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02 Sep 2019

Things to Keep in Mind Before Choosing a Security Company

Recent incidents of home and office theft indicate an upcoming group of technically savvy masterminds. These criminals know how to get past existing security systems, especially when the reward is good enough. Most cases of theft are still considered opportunistic crimes, usually due to reluctance in exercising basic security measures. Measures such as hiding valuables from plain sight and ensuring that all doors and windows are properly locked when leaving. Working with reputable security companies to install a security system or provide security guards can be vital. These strategies can help to deter the most opportunistic and even professional criminals.

Indeed, crime prevention is not only the responsibility of governments and law enforcement. You have a role to play in enhancing the security of your home or workplace. The most common and effective ones are to install security systems and hire security companies to protect your premises. There is an abundance of security companies in Canada, and seven hundred of which are licensed to offer security guard and/or private investigation services in Ontario. This can make it a bit challenging to find the best security company for your needs.

When choosing a security provider to protect your guests, employees, and assets, there are certain factors you need to consider, including:

Qualifications

Any prospective security provider should be willing to provide information on the educational background, training, and experience of their guards. Providers tend to take pride in having guards with more training and more experience in this line of work. Some even have specialized skills that can be utilized depending on your situation.

Guard Screening

If you’re considering investing in security guards, then you get the best return on investment by hiring security guards who’re reliable and trustworthy. You can evaluate the credibility of a prospective provider by evaluating their staffing policies. Most providers have an extensive vetting process. This will include criminal background checks and screening for drug use. Many professional security guards have prior experience working in the military or law enforcement. This is a good sign in a prospective security company.

Supervisory Policies

Something you should discuss with your security provider is how the guards provided will be supervised. The supervisor should make regular visits to your guards while on the job to ensure the highest level of service is maintained. You should find out about exactly what takes place during a supervisor’s inspection. You should also find out the qualifications and experience of the supervisors. The best supervisors should not only be highly experienced but also invested in their teams. This will help ensure that they will conduct regular visits for their benefit and yours.

Ongoing Training

Even if your security guards have experience in law enforcement, it’s still important that they undergo continuous training in their new security roles. Great security companies should invest in training their guards to ensure that they perform their duties with confidence. As well as having the know-how to respond quickly in different situations, continuous guard training is important to ensure excellent client service. It will also assist you in rewarding and retaining the best employees and in inculcating a culture of excellence. So make sure to ask your prospective provider about their commitment to training.

Some factors to consider include:

  • Is there an existing training infrastructure to show the depth of training?
  • Existence of a training department to continuously develop new training programs and connect with external resources.
  • Any collaboration with local and/or regional training specialists.
  • Is there a focus on the professional development of all personnel?
  • Do they promote their employees internally?
  • Are the training programs in compliance with government regulations or market-specific applications?
  • Whether the provider takes ownership in developing a custom Site Operations Procedures Manual (SOPM) for you. You pay for it, but it should be retained even if you decide to change your security provider.

Employee Retention

Businesses look to attract and employ the best security professionals, who also have the right attitude and experience in the business. Quality security companies have highly skilled and experienced staff who choose to remain with them. All because of good employee retention programs and a positive culture of excellence.

Security companies who make their employees feel appreciated and motivated are ideal. These employees are more likely to be loyal to their clients as they are to their employers.

Moreover, you want to have your security needs met by a single team of guards, rather than a rotation of many different guards. The issue here is that guards who leave the job after only a few months can become a threat to your company’s security.

Considering that the average annual security officer turnover is 200%, choosing a provider with a turnover rate of 50–60% can help increase your chances of satisfaction with their job. So make sure to investigate a potential security provider’s history of staff retention. A company with long-tenured guards indicates competence and job satisfaction. These traits should translate to a superior security service for you.

Your Specific Security Needs

Once you identify a few security providers that you may consider partnering with, the next step is to design a request for proposal (RFP). It should be as detailed as possible, indicating all your security requirements, to ensure that the security providers offer the services you’re interested in and provide a relevant bid.

Some of the items included in an RFP include:

  • Number of posts
  • Event/holiday coverage
  • Coverage hours
  • Special scheduling
  • Supervisor inspection procedures
  • Guard selection process
  • Guard training requirements
  • Equipment needed
  • Disciplinary measures: termination, transfer, and so on
  • Insurance requirements
  • Terms of payment
  • Length of contract (term vs. ongoing) and start date
  • Use of uniforms
  • Type of weapon carried (armed or unarmed)

Client oversight

You can then use the responses provided through each proposal to evaluate each provider. Depending on the nature of the security job, it may be best to ask your attorney or insurance agent to review the proposals.

Final Note

Many companies are focusing more on their core operations and outsourcing support functions that are not associated with their primary business, especially personnel-related functions such as security services. As you prepare to entrust the security of your visitors, employees, and assets to a security company, the factors mentioned above should help to narrow down your options. Contact us today at (416) 900-1277 to get a quote on our industry leading security services.

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