Hiring a Security Team for a Commercial Building
When you manage a commercial office building in an environment like Manhattan, security is one of your top priorities. Hiring a security guard agency can help protect your property and tenants from potential threats, but it’s important to vet potential agencies carefully to ensure that you select a reputable and reliable team.
Here are some key steps to take when vetting potential security guard agencies:
Check licensing and certification:
It is important to ensure that any security agency is licensed and certified to operate in New York. Security guard agencies must be licensed by the New York State Department of State, Division of Licensing Services. You can find out more about security agency licensing on the Division of Licensing Services website.
Look for industry experience
Experience matters when it comes to providing security services for commercial buildings. Look for security guard agencies with extensive experience in providing security services to properties similar to yours. Ask for references and follow up with them to ensure the agency has a good reputation.
Consider the level of expertise that the security guards have. Are they trained in handling potential security situations that may arise in a commercial building? For instance, do they have experience with access control, emergency response, and CCTV monitoring?
One way to gauge an agency’s level of expertise is to ask about their training programs. Look for agencies that have a comprehensive training program that covers all aspects of security guard work, including basic security procedures, emergency response, conflict resolution, and customer service. Ask about ongoing training and professional development opportunities as well. For example, Knight Security operates the Knight Training Institute, which trains hundreds of guards (not just our own) in New York State.
Inquire about training and certifications
It’s important to ensure that the security guards themselves are properly trained and certified. Proper training is essential for security guards to be able to handle any potential security situations that may arise.
The training should be in accordance with the regulations set by the New York State, and the agency should have a comprehensive training program that includes both theoretical and practical training. Additionally, some security guard agencies may have their own in-house training programs to ensure that their guards have the necessary skills and knowledge.
You should also inquire about any certifications that the security guards have. Certifications can indicate a higher level of expertise or training in a particular area, such as CPR or first aid.
When evaluating a security guard agency’s training and certification programs, look for evidence of ongoing training and professional development opportunities. A good agency will prioritize training and development to ensure that their guards are always up-to-date with the latest security procedures and best practices.
Evaluate the agency’s customer service
A good security guard agency should be responsive to your needs and concerns. When you contact the agency, pay attention to how quickly and thoroughly they respond. Are they able to answer your questions satisfactorily? Do they seem genuinely interested in helping you?
Additionally, ask the agency about their communication policies. How will they keep you updated on security incidents or any other issues? Will you have a dedicated account manager or point of contact?
Look for evidence of a customer-focused approach, such as the use of customer satisfaction surveys or regular check-ins to ensure that your needs are being met. A good security guard agency should be a trusted partner that you can rely on to keep your property and tenants safe.
Ask about insurance
Ensure that the security guard agency has proper insurance coverage to protect your property and tenants in case of any incidents. The agency should have liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance to protect against any damages or injuries that may occur on your property.
Ask the agency to provide you with a certificate of insurance, which outlines their coverage and limits. You should also consult with your own insurance provider to ensure that you have adequate coverage for any potential incidents involving the security guards.
Understand the contract terms
Review the agency’s contract terms carefully, including the pricing structure, termination clauses, and any guarantees they offer. Ensure that you understand the terms and that they are in line with your expectations and needs.
Pay attention to any fees that may be charged in addition to the base rate, such as overtime, holiday pay, or travel expenses. Additionally, look for any clauses that may limit your ability to terminate the contract or change providers.
The contract should also outline the agency’s responsibilities and duties, as well as your own responsibilities as the client. You should understand how the security guards will be deployed, what their duties will be, and how incidents will be handled.
Research the agency’s reputation online by reading reviews and checking with the Better Business Bureau. Look for any patterns or trends in the reviews or complaints. If the agency has a history of poor performance or numerous complaints, it may be a red flag.
Additionally, consider the agency’s reputation within the industry. Are they well-respected among their peers? Have they received any awards or recognition for their services?
Conduct a site visit
Schedule a site visit with the security guard agency to evaluate their services in person. This will give you the opportunity to see how the agency operates and assess the professionalism of their security guards. During the site visit, you should look for the following:
- The security guards should be properly uniformed, with identification badges clearly visible.
- The security guards should be attentive and alert, with a visible presence that deters potential threats.
- The security guards should be knowledgeable about the property and its security procedures.
- The agency should have a clear plan in place for handling emergencies, such as fires or evacuations.
- The agency should have proper equipment and technology in place, such as CCTV cameras or access control systems.
Consider customized solutions
Not all commercial office buildings have the same security needs. Consider hiring a security guard agency that can provide customized solutions tailored to your specific needs. The agency should be willing to work with you to understand your security concerns and develop a plan that addresses them.
Customized solutions may include additional security measures, such as security cameras or access control systems. The agency may also be able to provide additional services, such as parking lot security or event security.
Vetting potential security guard agencies for your commercial office building is a critical process that requires careful consideration. Get it right with Knight.