If you are looking for security guard services, you might not know what to look for or can simply be convinced by offerings that seem good, but in reality, are no-goes. There are plenty of options out there making the selection criteria even more difficult.
Hiring the incorrect service will, not only cause frustration but also leave your business and property exposed to vulnerabilities while looking for a replacement.
In this blog, Mr. Atul Mahajan, Director of Miraz Securitas Pvt Ltd, India’s premier security guard services provider shares things that will help you to evaluate security guard services if you are thinking about hiring a security firm.
Does The Firm have Experience with businesses Similar to yours?
Security guards will have separate skills and experience that make them suited to various types of offices and environments. The same is the fact for security guard companies. Even though many of them begin out in specific industries and then expand out into others, most seem to hire the same sort of security guard and work for the same sort of client.
A firm that has experience securing bars and nightclubs is usually going to hire a bar bouncer or nightclub kind of security guard. They will have a quite different skill set and training from what is required in, say a primary school environment. Similarly, a hotel lobby will have quite different security guard needs as compared to a warehouse distribution center.
When evaluating a security guard firm, you need to ensure they have other clients with businesses same as yours, whether it is of the same size, type or industry.
Do they Provide Services in your Geographical Area?
Check to know if the firm has clients in your geographical location as your building. This can be a major advantage since the security guards will be more familiar with the security issues and risks in that area. If you opt for a company that has several locations in your city, you will know they are also possibly to have additional security guards, supervision, and built-in reinforcements nearby.
For instance, if the company is also securing the building across the street, you know they would be paying more attention to your block and your locality than a company that has never operated in your neighborhood before.
Do they Have the Proper Certificates and Licenses?
In an event that a guard will require to detain someone if they get injuries on the job or damage private property while security your building, it’s vital that the security service has the proper insurance to cover that incident. Without up to date insurance, you would be liable.
Unlicensed guards may seem less expensive, but they also have not been through the training and background checks that are mandatory to get a license. Also note that depending on which state your business is based, guards might have different licensing requirements. If you’re hiring security guards for multiple locations across various states, it’s essential to ensure they have the proper license to work in each state.
Do Security Guards Have Adequate Support or Back Up
One of the finest things about having a security guard on site is having a strong response-ability. Cameras and access control give monitoring and alerts but they don’t quite provide someone in real-time to respond to an incident and make good decisions. What you need to have in place are good levels of monitoring as well as a 24/7 support team, not only for you as the client, but also for the security guard.
Imagine somebody tried to break-in through a window in the early morning or late at night. The guard will have to go through the next steps of contacting law enforcement, checking the premises for stolen items, etc. but also secure the broken window which is now an exposed point. Having the capability to call for back-up from a supervisor or nearby patrol officer is certainly a value add that security companies could provide.
One method to evaluate this is using the supervisor to guard ratio. A general rule of thumb is keeping 10 to 15 guards each supervisor. However, while plenty of companies will tout their supervisor to guard ratio, what they are not telling you is how far of a distance this covers.
It makes a huge difference if a supervisor has to check on security guards at a single moment, who are in close proximity to each one, versus 10 to 15 guards across a city in a single night.
Always ask: What is the response time for a supervisor or patrol agent to reach a guard if they require assistance? How much time do they spend at a given site?
Again this is why hiring a security guard service that is already functioning in your area is an advantage.
What are the Company’s Mechanisms Like?
With updates in security systems, companies that still use outdated practices will be always behind in the protection they can give you. When evaluating a firm, find out what kind of technology they provide to their security guards and how well guards are equipped in using this technology.
For instance, real-time reporting is something that many companies are beginning to offer. This sort of technology lets you to track where your security guards and be notified of an incident and the steps being taken immediately.
How Good is their Response Rate?
At this starting phase in your relationship with the security guard firm, response rate, and quality of responses can provide you insight into hardships you may face down the road. Ask yourself the specific questions when communicating with a potential service:
Has the firm responded back to you in a timely manner?
Has it been easier to correspond with them and move further in the process?
Was the information they gave, clear, detailed, and full?
If they are already showing warning signs at this phase in your communication, it is a certain red flag.
This evaluation will assist you to narrow down your choices making it simpler to find the correct fit for your business.