Why background checks are absolutely necessary while recruiting a security guard

September 5, 2014

Every firm has assets and valuables, in the form of information, products and much more. Security today is not an option but a requirement that can be availed from service providers across the country. There are various segments and types of security services to cater different sectors. The most common and widely employed type is that of the security guard. They have a direct responsibility to oversee premises and offer alertness and quick resolve throughout the day. Hundreds of security guards are recruited every year and there is a steady rise in the employment sector for the modern multifaceted security guard job. While recruiting, an important aspect to be considered is background checks, where negligence can have dire consequences. As an ancient Roman poet once asked, “Who watches the watchmen?”

Screen for Criminal Element

In a hurry to set up a decent security system for a company (sure it sounds less exciting than the turnover the company would make once it gets going), the HR team could miss out on a proper background inspection of the employees. Regretfully, this has led to shocking incidents pertaining to security guards and the firm eventually has had to cut a sorry figure. There have been cases reported where a security guard is convicted of theft, fraud, sexual assault, and other offenses that emanate strong irony. Information security is another sector where security officer’s failures or felonies have been reported. Given the value of the assets under their protection, it is no surprise that some of these guards have abused their rights.

Having understood the significance of a proper background check for security guards, one must ensure the HR team does its job. Police verification for criminal records and a fingerprint check is a bare minimum for background checks. Rigorous screening and referee reports always help make a clear decision about a candidate. Once an Information Security Officer at a firm got praiseworthy performance throughout his first year, only revealed to be a felon on parole as the police department came inquiring. To the embarrassment of the firm, they found their recruitment cell had forgone the verification process in a rush to install security systems. If a criminal record check had been made, such a slipup could have been avoided.

Safe Guard from Health Concerns

The severity of the background check procedure is debatable, and depends on what is to be protected. For example, a guard outside a club would require a check less severe than for a bank security guard. Thus the responsibility assigned to the guard is directly proportional to the rigor of the verification process. Social security records, driving records, health records, education records constitute minimum verification criteria. It is never wise to hire someone with a criminal record even if they may have cleaned up their act. The firms should also possibly examine health records to warrant the guard wouldn’t fail at duty due to some unchecked condition.

The best way to be certain of a clean recruit is to implement a policy that ensures he or she undergoes stipulated battery of checks which are offered for a modest fee by some companies. Also, there are reputed security service providers offering trained guards who come with clean records, for safeguarding your property day and night.


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