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Hiring Practices: Due Diligence When Hiring Security

After the events that occurred in Allen, Texas in which an active killer was in fact a licensed security guard it got me thinking. Is the industry doing enough to weed out bad apples? Are companies doing enough?

Here, in my area, an unlicensed security company hired an unlicensed security guard who provided the company with a false name. That security guard murdered a young female college athlete in which he had been dating. If you are an unlicensed security company doing business this article isn't for you. You just need to get it together or leave the industry.

Licensing process: Most areas have some sort of licensing process for security. If you're a state that doesn't require a license well then this article isn't for you as there is no real way for you to monitor licensing. At that point it is up to the company and their hiring practices. If a background is done by the licensing, including fingerprinting, then felonies and misdemeanors of moral turpitude are usually disqualifiers. There still may be some due diligence. If you are hiring a security driver then a DUI/ DWI on their record may be a problem. Crimes like peeping tom or voyeurism are usually misdemeanors. The court process also impacts the way things can show up on records. What about an expunged record?

Job Application: Applications, resumes,and CVs are good in assessing references, timelines, experience, education, etc. Keep in mind an applicant can put what they want you to see. Many are honest but some will omit or add things to make them look good in your eyes. You must have a basic understanding of that and be ready to counter that with questions of your own.

Interview: Formal interviews have standard answers to standard questions. These interviews are very common in big organizations. It's a fair process because the applicants get asked the same questions. I also like personal interviews/ meetings over a cup of coffee. I want to truly look into someone's eyes and assess if they are a fit for me or my company. Hard and honest questions should be asked. Any discrepancy on an application should be confronted. Does the applicant get angry? Do they have a strong opinion about something that could be a liability for the company? It's not necessary that you delve into private information that human resources may deem a no, no. However, you need to believe that the applicant can do security, professionally, for all kinds of clients. Even if the clients belief's differ from their own.

Military: I spent eight years in the military so veterans have a special place in my heart. Many veterans these days have some sort of trauma whether they have been diagnosed with PTSD or not. However, I have ran into so many invalid Navy SEALs and others that it makes me wonder. A DD214 really tells me all that I need to know about someone's service. If they do not have a DD214 then I use the SF-180 form to request military records. Three discharges that should really concern you are "Other than honorable," "Bad conduct," and a "Dishonorable." However, I think a "General" discharge should raise questions.

Law Enforcement: What about terminated police officers? I mean the situations that law enforcement personnel find themselves in can be quite chaotic and unpredictable. I was in Law Enforcement for many years. Have you ever had a friend (cop) that turned out to do some real shady things. The point is, do not let a bias for law enforcement exclude you from asking the tough questions and researching the officer applicant in question. I have nothing but respect for the agencies I have been employed. Look for the applicants that have respect for the agencies in which they were employed.

Social Media: Social media has made it so everything we post online is out there for all to see. Do you check applicant's social media? If an applicant posted neo-nazi type photos or comments would that be a concern? COVID, the political landscape, gender affiliation, and other content seems to be the hot push-button topics. So as a professional is it necessary to check someone's social media?

As a security business owner who do you want working for your company? Do you want a liability or an asset? As a client who wants a security provider who do you want representing your company?

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