Contracting for a security company (revised)
One of the biggest problems that companies, of all sizes, face when contracting for security officers at their facility, or a remote one, is the contract. What needs to be added and what is the client responsible for.
I hope that this post will help those of you who are on one side or the other to determine which points should be addressed and included in the contract. This is mainly because you can’t just say “There is the spot. Now go guard it!” You have to be far more involved than that.
Being involved with and having been on both sides of this for more than 20 years I think I have some insights on the issue. And yes, I’m kinda biased when it comes to security officers, which is one reason I was so good at it and I had the loyalty of my officers, even when being in management and having to discipline them.
1. The hours they’ll work. This has to be fairly set despite the fact the company should be flexible enough to accommodate hours that move. Just give them enough notice before you change.
2. Uniforms. Yes as the client you are tasked in what they wear. Do you want them in a military style uniform or soft corporate look? Possibly you want them in coveralls for a dirty post. The type of uniform they wear will determine how much they are respected and carry out their duties & responsibilities.
3. Training. As with pay, the client is responsible for knowing how much training is required on the post itself and providing that training at a reasonable bill rate. If the job is complicated and the operations manual is long and involved, then several days of training may be necessary to acclimate the officers to the post. Sometimes this may mean 40 hours or more.
Likewise, if the post only requires the most basic of patrols and reports, then maybe only 1 shift of training is necessary. Whatever the training time required, the client needs to be willing to pay for at least half, hopefully all, of it. No matter if it takes 40 hours or 8
Additionally, as a recent court ruling has proven (March 31, 2015 Philadelphia, PA. U.S. Security Associates, Inc. of Georgia), a WPV incident) you need to train and inform the officers on crisis procedures. It’s not enough anymore to just train them to observe and report. Your officers need to be more professional.
4. Lastly is pay. You have to ensure that the officers get paid at least as much as your contracted janitors. Ensure that the wages they are making reflect the duties they are expected to perform and the performance you require. If they are simply a ‘fire watch’ and doing nothing more, then minimum wage may be okay. On the other hand, if you are requiring them to make patrols, write reports, access control, monitor systems & alarms, providing excellent customer service, and other such items then several dollars above minimum is necessary.
The key point here is don’t low ball the contractor. And don’t pit companies in a bidding war. And don’t play them off one another for a lower bill rate. All of these will get you nothing but problems and turnover in the long run.
5. Who is responsible for the post orders? Another point to consider that is vitally important is who is responsible for writing and maintaining the post orders. From the initial set when the post is started to additions, changes, or revisions. The client needs to be responsible for writing the first set of them. Why? Who knows the facility better than the client?
Are these all the points you need to cover? Absolutely not. There are a myriad of items that need to be looked at in the contract. Without any explanations, as the above, here is a list of those items
• After hours and on-site supervision & management
• Equipment, company or personal (including what is prohibited)
• Client contact during and after business hours, as well as vacations
• Emergency call lists
• Extra officers or shifts
• Times needed for the officers
• Time limit requirements for getting extra officers/coverage on-site
• Customer service/performance requirements
• Licensing and such for the municipality
• Background checks, if not required by the state or municipality
• Officer ‘extras’ i.e. vacations, medical, time off, & etc.
• Any special requirements that may be needed
And these may only be a short list of what you need in the contract! Depending on your company and situation you may need a whole lot more. Places such as nuclear power plants or chemical manufacturing facilities.
Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, blogs, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security field for nearly 32 years, and 24 studying workplace violence issues.
He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/oneistoomany, Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV/SV as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.