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Hiring an Independent Security Guard vs. a Security Service

Many businesses understand that adding a security team to their workplace can help increase the safety of both employees and customers. But, many businesses struggle with deciding between going with a security service/company, or hiring an independent contractor. In this blog, we take a look at the pros and cons of both types of security details.

Cost

Generally, an independent contractor is able to rent out his or her services for cheaper than a security company can because they don’t have overhead costs to deal with. While this may seem appealing on just a cost basis, keep in mind that security services generally have additional resources at their disposal, like more guards that can adapt to different schedules, vehicles, legal teams, etc.

Training

Security companies often have a leg up in this department. Security businesses must routinely go through a variety of trainings to maintain their licenses. Independent contractors however, are as constrained by the law. As you are evaluating security services, make sure to ask them about their training programs—it can make a big difference with liabilities.

Experience

When it comes to experience, both independent guards and security services will have varying levels of experience. When you are interviewing for a security team, make sure to ask for verifiable work experience to ensure that you are getting someone (or multiple people) who have experience providing security for businesses.

Personality

This is another toss up between independents and services. Anytime you are bringing an outside person in to the work place, it’s important to make sure that their personality meshes well with your team. Make sure to conduct extensive interviews with all candidates, and be clear with a security company that you will expect to have a guard replaced if they are not a good fit with your business.

History

While conducting a security search, make sure to do your due diligence about looking into the history of whoever will be providing your security. There are plenty of websites that review security sites, which makes it easy to decide which security service is right for you. With independent contractors, it can be a little more difficult. Make sure to at least do Google and LinkedIn searches on candidates to see what kind of prior history they may have with other businesses. You don’t want to get stuck with a bad apple. In the case of knowing the background of candidates, it’s usually wiser to go with a security service.

Do you have any other advice for deciding between independent security contractors vs. security services? We’d love to hear from you.