Hiring a certified security guard does not have to be a challenging task if you know what to look for and how to go about it. Adding a security guard or small force to your business can make a significant difference in the way you conduct and monitor your business. It can bring prestige to a small business, demonstrating a certain comfort and safety to your customers and staff. In the long run it can save you money by foiling robberies, reducing product theft and wanton destruction of property and equipment. By following some simple guidelines, any employer can successfully add a certified security guard to their staff roster and realize substantial business gains.
Why do you Need a Qualified Guard?
First determine what type of protection or surveillance you need. Will you require a roaming security guard for your entire operation, covering all areas and aspects of your business property? Or will need a stationed guard at an entrance to monitor and observe incoming traffic? Will this be a full-time position, or a temporary job? You might need temporary services, say for three to six months if you are expecting a large shipment of valuable goods. If the need is more general, you might consider hiring a full-time guard. How many shifts? If you run your business 24 hours a day you might need three guards per day, with one covering a day shift and two others covering a swing and a graveyard shift.
A normal business day operation can be handled by one guard, regulated to an 8-hour shift. The number of guards and shifts will also affect how much money you are willing to expend, so try a priority shift at first and then consider additional shifts if needed or desired. Where will you house the security guard? Will it be outside or inside, and will you make provisions for stationing them in a comfortable environment?
Where do the Best Guards Come From?
Almost all certified security guards who have proper training and certification come from Security Guard Agencies (SGA) that are regulated by the State licensing unit. That State licensing unit sets forth all the criteria that the security guard agency or company follows. This includes background checks, training proficiency in CPR/first-aid, baton, taser and firearms. The Licensing agency also dictates the badge, uniform, coat, hat, colors and patch insignia’s so that they do not mirror those worn by the county, city and state law enforcement officers.
You can research the phone directory for a good list of security agencies (companies) that provide the service. The Better Business Bureau is a good source which will allow you to look for good ratings and minimal complaints on a local agency. You should ask the agency for their SGA license number and write it down. Ask them for references or any awards that they have received for special recognition. Explain to them exactly what you expect: the duties and areas you want patrolled or monitored and the length of time or shift requirements. Ask to see some of the fully uniformed officers and note their dress and accouterments. You want to see a clean, professional physical presence along with an amiable and alert personality.
Before or during the early part of the hiring process, allow a representative or senior officer, along with the certified security guard, to perform a walk-through of your business or facility. Point out the specific areas of concern that you deem important for patrol and surveillance. Establish a patrol timeline that will coordinate with your employee’s locations and operations. If the guard is required to check high-profile, secret or hazardous areas, be certain that you will supply the keys or code numbers to access such areas.
After hiring your guard, enjoy your relationship. Encourage him or her to become part of the business family. Regulate their position and work duties to security matters only—let them do their job. Avoid using them for menial tasks and treating them as a laborer since this could distract from their primary responsibility—to protect and safeguard the property, staff and general public.