Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Security Guard

two guards standing back to back

Knowing the industry standards and the right questions will make the process of hiring a security guard company easier and helps ensure your facility is satisfied after the choice is made. There is a list of key questions that can help ensure success. If you are considering completing a bid process or are simply exploring options in the local area, here are the top questions to consider.

  1. How long has the company been in business?
    • This is an important first question to any company you are beginning to engage with on certified security guard services. While there are license requirements and oversight to security guard companies, it is important to make sure the company has longevity. Knowing how long the company has been in business and the types of clients they service historically can provide a good basis for the type of company they are.
  2. What types of security guard services are provided?
    • This is a question that will make a significant impact on your service level, budget and overall experience. Certified security guards come in many different forms of service. Knowing what your facility needs is key and an experienced guard company can help you determine what might fit your needs best. Companies have many offerings including mobile guards that patrol via foot or vehicle, concierge guards that check in guests and employees, and command center guards that monitor cameras and fire safety systems.
  3. What is your policy on background checks and drug tests?
    • Inquiring about what type of background check and if any drug testing is required is another good question as you begin to learn about a security guard company. In the state of Ohio, security guards are required to be licensed which requires a background check. Drug tests are also common but typically at the client’s request. For example, many government municipalities require drug testing before hiring. A certified security guard company will be able to conduct both tests so that your facility is staffed with the best guards possible.
  4. Do you offer emergency preparedness training?
    • Understanding a security guard company’s emergency training is another great question when getting bids. As a security company takes over an account, it will be important to know if they are simply putting into place existing training or really assessing your specific site and understanding your needs. It is imperative to have safety protocols in place to handle emergency situations. Guards are the eyes and ears of your building so they need to be prepared for fires, floods, and active shooters. A reputable security guard company will build protocols for these types of situations, based on your facility’s needs.
  5. How do you handle customer service and complaints?
    • While no company wants to admit that there will be service issues, the best companies will acknowledge that security guards are humans and life happens. Knowing there will always be call offs and sickness through the life a project means that having plans in place for these emergencies is necessary. It is important to know if your customer service issues will be directed to a call center or to a local manager that is familiar with your site and visits frequently. Find companies that are responsive and interested in long term partnership will help you make the best choice for your facility.
  6. What is their reputation?
    • While this might not be a question that is asked out right, it is important to research the security guard company’s reputation among clients, industry peers, and other businesses. Check reviews and ratings to get a better idea of how the company operates. Ask the company how long they have been in business and what type of clients they partner with. The best security guard companies will have long tenures with other reputable companies. It is also possible to ask for references. This is typical operating behavior and the company will expect to provide this type of information to you.
  7. Does the security guard company understand your market?
    • While it might not matter in other businesses where a company is located, it can matter when selecting a certified security guard company. The city and exact neighborhood that a facility is in will impact not only the type of security needed but many other factors too. Companies that are local are known to have relationships with local police and officials should emergencies arise. They are also familiar with the leading pay rates required for the position. Partnering with a local company can help ensure that you are not over paying or under paying and then getting sub-optimal performance.
  8. What is the security guard company’s management philosophy?
    • Why is it important to ask about how they manage their employees? It is important because guards are often at a site by themselves for up to 8 hours of time. They are tasked with being friendly with employees and visitors, aware of their surroundings and able to follow emergency directions at a moment’s notice. Having a management team that is following up with guard regularly to support them and conduct quality inspections is necessary. The way a management team trains guards on procedures is also important. Guards only have seconds to act, so post orders need to be concise and clear to ensure the building and employees are safe.
  9. How does the company drive accountability?
    • Small and large facilities alike, can experience many different daily issues including potential security concerns, fire or medical emergencies or unwanted visitors and facility managers and building owners need to be well informed of all situations. Asking companies if daily activity reports are provided after every shift is good way to understand how they ensure guards are on site and aware of their surroundings. Bar code watch tours are also available to ensure consistency.
  10. Are they using the latest technology?
    • Leading commercial security guard companies should have technology systems in place to regularly report any unwanted activity so that business owners and building managers are up to date with the overall safety of the building and the employees. Facility managers and building owners need to be well informed of all situations. Mobile technology can also be used to ensure guards are on time and at the correct checkpoint, eliminating unnecessary concern.
    Hiring a commercial security guard service is a great way to ensure that your employees and any visitors feel safe and secure. In addition to these tips, you can also ask prospective companies to provide case studies. These tips and tools will help you select the best company for your business.
    NSG Inc specializes in both security guard services and janitorial services. Located in Cincinnati, Ohio, NSG Inc should be your first call if you have been searching for professional security guards for your business or company. You can contact NSG Inc for security guard services via the phone on (513) 621-5018 or email on