How to appoint a security firm – the questions you need to ask and the answers you should expect to receive
Appointing a security firm to protect your property, possessions and loved ones is an extremely important decision that should not be entered into lightly. Fortunately, if you have been considering investing in the targeted services of a professional security firm then the following guide can help you. By heeding the expert recommendations from our Eden Private Staff team, you can rest assured that you will find the right security firm who will be sufficiently qualified and experienced to safeguard your home at all times.
Top 10 questions to ask before appointing a security firm
Before appointing a security firm there are several important questions that you should ask your preferred candidates in order to assess their capability to safeguard your property. To help ensure that you appoint a security firm that will be sufficiently equipped to protect your home, listed below are ten questions which you should ask all of the candidates that you have been considering:
- How much experience does your firm have in protecting my type of property?
One of the most important factors that you should check before appointing a security firm is the industry-specific experience of the organisation in question. By investigating how long a security firm has been in business and how long they have been protecting private residences, you can make a well-informed decision about their ability to safeguard your property. Although hiring a generalised security firm who offer multiple services may be more cost-effective, you will have more confidence in a firm who possess specialised expertise in protecting your particular type of urban or rural residence.
- Can you provide references from your previous clients?
Following on from the previous question, asking for references is the best way that you can verify a security firm’s industry-specific experience. By asking security firms to provide references and referrals from previous clientele that are relevant to your specific security requirements, you can assess the validity of each firm’s claims. For example, if you own a rural estate then you should enlist the services of security firms who can present proof of their previous experience evaluating the vulnerable points of entry of these types of extensive grounds and implementing sufficient security protocols.
- How do you train and vet your security personnel?
When recruiting a security firm, it is pivotal that you can remain confident in the capabilities of each and every close personal security officer in their employ. After all, the success of a security firm is measured by the efficiency and diligent work ethic of its staff. Whilst interviewing potential candidates, you should inquire as to how each security firm trains and vets their personnel. The most reputable security firms will recruit seasoned professionals from relevant industries; such as former military personnel, veterans and personnel from the legal sector who possess criminal justice degrees. These types of competent individuals will possess the necessary academic credentials, physical attributes and career experience to assess potential threats to a property, anticipate hazards before they occur, and implement sufficient protocols which will efficiently deter and intercept intruders.
Moreover, professional security firms will also meticulously vet their personnel during recruitment by carrying out stringent background checks to highlight criminal records, history of substance abuse or any negative factors which will deem candidates unsuitable for their own employ. After selecting exceptional candidates, reputable security firms will also carry out strict training regimes to prepare their staff for their roles as close personal security officers. As such, you should feel free to ask each firm you consider hiring about their training practices; are candidates taught via online tutorials or in one-to-one classes? Are candidates reviewed and assessed on a regular basis? Asking these questions will separate the good firms from the truly exceptional and enable you to remain confident that your home will be protected by the best of the best!
- What type of liability insurance cover does your firm have?
Before appointing any security firm it is instrumental that you check they carry sufficient liability insurance cover. By asking your chosen firm to provide documentary proof of their general liability insurance cover, workers compensation coverage and business insurance policies, you can rest assured that you will not be subject to any costly legal complications should any incidents occur on your property involving the firm’s security staff. After all, if your security firm can’t protect their staff then how are they supposed to protect your home?
- What additional services does your firm provide?
Before committing to a contract with a particular firm, you should clearly outline the basic security services you will require and ensure they are equipped to meet your needs. As matters stand, most security firms will offer the following services as standard;
- An initial evaluation of your property to assess the site’s security needs. Most security firms will utilise this opportunity to assess your property’s vulnerable points of entry and highlight suitable places to install CCTV surveillance, motion sensor activated burglar alarms and security lights,
- Regular security updates, evaluations and meetings with the head of your security personnel,
- Either daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly reports which will outline the success of your security team and highlight any possible areas for improvement,
- Reliable communications services from your security personnel either via radio, phone or online services. Regardless of your needs, you should be able to communicate with at least one close personal security officer from your chosen security firm at all times.
