Are you thinking about hiring security guards for your business or property? If so, you’ll want to make sure that you do everything you can to vet potential candidates. It’s important to find individuals who not just have the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in this role but also people that you know will be trustworthy and reliable. Security guards are often the first line of defense that businesses have from potential threats both big and small.
These individuals need to be able to spot suspicious activity and respond appropriately if a situation presents itself. That said, there are many considerations that you must keep in mind when vetting potential security guard hires. Here are nine must-know tips for choosing security guards in Vancouver.
Ask for References
There are many things that you can check on potential hires for this job, but there are also some areas where you can’t know for sure what you should be looking for—especially when it comes to soft skills like communication and professionalism. Before you hire security guards, ask for the names and contact information for at least three references. Make sure that these are references from people who have worked with the candidate in the security field, not just someone from a previous job. When calling references, make sure that you are asking the right questions. For example, ask about things like punctuality, professionalism, and communication skills. Don’t just take someone’s word for it that they are a good hire. Make it a point to ask for references and then actually use them to make sure that you are hiring the right people for this job.
Check Licensing and Certification
You want to make sure that your security guards are fully qualified for the job. You can ask them about their credentials and experience, but also take the time to check their credentials against official governing bodies. You can then see if they have any complaints or violations against their name. It’s worth noting that while certificates are important, they only tell you so much. For example, you might see that an individual has a First Aid and CPR certificate. While this is good to know, it doesn’t necessarily tell you anything about their experience with security guards or their skill set. While you can’t rely solely on these credentials, you can use them as a way to screen applicants and narrow down your list of potential hires.
Meet the Staff Before Hiring them
If you are hiring for a larger company, you should absolutely meet the staff before making a hiring decision. If you are working with a smaller firm and hiring one or two individuals, this may not be as feasible. However, it’s still important that you make every effort to meet with the potential hire(s) and get a good feel for them as people. You can ask them questions about their previous experience and their skill sets, but you should also take the time to ask them questions outside the world of security. For example, ask them what they like to do in their free time or what their hobbies are. Through these questions, you can get an idea of who these individuals are as people and how they would fit into your company culture. You can also take this time to ask them about any reservations they may have or any questions that they have for you.
Ask About Trainings and Continuing Education
Security guards are required to complete a training course in order to be qualified for the job. This can vary from one city to the next, but usually the training is around 40 hours in length. Depending on where you hire the guards, they may also have to be certified by the Private Security and Investigative Services of British Columbia (PSIBC). Even if your guards are certified and have completed their training, you should still ask them about their continuing education. This will let you know if the individuals are staying up to date with best practices and what they are learning.
Confirm That Staffers Are Trained in CPR and First Aid
Hospitalizations and deaths resulting from an injury while on the job are incredibly rare, but they can happen. When they do, you want to make sure that your security guards are prepared and know what to do. This is especially important if you have clients who are particularly vulnerable. For example, a security guard who is trained in CPR and first aid is trained to know what to do in a situation where someone has gone into cardiac arrest or stopped breathing. This guard will know how to respond and how to act to keep the cardiac arrest victim alive until first responders arrive on the scene.
Determine How Guards Will Communicate With Each Other
Communication is a huge part of being a security guard, especially in a high-stress situation. You want to make sure that your guards are equipped with the tools they need to communicate with each other. For example, you can decide whether you want your guards to use walkie-talkies or a two-way radio system. You can ask your potential hires what methods they prefer to use and what they feel most comfortable with.
Find Out Where Guards Will Be Positioned and What They’ll Be Doing
You should find out where your guards will be positioned and what they will be doing when they are not responding to a threat. This can help you get a better sense of how your security team will work as a whole and if it makes sense for your business needs.
Check Conditions of Employment (CoE) and Make Sure You Have a Signed Contract
When you hire security guards, you are entering into a contract with those individuals. This contract is known as Conditions of Employment (COE). Make sure that you have a signed copy of this document. When you hire security guards, you want to make sure to put all the details in the contract. For example, you can put things like the number of guards you will hire, the days and hours they will be working, and the amount of breaks they are entitled to.
Don’t Hire Immediately Without Knowing All This Information
You may be eager to hire security guards right away, but don’t make any rash decisions. You want to make sure that you completely understand what you are hiring, so you can make the most out of their employment. That said, you want to hire the best possible people for this role, so it’s worth taking the time (especially if you are hiring someone from out of town) to make sure that you know as much as you can about your potential hires.