6 Keys to Consider When Choosing Your Security Provider
What matters when choosing your security partner?
In a world where threats evolve rapidly and business change is inevitable due to both internal and external factors, the value of a partnership with your security company cannot be understated. What does this partnership look like? A professional security service provider should be able to do more than simply provide a body in a uniform; you should be able to count on them as a trusted advisor and a partner in protecting your business.
So, what matters when choosing your security partner?
1) Understanding Business Needs and Pain Points
You and your security partner should mutually understand your business needs and your pain points. Whether that need is for a concierge, an enforcement officer, or for non-traditional services in remote regions doesn’t matter as much as being able to have an open and frank conversation that flows both ways to develop solutions focused on your business. Your prospective security partner should be able to bring solutions to the table that may not have been identified in an RFP.
- What are the first steps you take when coming on site?
- What is your risk assessment methodology and practice?
- How do you audit risks moving forward to identify potential shifts / changes?
2) Security Oversight and Governance
When meeting with prospective security companies, ensure that you go beyond a handshake. Ask what their oversight and escalation processes look like, how they measure their success, and how they will report not only their success, but their challenges, back to you. Sometimes you can actually learn more about a company by how they handle the small hiccups that come their way than those who say everything is perfect.
- Can you provide a clear escalation process with multiple points of contact?
- How do you service clients 24/7/365?
- What does your supervision model look like and what levels are involved in my business?
- How do you ensure quality? What is your quality assurance protocol?
- Can you please provide a sample contract scorecard / KPI dashboard that reflects the items I might expect to see.
- Who is my key point of contact and will they commit to a regular meeting cadence to review the security program?
3) Scope of Work vs. Scalability
When issuing an RFP, you may not be able to capture everything that will happen over the course of your contract (who could have predicted a global pandemic?). Ask yourself if your provider could handle a massive scale-up or address issues of a more severe nature⸺think natural disaster, workplace violence. You don’t want to have to hire a contract company to get you through the tough times.
- How do you monitor isolated locations remotely?
- What technology is available to support security and do you have the in-house capabilities to deploy?
- Are you able to deliver on ad-hoc requests for contractor escorts or deploy a highly trained guard for a labour disruption or high risk termination?
- How long would it take to get additional security team members on-site? Set guidelines, such as the time to secure 1 to 4; 5 to 9; 10+ for example.
- What is your business continuity plan? Hint… you don’t want to work with a security company that doesn’t have an outstanding BCP.
4) Security Guard / Team Training
Not all training programs are created equal. Ask questions about the training you expect your guards to have. For example, in Ontario there is no set standard for what is commonly known as “Use of Force” training. This training could be 4 hours in length conducted in a classroom, or it could be 36 hours in length with written and physical assessments. The difference between the two will be apparent when an intervention is required on your site, which is probably well after the ink on your deal has dried.
While the above may be an extreme example, training is an important element of your security solution , including the quality of the guard who is hired.
- Do you pay your guards to attend the training they require?
- What training do you offer? Is there an online Learning Management System?
- Is the training available in-house or does it require a third-party to manage? Do you have any proprietary training that your competitors might not have?
- What training is available to create a more effective customer experience?
- How do you encourage continuous learning?
- How do you track training to ensure all staff are qualified at all times?
And most importantly - Will your provider allow you to audit these courses to understand what you are getting? High quality training, even at the most basic level, can pay dividends in preventing accidents, injuries, and ensuring the security of your property.
5) Security Technology
Technology goes far beyond the realm of just cameras and keycards. A good partner should be able to provide you with solutions that complement your static guarding services. An integrated approach is what you’re looking for.
- How do you report on incidents and patrol completion?
- Is your reporting in real-time and does it have a customer portal experience?
- How will you share reporting back to the organization?
- Share your methodology with respects to analysis and intelligence.
- How will you prove compliance and task completion?
- Can you provide proof-of-presence on-site?
With security guard services , people matter. After all, for your provider, security services delivered by people are the product. Ask your partner about their hiring practices, specifically:
- How are candidates vetted? Is there a thorough background check process?
- What does an interview look like? Who is managing the process?
- Are they able to meet specific qualifications and requirements you have?
- Are they able to customize their interview questions to meet your needs?
- What does their turnover look like?
While these are some of the many things to consider when choosing a security provider, the most important thing to consider is this:
Would you trust these people to look after your house while you are away?