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How can a client get a better quality security officer?

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  • grenadier
    replied
    ... better quality Security officers

    You get what you pay for!!! Remember this first and foremost!! secondly if you don't train like you fight you will lose!!! a Few years ago We put all of our first line supervisery personnell through week of "Covey training" for mid level managers , customer satisfaction went through the roof about 3 months after the supervisors were back on the job and absenteeism went down, call offs went down, tardiness stopped, customer comment cards were suddenly fun to read, and more plentiful than ever. Not every one is a born leader, in fact very,very few are. Old army saying Lead follow or get out of the way! the Covey classes really made a difference in attitude more than any thing else and it worked for us. Basic inteligence must be the foundation for any job aplicant wearing a badge with or with out a gun.

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  • SecureTrans
    replied
    I think that many people here have really valid points about what it takes to get better officers. From my perspective, the key ingrediants are:

    1. Better Pay - I am, outside of government contracting, one of the higher paying security companies in Washington. Our starting rate for an entry level officer is $12.00-$12.15 per hour and tops out (this year) at $23.65/hr. In addition to an annual pay increase, which has generally averaged 3-6% for each of the last four years, we have a merit based pay structure, where pay is determined by a combination of longevity and training with longevity being the smallest component of the merit plan.

    2. Training - I have found that the more training you provide, generally the better the quality of the officers you have out in the field. Washington State requires 8 hours of pre-assignment training (we generally, but not always, require a minimum of 12.75 hrs of pre-assignment and we generally top out at 44.75 hours of pre-assignment) then they require an additional 8 hours of post-assignment training and 4 hours of annual training. I have a few officers who are content to meet the States requirements, and we assign them accordingly and I have a pretty large number of officers averaging 30-70 (45 hours per year is the average) hours a year of on-going and refresher training as well as more than 20 officers who do 100+ hours per year (I have ten who exceeded 200 training hours in 2007). One of the things we find is that officers who seek out the training opportunities we provide have better bi-annual evaluation scores and are the ones that our clients most often send us positive comments about.

    3. Good Equipment - Taking care of your officers is definately a big issue with us, A newly hired probationary officer is usuall sent out into Field Training with 3 long sleeve and three short sleeve shirts, three pairs of trousers, a trouser belt, patrol jacket, baseball cap, knit cap, commando sweater, double weight turtleneck, and reflective safety vest. Depending on the assignment we also add flashlights (generally assigned to each post not individual issue), rain coats, duty belts, oc (MK IV or MK IX), batons, handcuffs, ballistic vests, riot gear, handguns, tasers, shotguns and patrol rifles, traffic control gloves, whistles, etc. Uniforms and equipment is my third largest budget item after employee wages and training.

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  • N. A. Corbier
    replied
    Team Building and Esprit De Corps are usually overlooked in the contract security industry. Its like a staffing service, you are an individual - not a member of a team or unit.

    Lets forget the police for a minute. Look how many organizational units in major firms have team building and esprit de corps. In the IT world, programming teams are just that... teams. They have identity.

    "We are the User Interface Team for the Microsoft Vista Project."

    They have a mission. They work towards that mission.

    Whereas, what are you? (Not you, the general you.)

    "I do security at a grocery store."

    When your employees readily identify who they work for, you know you're on the right path.

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  • kingsman
    replied
    For a company to be really good, it need to have esprit de corp from the top down. You can have the best trained adn equipped officers in the world, but if the management is lackluster, or incompetent, or just plain does not care, it will filter down to the officers.

    You need a well trained management team.
    You need to offer pay and benefits to attract quality people.
    You need a client who is aware of waht it takes to be a
    good officer, and is willing to pay for it.

    The company I work for hires mostly good and well trained officers. But they care little for creating and esprit de corp, and some of the officers are not the best.

    It takes forever to get an officer hired here. at least three months from application to hire.

    Leave a comment:


  • UtahProtectionForce
    replied
    the company i am with right now pays about 1.00 per hr more on average then other companies in the area, they also have more knowledge able people, who care about the job they do, and whom are not the super cop wana be types, they also have a stricter hiring process, where as most companies in my area, you fill out an application, they interview you on the spot, this company makes you go through 2 interviews and their own inhouse background check. which in turns yields better quailty for better pay.

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  • NRM_Oz
    replied
    #7 made me laugh Dougo, as their Aussie cousins have worked around me a few times.

    Further to comments on company equipment, it is the little things that upset the apple cart which includes radios that are non functional or have faulty batteries. Torches often have flat batteries with no1 going to change them over or find the spares missing again. It does not take much to persuade a good security professional to accept a better offer from a rival firm.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    You want better S/O's???

    I have noticed a few things that contribute to officer performance:

    1. Smaller companies tend to have higher customer satisfaction ratings. They are smart enough to not over-extend themselves and do not tax their officers with unrealistic demands, i.e. working 5 or 6 12+ hour shifts in a week. The average human cannot handle that kind of work and still carry on life.

