Did you know that the turnover rate in the security industry can reach a staggering 300% depending on the company?

Sure, turnover happens everywhere. People find jobs that are closer to home, offer better pay or are simply more appealing. But the security field is particularly impacted with an abnormally high turnover rate.

Now, you might be wondering why security guards tend to quit more often than other professionals.

Well, some of the main reasons for such a high turnover rate include:

  • Lack of recognition
  • Stress
  • Poor salary
  • Lack of training
  • Poor recruiting
  • Lack of career progression

The good news is that, while there’s never any guarantee that your employees will stay in their job for a long period, there are effective ways to retain your best security officers and reduce your turnover.

In this blog post, we’ll highlight five ways you can reduce your security guard turnover and save on ongoing recruitment and training costs.

Hiring The Right People

This might sound obvious, yet one of the main reasons security guards leave is because they didn’t have the right profile for the job in the first place.

Sure, you might need someone quickly and want to take shortcuts. But this will only cost you more money on training and recruitment down the road.

Not to mention preventing you from providing security services to your staff or clients in the meantime. So, make sure to be meticulous and do your due diligence during the hiring process to avoid any of these pitfalls.

Some of the steps you can take to ensure you’re hiring the right candidate include:

  • Clearly explaining the duties, and expectations for the role
  • Discussing in detail the work environment
  • Highlighting the benefits of working for your company and the challenges they will face
  • Going through the schedule, the salary and other contractual details
  • Conducting thorough background checks and performing drug tests
  • Planning two rounds of interview minimum to go through HR questions as well as more technical questions to assess their personality and whether their skills match the role
  • Proceeding to reference checks

Taking these steps will ensure that the prospective employee understands your work culture and the ins and outs of the job. It will also allow you to determine whether they’re the right fit.

Related: Concierge Vs Security Guards

Providing Training

Having a training program and providing guidance and support to your security staff is a no-brainer if you’re hoping to keep them around for a long time.

Security guard missions can be extremely challenging. After all, they often have to intervene in risky scenarios and de-escalate situations.

So, they need to be trained to react to every single scenario that could pose a threat to the safety of the general public, or employees and customers of the company they’re working for.

Training is vital for many reasons including:

  • Learning how to keep their cool when problems arise
  • Learning what they’re legally allowed to do so that they never abridge anyone’s rights
  • Learning how to carry and handle their firearms safely
  • Learning best practices regarding interacting with the public
  • Learning the specifics of each new client they’re working for

Read more: Security guard training for New York

How Are Security Guards Trained?

While regularly training your security guards will allow you to provide top-notch security services for your clients and/or staff, it will also give security officers the confidence they need to do their job efficiently.

They’ll know exactly what is expected of them, how to handle any problems that might arise and will feel as though you’ve got their back. Regular training and ongoing support will make them feel like you care about their development. And this, in turn, will help build trust and loyalty.

There are a number of ways that security guards can be trained, depending on the specific security needs of the business or organization they will be working for. Some security guards may receive on-the-job training from more experienced colleagues, while others may undergo formal training courses offered by the security company they work for.

All security guards also receive a license from the state in which they work. In order to obtain a license, security guards must complete a training course that covers topics such as emergency procedures, first aid, and fire safety. Some states also require security guards to pass a background check before they can be licensed.

The level of training that a security guard receives will be dependent on the type of work they will be doing. For example, those working in high-security environments, such as airports or government buildings, will need to undergo more extensive training than those working in less sensitive settings.

Some security guards may also choose to receive additional training in specific areas, such as self-defense or crowd control. This type of training can be beneficial in helping security guards to handle difficult situations that may arise on the job.

Overall, the training that security guards receive helps to prepare them for the various challenges they may face while on the job. By understanding how to properly respond to emergencies and handle difficult situations, security guards can help to keep people and property safe.

Whatever the specific training requirements are, all security guards must learn how to stay calm under pressure, identify and resolve potential security threats, and communicate effectively with both co-workers and the public. With the right training, security guards can be an important asset in keeping businesses and organizations safe.

Building A Positive and Inclusive Corporate Culture

While security guards aren’t typically involved in the day-to-day operations of a business, they should still be treated as part of the team. After all, they ensure everyone’s security!

So, make sure to include them in any after-work social events and encourage your team to build relationships with them. This will help them feel invested and engaged. And research has shown that engaged employees are less likely to quit.

In fact, according to Bersin, companies that have high engagement can reduce their turnover by up to 31%!

Also, showing your appreciation and recognizing the value of your security guards is key in building a positive corporate culture that will ultimately help you retain your best security officers. Thank them for their excellent work every now and then and make them feel valued. Recognition is a sure-fire way to ensure their loyalty in the long run.

Extending Company Perks To Security Officers

Do you offer gym membership to your employees?

Or perhaps you give your employees a discount on company stores? Whatever company perks you offer to your employees, why not extend some of them to your contracting staff including security officers?

While the cost will be minimal to your business, it can significantly boost your security officers’ job satisfaction as they feel appreciated and incentivized to stay in the job. If the perks are enticing enough, they’ll also be more productive and committed to excelling in their role as they’ll want to keep their job.

Offering a Competitive Salary

The average national salary for security guards in the US is $34,103 a year.

One of the main reasons security guard turnover is so high is because the pay is often too low. Now, you might think that keeping the pay around the market average is the best strategic decision as it’ll limit your security budget. Yet, it will only end up costing you more in recruitment and training.

If you want to attract and retain quality security guards, you need to offer them a competitive salary that will allow them to not only pay their bills, but also plan their future.

If you provide them with a good salary (5 or 10% above the market average), they’ll be able to envision their future working for you and commit to your business for a long period.

We hope this article sheds some light on the key steps you can take to improve your security guards’ retention. Protecting people, businesses and assets can be a stressful and challenging job. So, don’t take your security officers for granted. Instead, let them know how appreciative you are of their work.

Joseph Ferdinando is the visionary founder of Building Security Services, a leading security company renowned for its comprehensive security services. With an illustrious career spanning over 40 years in the security industry, Joseph has been instrumental in elevating the standards of security guard services for a broad spectrum of businesses and organizations. As an influential member of the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) in both New York and New Jersey chapters, Joseph has played a pivotal role in shaping industry standards and practices.