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What qualities should a security guard have?

Hiring the right security guard for your commercial premises can be a tricky process.

This will be the first person your staff, clients and customers see as they enter the building and you need to be able to place an immense amount of trust in them if you're going to let them look after the space outside of office hours.

It's likely that after posting a job advertisement you'll be presented with a mountain of CVs and cover letters from dozens of candidates with varying levels of experience and different skills and qualifications.what qualities should a security guard have

But what exactly are the qualities you should be looking for in a prospective new security guard?

What's their body language like?

Of course, you're not going to be able to tell whether or not someone is suitable for the role solely by looking at their CV, so you'll need to invite them in for an interview.

Make sure you're already sat in the meeting room when they arrive so you can see how they hold themselves, look out for if they walk with confidence and take note of how firm their handshake is. These factors can all be signs of authority, helping to indicate the individual's suitability for the job.

Height isn't necessarily an important characteristic, it's all about how the candidates present themselves. If they seem to be slumping or aren't totally engaged with your questions, it's likely this will carry into their work, meaning they won't be on the ball enough to protect your premises from potential crime.

How observant are they?

A keen eye is key in the manned security industry, but a certain degree of discretion should go hand in hand with it.

Your guard will need to be observing all of the activity taking place in your premises, looking for thefts, break-ins and other forms of misconduct, either via CCTV screen or in person.

To test this at the interview stage, ask another member of staff to take part in a role-play exercise whereby they commit a discrete act that needs security attention. Measure how quick the candidate's reflexes and responses are to the crime, as this will be a good indicator of their suitability for the position and should put your mind at ease about their capabilities.

Can they speak another language?

When it comes to looking at the qualifications of a candidate, you will most likely be looking at any security-related training they have undertaken.

However, it could be useful to hire a guard who can speak another language.

Recruiting multilingual security personnel can have many benefits, especially if your place of business regularly attracts people from outside of the UK.

And while you may not be running an international intelligence agency, it is worth bearing in mind that the above are all qualities listed by MI5 in a recent job advert for a security professional.

The agency wants to take on someone who can speak Russian, exercise discretion and is highly observant in order to keep tabs on overseas activity - if it's good enough for MI5, then it should be good enough for you.

Posted by Andrew Miller

Image courtesy of Thinkstock/Fuse


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