Canadian Security Magazine

How to find the best guard company for your business

By Winston Stewart   

News Opinion Industry View security guards

Hiring a reliable security guard business in this economy is more challenging than ever before.

More due diligence needs to be applied to your search, and care should be taken to ensure that the company’s reputation inspires trust and reliability.

The best way to evaluate a company is to start with looking at their website, and in particular, the quality of their employment pages. Good security companies will ensure their talent pipeline is always full by having a strong online application process and an automated recruitment portal.

Ultimately, this means more applications and the ability to automatically vet and pre-qualify candidates. It all adds up to more pre-screened, qualified guards they can handpick to join their agency.


Here are a few questions to ask any security company before signing the contract:

How long have you been in business?

An older security firm with at least a decade of experience (and a large, mature security guard roster) should be a good indication that it is a strong and reliable company that has stayed successfully in business through changing times.

Have you sent guards to any businesses similar to ours, with the same kind of SOPs and safety practices?

Familiarity with a particular industry, location or type of security challenge should be a consideration in choosing your company. You could also ask the company for industry-specific references. Speak with the references to learn more about their experience and learn why customers were satisfied with the services.

How does your pricing break down?

Low prices may seem attractive, but they also have a direct impact on the quality of guards they send, and the caliber of services rendered. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. If a company quotes rates much lower than others, you can expect to experience hidden costs, lower quality security (underpaid, undertrained guards), and poor customer service.

Do you have up-to-date licensing and insurance?

Be sure any security firm provides proof of insurance to you and can supply you with a valid, up-to-date licence to operate in Ontario, or whichever province in which you require guarding.

What are your hiring and training practices?

The true measure of a security company’s effectiveness begins with hiring the right people and equipping them with the best training. In particular, you will want to find out the following:

  • How are they dealing with the security guard labour shortage?
  • Do they conduct background checks?
  • Do they recruit professionals in security, such as former police officers or military personnel?
  • What type of training do security guards receive? In particular, you want to be sure they customize training to include specific technologies and SOPs relating to the site they are guarding.

Who is my contact and are they able to respond when I need them?

Finally, you need to feel assured that someone at your security company will be reachable should any incident occur, at any time. A failure to provide a direct contact will tell you they will be unlikely to be there when you need them most.

When it comes to security in the post-COVID world of labour shortages and cutbacks, stay vigilant. Never settle for inferior, under-trained, underpaid guards to defend and protect what’s most valuable to your business.

Thankfully, there are still some great security companies out there with good practices and great guards, if you take the time to find them.

Winston Stewart is the president and CEO of Wincon Security (

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