As well as these standard services, you should also ask about the additional security services that your preferred firm can offer. From state of the art digital security software for your home’s smart phones, tablets, desktops, laptops and other devices, to hiring bodyguards who will provide close personal protection to members of your family outside of the boundaries of your property, it is important to investigate and assess the full range of security services at your disposal from your chosen firm.
- Does your firm have 24/7 emergency communication services in place?
As mentioned above, most reputable security firms will offer telephone or radio communications services as standard. However, it is vital that you check whether your preferred security firm has implemented 24/7 emergency communication services. In the event of a crisis, you want to rest assured that you can contact your security firm and receive immediate assistance in an efficient manner.
One of the best ways that you can verify these communication services is to contact your security firm by phone. Is your call intercepted by an answer machine? Is your call answered within 20 seconds? Is the person answering your call doing so from a dispatch centre or a messaging service? Can the person answering your call offer relevant security expertise and targeted support? By contacting your preferred security firm several times, both during the day and at night, you can assess their efficiency to lend assistance in the event of an emergency.
- How will your firm process incidents that may occur on my property?
Reputable security firms will have clear incident procedures and interception protocols in place in the event that an intruder or alternative threat is detected on your property. As such, before you appoint a security firm you should investigate how these incidents will be processed. Professional security firms should be able to present you with a clear chain of command that will be evident in the event of any emergency; from assessing and dispelling threats, to processing the incident with the relevant authorities, filing documents pertinent to the event in question and implementing protocols to prevent similar incidents occurring in future. Even if the incident in question was a false alarm, you should be able to feel confident that your security firm will resolve and document the incident in a rapid and efficient manner.
- How much will you charge for your services?
When it comes to appointing a security firm for your private residence, you should always scrutinise how much each candidate states they will charge for their services. Before appointing a particular firm, always acquire multiple quotes from various firms in order to ensure that you are receiving a fair and reasonable offer from your preferred candidates.
However, when it comes to close personal security, you should not simply opt for the cheapest. When security firms offer lower rates, they are often able to do so by cutting costs in important areas; which could be anything from hiring insufficiently experienced workers to purchasing substandard technological surveillance equipment or failing to acquire proper insurance! As such, you should assess each firm’s quote compared to the services that you will expect to receive. Although some firms may charge higher rates, if they can provide glowing references from satisfied clients and demonstrate exceptional members of staff then it may be worth investing in their services. After all, spending more on personal security could save you a great deal of money and emotional anguish in the long run if your property is targeted by criminals!
- Is your firm licensed?
Depending upon the country within which your property is based, there will be different local, national and international regulations in place regarding private security firms and the official licenses that they must carry. Consequently, before hiring a security firm you should check that they possess the necessary licensing certifications for their organisation and its employees. This licensing will protect you from any legal complications regarding incidents that may occur on your property, and will also certify that your property and possessions are being placed under the supervision of certifiable close personal security officers.
- How soon will your firm be able to provide security services for my property?
Before appointing a firm, you should be able to receive clear and concise details regarding the date upon which they will begin to provide your property with professional security services. Do not feel pressured into accepting vague proposals; you should only commit to appointing a security firm if they can provide you with clear documentary confirmation of a delivery date for the specific services that they intend to offer.
How Eden Private Staff can help
If you have been considering appointing a security firm to safeguard your property then our Eden Private Staff team can help. For over 25 years our team of search consultants have operated within the private staff industry. During this time, we have collaborated with a diverse array of security professionals and have amassed a vast database of close personal security officers.
Consequently, by utilising our innovative candidate selection process you can rest assured that you will be matched with an extensive selection of exceptional close personal security officers. We will evaluate your private security needs and match you with candidates who possess the relevant academic credentials and career experience to safeguard your home. Irrespective of whether you own an urban apartment or rural estate with extensive grounds, at Eden Private Staff we will match you with your ideal team of close personal security officers. Consequently, with our help, you can achieve peace of mind that your property, possessions and loved ones will be professionally safeguarded at all times.