When we think of security guards, we tend to think of them as an either/or scenario. Either a business has them, and it has them all the time, or it doesn’t have them at all. However, there may be times when your business needs to take expanded security measures for a shorter period, and when that happens it’s perfectly possible to hire short-term security guards.
If this isn’t something you’ve done for your business in the past, however, consider keeping the following advice in mind moving forward.
#1: Have a Specific Time Frame in Mind
If you’re going to be hiring short-term security guards, you need to know exactly what “short-term” means in terms of a contract. For instance, is your business hosting a special event with live music and other entertainments over a weekend, and thus you want to have a few extra pairs of eyes and hands around until the event is over? Are you altering your store policies for a limited time (say during an event like a pandemic), and thus you want to have additional security on-site to make sure everything goes smoothly before the restrictions are no longer necessary? Whatever the situation, make sure you can point to the times and dates on a calendar before you pick up the phone.
#2: Check to Be Sure the Security Company Is Certified
The security industry requires paperwork to certify that a company and its representatives all have the necessary licenses and training to provide their services. That’s why it’s important to always check a company’s standing, and to make sure the paperwork is in order before you hire them. Security companies will be more than happy to show that their guards have all been properly trained, and their certifications are up-to-date, so make sure you ask before putting your name on the dotted line.
#3: Know What Sort of Security You Want
It’s important to have some idea of the sort of security guards and services you want before you start looking for a company to fulfill your short-term needs. For example, do you want your guards to be armed or unarmed? Do you know how many individuals you want? Do you just want someone on the door in case of emergency, or do you want a patrol on your property? A security company will usually be happy to discuss options with you, but it helps if you have some idea of what you want coming in so that you can be an active part of the decision-making process.
#4: Rapid Deployment
Security companies who offer short-term security services tend to be used to a quick turnaround time. So whether you need security officers on-hand tomorrow, next week, or in a few months, it’s important to pick up the phone and make the call. As soon as you know you’re going to need extra security (whether it’s because of a recent emergency, or your business plans have suddenly changed), that’s when it’s time to get a short-term contract drawn up.
#5: Short-Term Guards Are Cost Effective
While there may be some sticker shock associated with short-term security guards, it’s important to keep in mind that when you hire guards from a certified company that you’re getting the whole package. Everything from their training and licensing, to their uniforms, to their personal gear has already been covered by the company. So while it might feel like the costs are high, take a step back and consider the investment that went into the guards in question, and the cost at which you’re actually procuring their services.
What Kinds of Events Are Short-Term Security Guards Used For?
Short-term guards, as the name implies, are contracted on a short-term basis. However, there is a great deal of flexibility there, and short term could be a single event of only a few hours, for a few days, or even for a period of a few weeks. It will largely depend on the needs of the client, and why the security services are being contracted in the first place.
Security guards are meant to help protect you from risk. Whether that’s a known risk, or just something that could happen, they are a largely preventative measure. As such, you need to know what risk you’re dealing with that your short-term guards are trying to protect you against. Some incidents that you might face include:
Larger Than Average Crowds
Whether it’s a small-town festival or a major event like a convention or a parade, the more people you have coming through your doors, the more at-risk you are of theft, vandalism, and other, similar incidents. Short-term guards in these instances provide extra eyes and act as a deterring presence before something happens.
If you have had to deal with threats of some kind, then a short-term security guard can help keep you safe while the incident is taken care of. Whether it’s an angry customer who has threatened retaliation of some kind, or threats to disrupt an event you’re hosting, short-term security guards are a shield against these problems.
When something unexpected happens, tensions can grow quite quickly. Extra security can help deescalate situations, enforce store policies, and generally prevent incidents from happening. Whether it’s keeping an eye on a business that had to close to prevent vandalism or looting, or making sure that customers are wearing masks and practicing social distancing during a pandemic, short-term security guards can help maintain order until the danger has passed, and things can return to a more usual pace.
These are just a handful of examples when it comes to the risks you may have to deal with where a little extra security can be the difference between preventing serious problems, and getting overwhelmed by circumstances. Because, as the old proverb goes, an ounce of prevention is often worth a pound of cure.