Improve Security by Outsourcing

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Can you get great security personnel with a contract security firm? The answer is absolutely “YES.” Many high level administrators incorrectly assume that only a proprietary team run by their security director are capable of administering a quality security program. But this is not the case. Security professionals love what they do whether it’s working for an in-house program or a contractor. So why not look at outsourcing? Working with a security contract firm has many advantages. Here are a few of the advantages of contracting:

First, security contractors are singularly focused on hiring security professionals. That’s all they do: look for quality SECURITY personnel. They are well connected.

Second, with an outsourced security program there is continual training and career development—something an in-house program pays extra for and many times gets pushed aside when things get busy. Contractor security training is regularly scheduled (usually quarterly) and is easy to obtain. Clients choose from a variety of training programs that best suits their company’s needs. 

Third, outsourced security also means no overtime costs for regularly scheduled hours. So if a security officer is sick, or needs time off, a contract security partner—like Allied Universal—will have ready for duty a replacement who has been a steady back-up to the location in case of the emergency. With an in-house program you can’t keep an extra person ready for duty quite so easily. 

And lastly, an outsourced program will do the scheduling, management oversight, hiring and replacing of the security officers, leaving the big picture of safety and security to the security director. If you’re a security director reading this, wouldn’t you love not to have the management headaches? 

Here are four simple rules on how to implement a quality security program with a contract vendor:

  1. Set a decent pay rate. Contractors, like Allied Universal, need to attract quality individuals and provide a pay rate compensatory to the skill set. Your officers want to work in security, but need to be paid for the skills and know-how they bring to the job. Set a pay rate that’s right for your marketplace.

  2. Don’t let procurement drive the decision on whom to buy with based on selecting the lowest bill rate. Security contractors need to make payroll taxes, pay medical benefits, and have the ability to offer vacations and 401K plans. And they also aspire to make a small profit. The need to drive down costs will not lower these payables, instead it may result in lowering the pay rate, violating Rule #1. Let procurement know this is unacceptable, as you must have skilled personnel.

  3. Check local references and meet the contractor’s area management. Ensure that service is local. You need a contract partner that has the skill set and experience to make sure you are getting the right personnel, training and response that you need. If you aren’t having interaction with local management before buying, how do you know what you are getting? You can’t hire a company sight unseen.

  4. Find out what technology is available to security professionals. There are tools that provide GPS tracking and electronic incident reporting for use while on duty. These tools provide management oversight, tour confirmations, and reduce liabilities by keeping historic information easy to find. Companies like Allied Universal provide this technology free of charge with their services.

    To sum it up, security professionals are on the frontline. Contract security companies know this. They can put the strength of recruiting and experience in management to best meet the needs of clients–often times above and beyond what an in-house company can do. Contract security companies know that their security officers are a reflection of the companies they serve. Follow the above rules and your decision to outsource will look brilliant! 

    judy dixon  About the Author
      Judy Dixon is a Business Development Manager for Allied Universal.