Imagine having to schedule a surgery to fix a life-threatening condition that requires a specialized surgeon. Clearly, the stakes are high and if possible, you may not pick the surgeon that just finished their residency. The reality is, choosing a surgeon for a very risky operation that, if successful, will save your life, would require a large amount of care, research and contemplation. Now raise the stakes, what if you had to choose this surgeon to operate on your husband, wife, or child? This is an extremely difficult situation, right? Well, hiring an executive/personal security guard requires the same amount of research, time and consideration and should never be taken lightly!
There is no perfect “recipe” for an ideal personal security guard! Like a highly skilled surgeon that specializes in an extremely rare/specific operation, the stars have to align for that person to gain the experience they need. Finding the right candidate just takes time! So, how do you choose an executive security officer?
Determining the Type of an Executive Security Guard
Just like surgeons, there are different types of personal security guards (all of which require a different background). Before looking for an ideal candidate, it is critical to determine the role that this particular individual will be required to fill. The roles of executive guards include:
- Drivers – This particular position is responsible for waiting by the car, spotting suspicious behaviour, and safely transporting the executive to and from locations. This role often requires an extremely high level of driving skill and spatial awareness.
- The Advance Party – This particular position is a research role that identifies potential security risks in advance. They determine safety protocols for when an executive will be in a particular area. Ultimately, this role sifts through data, and is responsible for identifying potential threats and alerting the on-site security team.
- Personal Guard (The right-hand man or woman) – This is the person who is with the executive at all times. This position should only be filled by an individual who is also a skilled driver and researcher.
Training and Experience required of an Executive Security Officer
Once you have determined the personal security officer’s required role, it is time to consider the candidates’ level of training and experience.
Certifications can be red flag
This sounds counter-intuitive, right? Unfortunately, in recent years, there has been a surge in “training centers” that prepare an individual for personal security roles. Though this sounds ideal (a surgeon must first go to medical school, right?) many of these programs only require 55 hours of experience. Yes! That means an executive security guard could be “ready for hire” in a little more than two full days. This is a problem!
Just like a surgeon, a highly effective executive officer needs training and experience. Though fun to frame and hang on a wall, a simple piece of paper is not sufficient.
When BPS Security is hiring an executive security officer we look for the following experience:
- Combat fighting – Has the candidate actually been in combat? This is critical, as there is no amount of training that an individual can go through to ensure they will fight (rather than freeze) when in combat. So we always look for their combat experience (whether that was in the military, or if they have been a police officer). Then we interview some of their colleagues to learn how this individual handled the situation.
When human beings are put in extreme situations, they either fight, freeze, or exit the situation as fast as possible. A great executive security guard needs to not only know how to fight, but also know how to disarm, have experience where they were required to react quickly, and have put their own life on the line to protect someone/something else. This role is not something that training (though it can be an added bonus) can prepare you for. This is something insticutal!
- Past Work Experience – We are not going to disregard experience! It is clearly very important. However, it is just not the only determining factor! We also need to know their past work history, and look for the following: Have they been an executive security guard? If so, why did they leave their former position? Have they been in the police force? Are they in the military? Have they been in extreme situations with little sleep and were still able to perform?
- Training – Similar to work experience, training is important, it is just not the only factor to consider. Additionally, 55 hours of training, in our opinion, is not sufficient when an individual is responsible for someone’s life!
- Age and physical fitness – Yes, experience is important, but the individual must have the physical ability to protect someone. They need to be able to run, and fight.
- Mental Fitness – Realistically, individuals with combat experience have been through a lot of extremely difficult situations. They have lost friends and they have been required to kill other human beings. So when we hire a personal security guard, we screen them to make sure their mind is healthy!
Clothing and Weapons
An executive security guard needs to blend in! So it is important to know what type of clothing they have as not every situation requires a suit or a long sleeve shirt! Similarly, they need a variety of weapons. Not every situation calls for a long-range rifle.
Ultimately finding the perfect candidate to fill the role of an executive/personal security guard takes time, and an extreme amount of consideration. There is no perfect recipe. They are either born with the ability or not.
Here at BPS security, we take this very seriously. Therefore, if you are looking to hire an individual for this role, please contact us with any questions you might have. Hiring the “right” executive security officer can make the difference between life and death for your employer, employee, yourself, your significant other, and/or your own child.