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Research reveals most suitable personality types for security work

We've written before about what makes a good security guard, and what you should look for in terms of the character traits and personal qualities of your would-be staff members. We haven't, however, always had the opportunity to support our insights with cold, hard data - until now.

A new study, carried out by i-comment 360 on behalf of FM Contract Watch, purports to show which personality types are most likely to thrive in the manned security sector, as well as which may not. Based on the results of a questionnaire sent to a large number of UK companies with security guards on their payrolls, it divided the industry's longest - and shortest - serving personnel into four different categories. These were dubbed red, yellow, green and blue.

Writing for on July 28th, FM Contract Watch partner Lynda Moore explained the reasoning behind the research: "The security industry … has traditionally had a high staff turnover; the role of security officer is not seen as a long-term career choice, but is often a stop-gap until something different comes along.

"We wanted to see if this can change."

The study's findings were as follows:


People with red personality types were described by Ms Moore as "driven and ambitious" - individuals willing to push themselves forwards and climb the career ladder. This was the third most common psychological profile in the security industry, accounting for just under a quarter of those who answered the questionnaire. Many of these were in supervisory or management roles.


People with yellow personality types were found to be least common overall in the security industry, representing less than 15 per cent of the survey sample. These individuals are "open-minded, free-spirited, spontaneous and imaginative", according to Ms Moore - not traits normally associated with the discipline and commitment required in manned guarding.

However, she added: "That is not to say that a yellow cannot make a good security officer - they just approach it in a slightly different way".


Most of the security guards who took part in the i-comment 360 study - almost 40 per cent - were grouped under the green psychological profile. Individuals of this personality type are distinguished by their ability to stick with something once they've started, as well as a strong sense of duty and understanding of others. It should be no surprise that out of security guards with more than five years' service, close to three-quarters were so-called greens.


People with blue personality types are analytical, structured, realistic, logical and disciplined, according to i-comment 360 - a set of traits that make them well suited for work in the security sector. Correspondingly, they accounted for 25 per cent of the survey sample.

Summarising the study's findings, Ms Moore said: "Obviously, there are no right or wrong personalities that may make a good employee; however, understanding how they would deal with situations that are not playing to their strengths is the key.

"We believe that the industry must use more positive ways and be more particular in who they recruit in order for it to up its standard and this is one support system that could help."

Which personality types do you think your security guards belong to?


Posted by Andrew Miller

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