enterprisesecuritymag

Top Skills Needed for Security Guards

By Titan Samuel Jonas, Head of Global Sales, Titan Security Europe

Titan Samuel Jonas, Head of Global Sales, Titan Security Europe

One of the common myths about security guards is that their job doesn’t require many skills. Many people consider this career as an easy choice that is available to everyone. It’s time to correct this misconception. We don’t always realize how versatile are security guards’ responsibilities, and because of that, we don’t see how flexible they need to be. The truth is, security officers should demonstrate a wide range of skills and qualities that are often very different from each other. Some of them are technical and can be developed with gaining experience, while others are part of a person’s character.

At Titan Security Europe, we pay a lot of attention to the predispositions of our security officers. We believe that only a mix of all these skills and qualities allows someone to be a good guard. It’s our top priority to have the best people in our team and provide the best possible services to our clients.

Here are the top skills we think are most needed for security guards.

Observational skills

Observational skills play a critical role in the security guards’ work. No matter if they protect a retail store, a hotel, a warehouse, or a private property, they always have to be alert and vigilant. Their main task is to observe if anything suspicious happens. Being always on the lookout for all kinds of irregularities and threats, security guards have to be focused and ready to react.

Their reaction must be adequate to what they observed. Security guards have to know how to act in different scenarios and what kind of safety measures are appropriate in each of them. Attention to detail is also very useful in this context, as they shouldn’t miss any safety breach.  

Knowledge of procedures

Professional training is also essential. Before they start to work, security guards have to learn safety procedures and get familiar with different technical requirements. In many countries, they are required to receive a specific licence (in the UK it’s SIA licence) to be able to perform their tasks. It’s also very useful if they know basic fire and first aid procedures.

Apart from that, the knowledge of surveillance equipment and all kinds of security alarms is highly appreciated. More and more tasks are being automated and performed with these devices, so every security guard should know how to handle them.

Physical fitness

Even though security guards are often associated with well-built, muscular men, that’s not exactly what we have in mind here. The qualities that are more important than size include speed, agility, strength, and resilience. General physical fitness and good health condition help in all kinds of jobs, and are especially useful for security guards. Their job entails various physical challenges, such as patrolling large areas, lifting heavy objects, or working late at night. Being fit and active makes it easier to perform these duties efficiently and stay focused all the time. Therefore it should be in the interest of every guard to take care of their condition.

Ability to work in a team

Security guards almost always work as part of a team. Even if someone hires only one guard to protect a building or a warehouse, they still have to cooperate with other employees and with the supervisor. In the case of an emergency, they also have to work with police or firefighters and coordinate the action. So the ability to work in a team is essential for every security officer. Effective cooperation ensures the best results and translates directly into safety standards.  

Sometimes, guards should also demonstrate leadership qualities and crowd management skills, which are complementary to teamwork qualities. Every task needs strong management in order to be successful.

Flexibility

At Titan Security Europe we offer varied services - from retail security, through hospitality industry security, to an event or private property security. That’s why we need our guards to be flexible in terms of tasks and responsibilities. Each of these workplaces includes standard duties such as patrolling or emergency management, but sometimes there are additional things to do. It can be operating surveillance equipment, VIP protection at the event, or door supervision in an office building. A good security guard should be well-trained and flexible enough to adapt to different work environments. It also includes the rules and policies of various companies they work for.

Ability to de-escalate conflicts

Security guards should always present a conciliatory attitude. Even though they are trained for the worst scenarios, their goal should be to de-escalate any incident and prevent potential threats. The ability to remain calm in every situation is critical and highly appreciated by employers. That’s because security officers have to interact with different kinds of people every day - people that are not always polite and respectful towards them. But even if that’s the case, guards have to keep a cool head and put safety first.

Communication skills

Good communication skills are priceless in every aspect of a security guard’s job. They are essential in working in a team, de-escalating conflicts, cooperating with emergency services, and in every other interaction with people, including contact with other employees and managers. The truth is that communication skills help security guards resolve the majority of issues. People appreciate if guards can listen and understand their point of view. Only by being empathetic and respectful, they can prevent many dangers.

Excellent communication skills are also helpful in case of emergency when security officers have to carry out evacuation and manage the crowd.

On the other hand, one of the responsibilities of a security guard can be greeting guests and controlling access to the building. In such a situation, they should be friendly and professional to represent their employer well. It’s expected from them to be ready to help customers and provide information if necessary. That’s also when communication skills play an important role.    

As you can see, the job of a security guard requires a lot of different skills. They have to be hard-working and flexible in terms of tasks, but also very well trained in the professional aspect. Whether they work in a hotel, in the retail industry, or in the event security, they need to demonstrate excellent communication skills and empathy. Being a security guard is a demanding job, but the reward is also significant - you get to ensure people’s safety!

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