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  • In-House VS Contract Security

    Hi, Guys I'm new here so try not to pick me apart to much. I have recently been offered a in-house security/loss prevention position with a well known hotel chain. I also have been offered various positions in a well known but not very well respected contract security company that I've been with for about 4 months.I was wondering what the pros vs cons are ? Is In-house security that much better than contract security ?I would like to hear your opinions/comments
    thanks in advance for any help

  • #2
    Hi Mike and welcome. I guess it all depends on the company that hires you and the contracts they have, and it can go both ways depending on the in-house companies as well. I know I like being in-house where I am, because of the wages, benefits, shift rotation/time off, vacation, pension & profit sharing.

    In my area the Contract companies pay significantly less, It all depends on the professionalism of contract companies as well as their contracts some offer much more than other contract companies do.

    Do your research and always be on the look out for opportunities, don't just settle for anything.

    All the best.
    I'm the guy you don't want to be around when your doing something wrong, but you can't wait for me to get there when your down, to fix you up...

    If you don't stand behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them.

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    • #3
      Pros: The pay is generally better than contract work, benefits are easier to be obtained as other employees may already have a plan.

      Cons: Opposite of the above as well as you can't transfer to another site if the one your at sucks. Given that this is a hotel chain odds are the next site is not within a dialy commutable distance.
      ~Super Ninja Sniper~
      Corbier's Commandos

      Nemo me impune lacessit

      Grammical and Spelling errors may occur form time to time. Yoov bin worned

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      • #4
        In-House. 1 boss

        Contract. At least 2.

        BTW will you be working directly for the major chain or for a licensee? (A little known fact Holiday Inn owns NO hotels in Canada they are all independantly owned or owned by companies that own a few, sometimes with different chains - as in my case).
        I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
        Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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        • #5
          As has already been stated it varies from contract company to contract company to in-house company to in-house company. I have worked 2 in-house jobs and more contract jobs than I care to think about. I absolutely love the in-house job I have now, but hated the other. I have had good contract and bad contract jobs, sometimes within one company. Pay and benefits do TEND to be better in-house. YMMV.
          "Gun control, the theory that 110lb. women have the "right" to fistfight with 210lb. rapists. " Author Unknown

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          • #6
            I have been of the impression there are degrees of the following for each from a management perspective, but having worked both, prefer in house.

            Control, turnover, training, quality, loyality can be better with in house, but their are many, many fine contract people of a higher caliber as well.

            There "may" be a lower cost, less personel problems and fewer 3AM phone calls with contract.

            Have I opened the flood gates now?
            Quote me as saying I was mis-quoted.
            Groucho Marx

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            • #7
              I have worked contract security and in three proprietary security operations. I prefer working contract security because of the wide variety of places to work, better chances for advancement, and flexibility in scheduling.

              I worked for 3 years in-house for one company where the Director stayed for 25 years. I left because 3 years of staring at cameras on the midnight shift was all I could take no matter how good the pay and benefits were. A friend of mine worked there for 15 years before making supervisor, and was offered the Directors job 4 years after that. He turned the Director's job down because he was retiring in a year. Fifteen years is a long time to wait to move up one peg.
              "Striking terrific terror in the hearts of criminals everywhere" Since 1977.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ValleyOne View Post
                Cons: Opposite of the above as well as you can't transfer to another site if the one your at sucks. Given that this is a hotel chain odds are the next site is not within a dialy commutable distance.
                That's what worries me if I don't like it I'm stuck.Thanks for all the info guys.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by cptmike223 View Post
                  Hi, Guys I'm new here so try not to pick me apart to much. I have recently been offered a in-house security/loss prevention position with a well known hotel chain. I also have been offered various positions in a well known but not very well respected contract security company that I've been with for about 4 months.I was wondering what the pros vs cons are ? Is In-house security that much better than contract security ?I would like to hear your opinions/comments
                  thanks in advance for any help
                  Frankly, we can't answer this question for you other than offering very general observations that may be entirely inapplicable to your specific choices. For instance, the pay and benefits are generally better with in-house over contract security, but this might well not be true of your specific choices. We also know nothing about your own personal preferences about a million things that might differ between the two alternatives.

