no-show at a site? Have there ever been any customer complaints, either formal or informal on this individual?
Training – What training did they have to go through to become a guard? What certifications do they possess? If dealing with customers, have they had any documented customer service training as a part of their job? If so, was it on-site (developed within the company) or was it off-site, (through a 3rd party that specializes in this sort of training)? Have they ever had a formal performance evaluation, and if so, when was their last? Does the guard have documented proof of assistance skills like CPR and emergency training?
Site Training and Supervision – Who will be training the guard for the post they will be serving at? How does their direct supervisor manage this guard? How often will the supervisor be visiting the guard on site? How many guards does this supervisor manage, and how spread out is his territory? (a wide territory may mean the supervisor is stretched too thin to adequately handle all his accounts) How long will the site training take? What forms of documentation will be required of the guard while on duty? What non-job related activities are the guards allowed to engage in while on-site (Watching TV, Listening to the Radio, Reading a Magazine or Newspaper)?
As you can see, there are a lot of variables that you might not have considered, and as you went through these questions, you probably began to realize just how critical the role of a security guard is. This list is by no means exhaustive. You may have even come up with more questions to ask. By now, your candidate list is much shorter, and you have the answers you need to make a well informed decision. By following these general guidelines above, you can feel much more confident about making the right decision. There’s something to be said for peace of mind.