5 Qualities of a Great Security Guard: What You Need to Know

Security guards today have more responsibilities than ever before.

Be observant and have a discerning eye

It is important for security staff to be able to notice small but important details — like a bag left unattended, a person lingering near an exit door, or a vehicle idling outside for a long time. It will be crucial for your security staff to be able to notice details like these and report them to their supervisors if you want them to be effective at their jobs. Hire diligent, observant security guards. It is also possible to determine if a situation poses a danger with a discerning eye. Look for weapons, suspicious people, changes in the environment, and inappropriate behavior as examples of threats. There should be a discerning eye among your security guards.

Be physically fit

An individual’s physical appearance is the first thing they notice about a security guard. Clients may not feel safe in the presence of overweight or out-of-shape security guards. A physically fit security guard has an advantage when it comes to handling unexpected situations that arise in addition to presenting a professional image. That’s not to say you should hire only super-fit individuals — rather, fit enough individuals who can respond appropriately to the situation at hand. Be sure to include a fitness test as part of your hiring process to ensure you’re hiring fit individuals.

Be able to handle pressure and stressful situations

When unexpected situations arise, security guards must be able to respond calmly and with appropriate force if necessary. If two employees get into an argument, what happens? When a client becomes belligerent at the front desk while checking out? In the event that someone wanders into the building while intoxicated? Your security guards aren’t there to solve these problems — they’re there to handle them. Unless your security guards respond calmly and appropriately, the situation could escalate.

Be trained in basic law enforcement skills

Law enforcement experience is a distinct advantage for security guard companies, since they may be able to assess situations more accurately and respond appropriately. However, even security guards who are new to the field should receive training in the basics of law enforcement, such as force continuum, civil rights, and traffic/pedestrian control. Furthermore, your security staff should know how to handle difficult situations, such as intoxicated or disruptive individuals. For example, what do you do if a customer is causing trouble in the store? In such situations, you need to know how to respond appropriately.

Have a strong moral compass and be trustworthy

Keeping things confidential and being discreet is essential for security guards. They must have a strong moral compass and be trustworthy. Security guards must be trustworthy enough not to open unattended bags and search through their contents, for example. It is imperative that the security guard be discreet when leaving an individual unattended and not reveal the individual’s belongings or other details to others. Background checks can be conducted on potential employees, but you can’t always be sure what you’ll find. Asking questions that explore the moral compass and discretion of your security staff is the best way to ensure they are trustworthy and ethical.

Should know how to respond in an emergency

Guards must be trained and prepared to respond appropriately in an emergency. Any number of unexpected scenarios could occur, including an active shooter, a medical emergency, or a fire alarm. When confronted with an armed individual who threatens others in the building, what should you do? Your security staff shouldn’t freeze in the event of an emergency. It is more important to hire individuals who are confident, calm and prepared to respond and keep others safe at all times.


It is important to remember that you get what you pay for when hiring security guards. It is likely that you will receive an inferior product if you hire inexpensive, inexperienced security guards. Security staff members need to be skilled and knowledgeable in the field if you want them to be effective. Ensure that you hire quality employees if you want to provide quality security services. Observant individuals, physically fit, capable of handling stressful situations, trained in basic law enforcement skills, have a strong moral compass, are trustworthy, and know how to respond to emergencies are all qualities to look for when hiring security guards. As a result, your security team will be highly effective.