Safety is an ever-rising concern in today’s day and age. Whenever a new infrastructure comes up, whether it is an office setup, a gated community or an independent villa, security is the first thing on everyone’s mind. Choosing the right security agency is a decision that significantly affects the safety of your office, society or home, and also the list of benefits that tag along. Here are some of the factors to check/consider before hiring a security agency.
1. Check if your security service is licensed
It is illegal for any agency or organization to function without holding a license. Therefore, the foremost thing to double check is whether the agency is licensed or not. In case of a private agency, check if it is governed by the Private Security Agencies Regulation Act, /2005, also known as ‘PSARA.’ As per the license, every agency must have supervisors who undergo the right training and have the necessary skills to ensure their guards are executing work as expected. The act lists out criteria that would qualify or disqualify a guard; it also states the expected health condition and dress code required for the guards. As per the prevailing norms, the agency is required to start working within six months of receiving the license.
2. Find out the guard attrition rate
The attrition rate of guards in the security industry is quite high. This happens due to factors like stress, wages, lack of job security and a lack of growth. While selecting a security agency, checking their attrition rate is an absolute must. As a thumb rule, the rate of attrition is directly proportional to the agency’s reliability.
3. Ask for a Service Level Agreement (SLA)
SLAs establish what the security agency will and will not provide to their customers. Be it video surveillance or guard control devices for their guard patrol, it is all be covered in the agreement. SLAs also help you to manage the business processes for improved efficiency since they clearly outline defined procedures in case of an issue. Therefore, it is imperative to ensure that you are provided with an SLA.
4. Ensure quality of service
A double check on the quality of service before you decide to hire a security agency will reap benefits in the long run. However, how do you ensure quality of service? Here are some questions that can help you establish trust: How is the misconduct of a guard dealt? How well are they trained at handling unexpected and stressful situations? Does every security guard have a license? The answers will help the decision-making team to understand the quality of the service offered. Also, remember, there is no harm in requesting for a trial to gauge if the security agency meets your organizational requirements.
5. Investigate if the agency adheres to government rules
Every security agency must adhere to the fundamental rules of the state government, no questions asked. While most companies have varying minimum working hours for their agency, a minimum of approximately 8 hours per shift is mandatory.
6. Gauge if the agency is customer service oriented
Before you decide on onboarding an agency, always choose the one whose top priority is customer service. A good customer service oriented agency will put its customers and happy experiences at the epicenter. Determine if the agency handles customer queries and concerns in a friendly and efficient manner.
7. Figure out the agency’s main focus
One of the most important questions that needs to be addressed is, ‘What is the main focus of the Agency?’… Is it only security or any other services? There are few agencies out there which offer security as one of their services but not a primary one. However, while scouting for a security agency your primary focus must always be the safety of your premises or community.
8. Inquire about the security equipment used
While in the process to hire the right security agency, you must check on what type of equipment is used to provide utmost safety to the housing society. Is it security hardware devices, manual checks or any app-based security application? Owing to the rapid increase in crime rates, there is always a need for a sophisticated, high-end security system to safeguard the community. Therefore, it is highly recommended to pick an agency that provides the latest and thoroughly approved security equipment.
9. Test their responsiveness
Even if all the above-mentioned criteria are checked, they stand null and void if a guard doesn’t respond adequately during an emergency. In the event of an emergency, how the agency handles the situation and resolves the issue is the key differentiator. A security agency should always be responsive to all the alerts, at all times!
10. Consider the Budget
Choose an agency which fits your budget and provides you with the kind of security you are looking for. Many agencies charge too high and offer guarantee high range security but unfortunately it’s not worth the cost. If the quality of service is uncompromised, price doesn’t really matter. Therefore, find the right trade off between the quality and the cost to ensure better safety.