                  I'm also not sure what you mean by "not very well respected security company", or how you are making that assessment. Not well respected by whom?...and why isn't it well respected?

                  Maybe the best thing you can do is:

                  1. Get some background on each company - the hotel and the security company. You might even be able to contact the security licensing authority for your state and find out if there have been complaints filed, etc., etc. The Internet is great for this kind of research - and don't forget news sources.

                  2. Don't just answer questions during your interview, ask some of your own questions, too. Bring these with you in written form if you won't remember them. Make sure you understand the compensation/benefit package, and ask whether there are "extras" like 401K and/or profit-sharing plans. If they do have a 401K, ask if it's "matching" or "nonmatching" (employer matches your savings or some portion of it, or puts in nothing). Ask, directly, about the working conditions, scheduling requirements, "on-call" demands, "extras" that you have to pay for yourself such as uniforms/gear, and also whether there are opportunities for education, training and advancement.

                  When formulating questions, you need to have some idea of what you value most in a job other than just the compensation. Do you prefer to work inside rather than outside? You'd pick the hotel. Do you prefer a variety of venues? Pick the security company. Do you think the hospitality industry in general is interesting? Hotel. Do you like patrol? Security company. Etc.

                  3. Once you've gathered as much information as you can, you must trust your intuition. (Intuition isn't worth crap until you feed it some information.) But, you still have to realize that you could make the "wrong" choice anyway. Unless you're on your last legs in terms of your working life, it's okay to make a mistake. You'll have time to correct your mistake. Just don't make THE mistake of convincing yourself that you MUST be right about this decision. You're not selling yourself into bonded servitude, after all.
                  Last edited by SecTrainer; 09-28-2007, 12:54 PM.
                  "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

                  "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

                  "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

                  "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

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                  • #10
                    I have worked both and there are pros and cons to both. In my experience in house has provided a great deal more pay and benefits. It isn't even close.

                    When a company has taken the steps to have their own security force it usually means they actually want you there and you are more than just a warm body that gives them a break on their insurance.

                    The caliber of officer is generally better with in house, but good and bad officers can be found in both. You have better job security with in-house because most places have due process and progressive discipline. With contract, you can be re-assigned in a heartbeat or the account can be underbid by another company and you are out.

                    The only real advantage I see with contract is the flexibility.

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                    • #11
                      I'd like to add one thing to my earlier reply.

                      If, after thinking about the pro's and con's of each situation, you still haven't come to a strong conclusion either way, I'd suggest you take the in-house position for the simple reason that these opportunities come along much less often than contract security positions. So, if you're wrong, it would be easier for you to move to a contract position than the other way around.
                      "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

                      "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

                      "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

                      "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

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                      • #12
                        Valley is right on! Although, I have never went to a "in-house" situation. I know people who did. And Valley is on target.

                        Be safe,

                        Hank
                        " We are determined that before the sun sets on this terrible struggle, our flag will be recognized throughout the world as a symbol of freedom on one hand and of overwhelming force on the other" - General George C. Marshall

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by HotelSecurity View Post
                          In-House. 1 boss

                          Contract. At least 2.

                          BTW will you be working directly for the major chain or for a licensee? (A little known fact Holiday Inn owns NO hotels in Canada they are all independantly owned or owned by companies that own a few, sometimes with different chains - as in my case).
                          No way!? Thats very weird, good piece of trivia right there thanks. I love stuff like this.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by cptmike223 View Post
                            That's what worries me if I don't like it I'm stuck.Thanks for all the info guys.
                            I am a big believer in the old saying "Its only as bad as you make it out to be" mind you I am very new to this field of work, but so far I haven't had any horrible shifts. I surprisingly really enjoyed myself on the late shift in the middle of nowhere the other day.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Cactus View Post
                              No way!? Thats very weird, good piece of trivia right there thanks. I love stuff like this.
                              This one will knock your socks off. Holiday Inn is no longer owned by Americans. It is a spin off of Bass breweries in the UK!
                              I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
                              Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

                              Comment

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