Many companies end up hiring security guards, either in-house or from a local or national security guard firm. It is important, though to ask yourself some important questions before you hire your first guard or contract with a security guard firm.
According to Security Magazine, many companies believe they need armed guards, but it is better to err on the side of caution and hire unarmed guards. There are just too many potential liability issues with hiring armed guards.
If you feel you must have armed guards, Security Magazine suggests it is best to only hire armed guards who have prior law enforcement background because they have been extensively trained to know when to use their weapon and how best to avoid that situation entirely.
Guards who are trained to solely observe and report problems are less expensive and present less liability issues. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, security guards prevent more crime than security camera systems or electronic security systems because they present a visual, active deterrent.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, many organizations have security guards posted at their entrances or at the front of their facilities, such as in a lobby. Your security guard may be the first person that a customer interacts with at your enterprise. For this reason, they advise choosing security guards who have great people skills and are personable.
If you have dangerous parking lots, you run the risk of losing key employees as well as customers. Have the security guards go out into the parking lot when employees are en mass arriving or leaving the facility.
Small Business Trends advises companies who are looking to contract with a security guard firm to go with local companies because you will have the owner’s phone number and can contact them directly. Also, they advise business owners to only choose companies that have security forces as their only endeavor, not companies that provide other services, such as office cleaning.
Also, Security Magazine suggested that you be open to ideas from the security firm in terms of what services the guards should provide. The contract should have the duties and job description clearly delineated.
According to Small Business Trends, you will need to see the state licenses that the security guard company provides. Also, you need to see their proof of insurance. You are looking for a one million dollar policy or more.
You will need to investigate the security force company on Glassdoor, Indeed and Yelp to see what types of reviews they get from clients and employees. Also, what types of ratings does the firm get from the Better Business Bureau?
Security Magazine suggested that it is dangerous in terms of liability if you hire a security firm to provide guards but then have the guards perform tasks not in the contract, like chauffeuring or shoveling the snow off of the steps. If they have an accident, your firm may have to pay for worker’s compensation, if the security firm’s insurance refuses to pay.
Small Business Trends advises that companies who are contracting with security force services need to ask questions about who pays for the cost of the guards’ uniform, training, supplies and equipment. Also, your firm needs to know if you will be charged one monthly rate, or can you get rates that are based upon the individual wages of different guards and upon actual hours worked?