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Things to Consider Before Hiring a Security Guard

Updated on February 9, 2013

The criteria and needs vary widely depending on whether you are in charge of hiring someone to protect your business or you are looking to directly hire an individual to perform security guard services for you.

In the first case you are need find out what you need, how much it costs and if you should hire a security company or an individual. In the second you are hiring a new employee and must consider a host of things in regards to training, experience, personality and more. This article covers both cases to keep reading and when you are done. Please feel free to share in the comments.

Things to consider as a business before hiring a seurity guard

As a businessman you will have assets to protect and depending on the nature of your business you will have premises to protect too. There are a few things to consider as a business before hiring a security guard:

Example of what a security officer does


What does your business have to protect

Depending on the nature of your business, you may have a wide range of things that need protecting from machinery to stock or simply cash and office goods. Think carefully about what you need to protect before hiring security staff and check the experience of your prospective employees. Once again, depending on the nature of your business you may need to hire specially trained staff or those who have experience that is relative to your needs.

What amount of security can you afford on your budget

As the owner of a business you need to aim for maximum protection for your stock or premise, however your budget will need to play a part in your decision. The more expensive or valuable your stock the higher level of protection your require. However, you need to ascertain what you budget will be for your security staff and look for the best and safest option that you can afford. A higher level of protection will be more expensive, although this may sometimes be an absolute must for your firm.

Who do you need to protect your business

When hiring security for your firm you need to remember that a security guard is not part of any law enforcement agency and can not be thought of as such. Never expect your secuirty guard to take on the role of a policeman and always be clear on what type of security protection your require. Depending on your requirements you can choose from a licensed guard, a company or a private guard. Check the exact requirements for your type of firm and always hire the appropriate staff for the job.

A Marine Security Guard reviews the embassy's security alarm system with the regional security officer.
A Marine Security Guard reviews the embassy's security alarm system with the regional security officer. | Source

Things to consider as an employer before hiring a seurity guard

Great responsibility and trust is placed in the hands of a security person and it will be necessary to completely feel comfortable that all your requirements will be met and that the person you hire is honest and has all the relevant qualifications and training in order to do the job professionally.

Example of security guard qualifications

Personal History

Ask the prospective employee to provide work references and actively check these. It is also necessary to do a complete background check with regard to any criminal history or other matters of concern that may influence the persons integrity. The prospective employee will need to provide their permission in writing for the background check before it can be done. Depending on the nature of any records, you may decide that they are no relevant to job you wish them to do. The local police department can help you with the checks provided relevant permission is gained. Any information gained in the check should of course be kept confidential and secure.

Because every security job is different and some may require more physical fitness than others, it is important to find out if there are any underlying conditions or previous workers compensation claims that may pose a problem in a workplace. A person who suffers an injury may not be able to complete tasks required by you satisfactorily and safely.


You will need to know that the person will be doing all the relevant checks and monitoring your business without taking short cuts which may result in losses for your business. It is also important for them to be honest at all times and turning up when required to work.


Person and Personality

There is no point employing the most qualified, fit, experienced person if you are unable to openly communicate with them and the other way around. It will be necessary to gauge the persons ability to use common sense and be competent to both lead and follow along with abiding with the relevant policy and procedures required. There will be occasions where it will be necessary to think quickly and handle situations tactfully so it is vital that the person displays that they have the ability to do this. You will need to be satisfied that the guard can handle unpredictable situations quickly. Does the person feel comfortable with technology and monitoring devices or other reporting technology that applies to your business? It is also worthwhile asking the prospective employee why they are interested in the profession.

Communication Skills

Depending on your requirements you may want your security to portray their authority without intimidating or being so stoned face that they scare customers away. You will need someone with good customer service skills. It will be important for the employee to be able to take direction and be able to fit in and get along with their other work colleagues. They will also need to fit in with the culture of your organisation. Another important skill is to be able to give direction respectfully whilst abiding by appropriate regulation.


Physical Fitness

Some security jobs require a lot of walking long distances and long periods of time standing and moving about so they will need to have a good level of fitness. It may be necessary to restrain people who are causing problems or trouble, so some training in martial arts and self defense is very beneficial and the ability to run a distance while perusing a person as well.

A physically fit guard also portrays a certain authority that can help to promote respect from potential problem people.

The more physically fit, the less likely it will be that the person suffers an injury as a result of perusing problem people.

Training, Education and Certification

There are many highly regarded and accredited security guard training facilities who pride themselves in delivering thorough qualifications, so if the person has completed their certification with a reputable organisation, that will ensure they are given the foundations necessary to provide a thorough service and in turn save your business from any loss or damage.


Much like any other profession guarding is learnt on the job and as a persons career progresses so too does their skills and knowledge of how to deal with and approach critical situations with common sense. It will be up to you as to what level of security guarding experience you are comfortable with and will depend very much on each individual situation as to how much experience is necessary. If you hire more than one security guard then you may be happy to have a guard with broader experience mentoring a less experienced one.


On site training and supervision

Reviewing, monitoring and briefing your new security guard on what is expected and being clear and thorough as to what is required will ensure that your requirements are met. Therefore you need to consider who will be training and supervising your new guard ones he is starts working.

If you like this article or have something to share. Please feel free to do so in the comments below. If you are experienced in hiring. Share your thoughts and add your on views.


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