    2. You get what you pay for. If I am making $10/hr and am having to do guard tours, lock/unlock, foot patrol and occassionally stand in for other guards, I am on my way to another job.

    3. Training is essential. S/O's should be given some sort of incentive program for advancement. If I do not monetarily benefit from getting extra certs, and all they mean is I get to do more work, I will not get them...

    4. Screen your employees. I just started a new job recently and was hired on as a 'supervisor' on the spot without calling my past employers or anything. I do my job as all my supers will attest to, but this is how you get terrible employees. "Garbage in=Garbage out."

    5. Better equipment helps as well. Not only does it improve officers' morale when they look sharp, they can more effectively perform their duties. I worked for a company that refused to give us rain gear. They always had a lame excuse why we didn't have it. To explain, Texas state law requires our badge, company name, and "Security" to be visible on the outermost layer of our clothing, be it jacket, rain gear, or whatever. I worked a post where I did not leave my vehicle for 12 hours except to use the head because it was pouring down rain. WE DO NOT GET PAID ENOUGH TO DEAL WITH CRAP LIKE THAT OR GET SICK FOR OPS MANAGERS' STUPIDITY.

    6. Better management and supervisors. If we sense incompetence in our higher-ups, we will usually disount them. I have supers who have been in the business less than I have. They may have business degrees, but they know nothing about how to do my job. They do not understand field work. This is why I am such a supporter of promoting from within.

    7. Fire all your WBS wastes of space if counseling does not do the trick. The 300# yeti with the nacho cheese stains on his untucked, wrinkled uniform shirt,with his piercings and inability to shower, shave or cut his mop of hair, not to mention his white tennis shoes with his black uniform pants he found on the floor or his beat-up Civic hatchback while hungover/stoned to annoy clients with his lack of knowledge, talking through his unbrushed teeth while listening to his iPod or reading his comics or playing his Nintendo DS, or talking with what, miraculously, appears to be a girlfriend should not be allowed to show up late and unprepared on site (no flashlight on night shifts, etc.), this kind of 'guard' should be fired...I have worked with them and I have seen them with other companies who then wonder why they cannot keep accounts.

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  • wisecure
    replied
    I think a major reason is pay...plain and simple not EVERYONE takes pride in the work they do even if they are payed little. My philosophy is do the job the best you can regardless....if you dont like the pay go get a different job.

    But it is hard to expect to get the most professional people in the world for 8 bucks an hour around here. So unfortunatly you attract alot of bums who just happen to not have a criminal record and live in thier parents basment with no motivation to do anything.

    I have found working conditions/pay/workmates to be better in an "in-house" security force like I work with now. They are able to cut out the middle man, we are employees of the hospital. The pay is better and so are the attitudes and type of people. Also it seems most here take a little pride in the fact that they work here...actually dealing with people/situations instead of guarding cheese or pudding.

    Basically it comes down to the person...I may take my job serisously and do it well...but if I'm good then you can bet I wont be around long with only 8 bucks an hour.....its insulting to pay someone with responsibility that....hell the kids at McDonalds make 7.50. Better pay and some responsibilty = pride in work and at least an applicant pool with people who have potential. Seriously what person qualified with experince etc. or whatever would work for 8-9 bucks an hour??

    Sometimes I wonder why McDonalds doesnt hire 5 people at 10 bucks an hour instead of 10 people at 7 bucks an hour or whatever...same prinicple..better pay means possibility for better help and that means less screwed up food orders that I drive away with. I gaurentee that if the companies payed the officers around 15 and the companies took the rest....there would be a DIRECT correlation with performance, you would still have idiots (hopefully weeded out in interviews) but generally as a rule they would be more satisfied.

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  • NRM_Oz
    replied
    Some valid points have been raised including a client's expectations when paying a premium rate but not knowing the staff are on minimal rates. A CPP role I accepted with a tv celeb 11 years ago was to have been with a partner for 10 / of my 12 hours. I arrived and 4 hours later my partner arrives in uniform / unarmed. 4 hours later he leaves so I work alone for 8 / 12 hours. Next week I am at the office getting my taxi receipts paid when I see a fax coming in for my CPP job. I see 2 x CPO x 12 hours and a rate 12 times what they paid me. No wonder I was paid to go by taxis. I resigned the following week after I was as I was furious to see such BS around.

    Higher pay does not always guarantee better staff but does attract anyone with a licence or certifications. Often people will flash their exLEO or military experience around and without proper screening you could have a chef or clerk working as your new supervisor / manager.

    Clients expect more bang for their bucks and now will expect the S/O to be also concierge, receptiontion, parking attendant and also to be the tour guide around visitors. Many are too tight with their budgets to pay more for these extra staff but demand better service beyond the scope of the contract.

    Competition does not always give the client the best offer - merely the cheapest. Some firms will undercut so much that they lose money in order to offer technical or consulting services to make up lost income. Don't expect to get anything of a suitable quality in these contracts as the staff are usually going to be paid almost nothing and forced to work 12 hour shifts x 5 days to make up for low wages.

