Studies show that the private security industry in Australia has been growing at a steady rate, thanks to an increasing demand for solutions like electronic security and protection for cash-in-transit.
New players of different sizes are also joining the game, and the nation has seen an increase in locally and internationally-owned security companies.
With a market this large and diverse, it can be hard to narrow down the perfect corporate security company to fit the needs of your business or organisation.
How many years of experience is enough to prove reliability?
How much weight should one place on a corporate security company’s list of clients?
Do shiny tools really indicate the quality of an agency’s service?
We answer these questions and more in this article that covers everything you need to know about vetting a corporate security company.
1. It Pays to Prioritise Experience
Corporate security companies that have been around for longer tend to have an advantage over newer firms. This isn’t a golden rule, as it’s more than possible for new firms to outperform industry veterans - however there are a number of reasons why we’d advocate trusting a more established company for your needs.
For starters, experience generally correlates with better service and more seasoned employees. If an experienced job applicant has had the time to learn their craft, refine their practices, and make their share of mistakes, the same goes for a company with more time in the field.
Likewise, experienced companies have had the chance to build a reputation for themselves. You should have an easier time sourcing referrals and testimonials about private security providers that have been around for longer. The alternative is taking a stab in the dark with a company that hasn’t been tested by others in the past.
2. A Client List is Worth a Thousand Words
One size does not fit all when it comes to private security companies, as some agencies are better equipped to service clients from a particular industry, or of a particular size. This is where a security company’s list of clients is significant: the more companies and organisations you find that are similar in size and nature to yours, the better.
A company’s client list is an indicator that they’ve had experience with managing large (or small) sites, dealing with workflows that resemble yours, and catering to the needs of businesses with processes and operations that are at least similar to yours.
Of course, private security companies aren’t often inclined to share a list of their clients with prospective leads—and this is a point in their favour. However, they should at least confirm whether or not they’ve serviced clients similar to you, and how many times in the past they’ve done so.
3. Innovation is Key
There’s no point investing in a corporate security company that isn’t equipped to handle more advanced threats to your establishment. We highly recommend investing your trust in corporate security companies that are versed in the latest technology and best practices in their field.
Security isn’t the kind of industry where yesterday’s tools will pass. Genuine threats to the safety of your staff and assets would have done their homework - at the very least, they’ve consulted one of the many guides to beating a security camera that you can find online.
The leading private security firms are in a constant state of innovation, knowing that every passing month makes their existing tools and plans less effective.
4. Clear Communication Matters
When picking a corporate security firm worth trusting, we can’t overstate the importance of clear communication. From the get-go, communication is a sign of how well they understand their business, how well they understand your needs, and how invested they are in helping you (as opposed to merely turning a profit).
As you go about selecting candidates and sitting through pitches, take note of how well they respond to your inquiries and volunteer information. The right private security provider will be patient, informative, and active in suggesting improvements that may or may not involve their services.
5. More Services Make for Better Options
While specialisation is the way to go for many aspects of business, we find that corporate security companies that offer a wide range of services tend to stand out.
When a private security firm comes with many offerings, it’s an indicator of the resources that they have at their disposal. Take it as a positive sign when a company can set you up with any number of electronic security systems, guard patrols, cash-in-transit protection, and satellite surveillance options.
Note that this bit of advice applies mainly to large entities like corporations, agencies, and sizeable organisations—more basic offerings are the best fit for smaller clients.
6. Business Awards Have Merit
The final item on our list concerns awards: do they matter in the long run, or are they simply for show?
Business awards reflect a level of esteem within a particular industry, and their recipients tend to be well-respected by their peers. While we don’t recommend ignoring companies that haven’t had the chance to win awards of their own, we suggest giving award-winning agencies a second look.
Awards for service, administration, and innovation are positive signs that an agency you’re considering is worth the investment. We also highly recommend security firms that have won recognition as employers - the last thing you want is to partner up with a security company full of disgruntled employees.
It’s easy to fly blind when hiring a corporate security company. After all, you can’t be totally certain of a firm’s quality until you’ve given them the chance to work for you.
The six features we’ve listed above should give you a starting point when vetting candidates. Perfect information makes for better decisions, so we recommend working based on facts that you can confirm - these are the things they’ve listed on their websites, confirmed in meetings, or the things you’ve heard from peers that have worked with your candidate agencies in the past.
Finally, however, you choose to go about it, know that Unified Security is prepared to serve companies, agencies, and organisations of size. As the largest, private, indigenously-owned security company in the country, our experts can talk you through the process of finding a company that’s right for you - whether it’s us, or one of our colleagues in the industry.