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What to Consider When Hiring a Security Guard

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By Ephrat Livni, Esq. on July 28, 2016 2:14 PM

It is time to hire some muscle, or you think it might be. But you have never done such a thing and are not even sure what exactly you need to know. In fact, you may not even know how to go about finding a security guard that is appropriate for your business.

Beyond finding and hiring the right person, you also need to figure out the details of your guard's job. There is actually a lot to consider, so let's do that here.

Why a Guard

Of course, before you hire anyone, you need to understand your own needs so as to convey them to someone else. So figure out whether you just need a guard on weekends when the shop is busy or all the time. What kind of background and experience do you prefer? Is this person going to just serve as a deterrent or will the guard actively patrol. Are there any other duties you will expect performed? Will your guard be armed?

Finding Your Person

This last question leads to critical issues, like liability for your muscle and who can be trusted. Who will you hire? Many police officers work as security guards during off-duty hours and the website Security Consensus suggests calling local police agencies to inquire about hiring. The advantage of hiring a police officer is that you know you have someone who is trained and has been vetted by local authorities. You can expect the background checks to be thorough ... and the hourly rate to be relatively high.

A potentially less expensive alternative is hiring a security guard from an agency. Then you will also have the reassurance that the guard has been trained and that their background was investigated. At least in many (but not all) cases, the company can be held liable if it turns out that your security guard is a crook or an arsonist.

Major Considerations

You should think very seriously about the decision to hire a guard. Muscle may deter some thieves and may alert others as to the value in your business. Of course, security guards don't just protect goods, they can protect people too. The reason you need a guard will likely dictate some of your hiring decisions. Do you want to discreetly signal strength or make a show of it? What dangers do your employees face?

There are many major considerations before hiring a guard. You might even want to discuss this with a lawyer so that you understand all the legal implications.

Consult With Counsel

If you're considering hiring security, talk to a lawyer about regulations that may be implicated. Get guidance to make sure you are making the best move for your business.

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