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  • Charger
    replied
    Originally posted by Silva Consultants View Post
    With very few exceptions, most of my clients are less than completely satisfied with the level of professionalism that they receive from their contract security officers. The most common complaints are lack of people skills, lack of motivation, and failure to understand enough about the client's business to really do their job correctly. High turnover is also a major issue.

    In fairness to the security companies, many of these same clients are the same ones that always take the "low bid" when soliciting proposals for security services.

    My question is this: can a client really pay more to get more? That is, if the current billing rate for an officer is $20 per hour, can they offer to pay $25 an hour and get a better officer? Or will they be paying more to get the same basic thing? If paying more money works, what percentage increase in pay would make a difference?

    From the perspective of the security company, what else can the client do to improve the quality of officer and level of service that they receive?

    The majority of my client base is in Washington, Oregon, and Calfornia, if this makes a difference.
    Others have already made some very good points, so I won't go into any detail here. Suffice it to say I agree with what has already been posted. An old saying comes to mind here, "You get what you pay for." If your clients want better officers, then yes they have to be willing to pay more than $13/hr for the contract. And as others have said, they need to make SURE that the added pay is going to the OFFICER, not into the contract company's profit. The vast majority of contract officers out there are making between $8-12/hr here in the PNW. When an opening comes up for a job paying $18/hr+ they go quick, and usually to the officers with more experience/training.

    As hrdickinson put it, I would recommend staying away from the small "mom & pop" companies, and DEFINATELY stay away from the huge national ones. Look for the middle-ground companies that are large enough to be running a good ship, but still small enough to give a rats butt about what's going on.

    Leave a comment:


  • gixxer32404
    replied
    I refuse to work for anyone who has a noncompete clause. They could fire you, now you can't go get another job in that line of work.

    I have had bad experiences,such as a company pays every 2 weeks.The checks were always late, and when u finally get paid it's almost time for another check. They always blamed it on the post office, but they wouldn't fix the problem, such as direct deposit. They said some s/o's couldn't get a bank account, b/c they kept writting bad checks, bad credit,etc.

    I have received paychecks that bounced.

    I have seen armed security w/out an armed license.

    I have observed supervisors w/ far less experience, and training.

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  • gixxer32404
    replied
    Originally posted by Badge714 View Post
    I asked an attorney friend of mine, and she said that fur trappers aren't a protected class. Now if I was a GAY fur trapper, maybe I'd have a case!
    LOL....LMAO!!

    Leave a comment:


  • SecTrainer
    replied
    Originally posted by hisownhero View Post
    Another thing I ran into was the amount of work the officers have to do. I work for a large national company. The people at my site do everything from fire panels, responding to codes, checking fire extinguishers and patrolling, to doing non security related work because this is what the client demands. They feel that for 10.50 an hour, why should they do that when their peers down the street work at a high rise, make 11.00 an hour, and do a quarter of the amount of work.
    Excellent point! The contract must call for adequate staffing, and the post responsibilities/expectations must be realistic. No matter what you pay an officer, or how conscientious he might be, he cannot provide a high level of service if he is being run off his feet because he's asked to secure more area than is proper, is having to try to reconcile the demands of conflicting duties, or because he is being used in ways that detract significantly from the security mission.

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  • HomeInCalifornia
    replied
    No question that substantially higher pay will yield a better quality guard. You'll attract a larger pool of candidates to choose from, like one poster earlier alluded to.

    More importantly, you can afford to be more selective in your job requirements, thus filtering unqualified applicants.

    But just paying the contract security company a higher rate won't do it. Make sure that translates to higher pay for the guard.

    Locally, one company was billing a high profile client in the entertainment industry well over $100 per hour per guard. Client later found out the guards were getting paid only $20 per hour, was upset (understandably so) and fired and replaced that company.

    A $10 per hour guard is different than a $20 per hour guard is different than a $50 per hour guard. Of course, as a client, you can't just pay it, you have to verify you're getting what you pay for.

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  • hrdickinson
    replied
    Originally posted by Silva Consultants View Post
    With very few exceptions, most of my clients are less than completely satisfied with the level of professionalism that they receive from their contract security officers. The most common complaints are lack of people skills, lack of motivation, and failure to understand enough about the client's business to really do their job correctly. High turnover is also a major issue.

    In fairness to the security companies, many of these same clients are the same ones that always take the "low bid" when soliciting proposals for security services.

    My question is this: can a client really pay more to get more? That is, if the current billing rate for an officer is $20 per hour, can they offer to pay $25 an hour and get a better officer? Or will they be paying more to get the same basic thing? If paying more money works, what percentage increase in pay would make a difference?

    From the perspective of the security company, what else can the client do to improve the quality of officer and level of service that they receive?

    The majority of my client base is in Washington, Oregon, and Calfornia, if this makes a difference.
    Here is an example: http://www.hrdickinson.com/products/...tanalysis.html

    Leave a comment:

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