Security guards are responsible for ensuring the safety of facilities and their occupants. Whether these officers are stationed in a condo lobby or an airport terminal, they must remain vigilant about protecting their clientele. All security agencies must be cautious about who they hire for these important roles.
In Ontario, security guards must hold a valid security license. This is obtained after successfully completing 40 hours of formal training and passing a government-issued exam. But simply acquiring a security licence does not necessarily mean an individual will be an effective guard. They must possess good character, specific skillsets, and the strong will to solve problems. Let’s explore 5 key attributes of a great security officer.
A good security guard is constantly aware of his or her surroundings. They are alert, focused, and not easily distracted. These qualities are important as security officers must always be on the lookout for suspicious activity or unusual behaviour. An unobservant person may miss something or overlook a detail that could put people’s lives in jeopardy. A security guard’s alertness is reflected in how quickly and how accurately they can respond in a critical high pressure situation, for example a fire alarm, or a trespasser. An admirable security guard will be able to analyze the details quickly, so they can decide the next course of action. They have the mind to act sensibly and responsibly no matter the circumstances.
A security guard is often in possession of special access codes, master keys, and sensitive data. That’s why they must be trustworthy. This is why security companies take care when hiring for security positions to ensure there’s no criminal history or malicious activity. An honest security guard is also crucial for a company to maintain its good reputation among customers. Because they are often the face of the organization, upstanding character is a must.
#3: Physically Fit
An unhealthy individual may not be able to perform the duties required of an effective security officer. Because the job can be physically demanding, a good security guard must be fit. Whatever the task, it is necessary to stay healthy and exercise regularly. Security officers are also required to wear uniforms, so they can represent the client in the best way possible. Since they are interacting with the general public, a high-quality guard must always portray a professional image.
#4: Good Communicator
Effective communication skills are necessary, especially in high-risk situations. Security officers are expected to calm the public and defuse volatile situations. Clear, courteous communication can be the deciding factor in how a tricky situation plays out. A good security officer should also possess strong written skills. This will allow him or her to document each incident in a concise and accurate manner. Meanwhile, the majority of a guard’s interactions will be with the employees and customers of the company they’re hired to protect. So a friendly attitude and cheerful disposition are also key.
#5: Team Player & Leader
It’s very rare that you will see guards gathered in large groups. But in most cases they are working as part of larger teams to ensure a business parameter is completely secure. This is why a security guard must be a team player. They must be able to collaborate with others and respect the ideas and opinions of colleagues. A good security officer will also know when to follow orders, and when it’s appropriate to assert him/herself. They are willing to step up for their teammates in times of need, whether on the job such as helping to deal with a trespasser, or whether working an extra shift because a teammate has an important family function to attend.
A reputable security services firm will ensure that its officers have the above attributes. Although strength of character is very important, it’s also crucial that security guards have the formal training necessary to perform the job effectively.
Protecting your business and customers should always be the top priority. So if you’re interested in hiring a security officer, always use the services of a licensed company. By allowing a third-party to handle security concerns, you can focus on other areas of your company like customer service and marketing.