Should security guards have to undergo a thorough background check prior to a firm hiring them? Of course! But although most firms may require them, background checks only look into criminal activity and rarely consider the day-to-day life of a potential guard. As a result, there are hundreds of security firms employing security guards that should not be working in security due to their extracurricular activities. How do we know?
Let’s Take a Step Back
Many years ago, Glen Bhimani (the owner/founder of BPS Security) was working for a security firm. This firm was known for poorly paying their guards, thus making it difficult for them to find great employees. And many times, they were desperate to simply fill the spots. As a result, this firm hired an individual who sold marijuana. How in the world could that happen? Although the firm DID require a criminal background check, they were not looking very hard.
It gets worse — the security firm did discover their guards’ side hustle. How? Well they caught him selling marijuana to the employees of the company the guard was hired to protect.
It gets EVEN worse— the security firm did not fire him right away, because they were desperate for employees!
And unfortunately, this kind of story is not uncommon in the security industry.
The Problem and the Solution
- National Criminal Records — The check will search the national criminal multi-jurisdictional across court and correctional records for parolees, probation, arrests, inmates, and warrants. (Required by Most State Security Licensing Agencies)
- Sexual Offender — Searching and scanning the national and state sex-offender databases. (Required by Most State Security Licensing Agencies)
Though these searches are clearly important, they predominantly look at past history, and only identify an individual who has been caught! That said, next-level background checks are important. Note that some security firms DO implement the following:
- Motor Vehicle & Driving Records — Check drivers license and motor vehicle records including status, class type, points, and all violations.
- Education Verification — Verify education degree or certification from over 5,300 universities, colleges, junior colleges, and trade schools in the US.
- Drug Testing by LabCorp ™ — In partnership with LabCorp™, we have over 2000+ facilities nationwide to screen for drugs.
- County & Statewide Criminal Search — The most accurate manual in-person search of criminal court records available for all counties in the United States.
- Watch List & Compliance Screening — Detect risky or sanctioned individuals from Federal and International agencies such as FBI, terrorist watch lists, OFAC, & INTERPOL.
The background checks listed above help employers weed out more bad candidates. However, aside from the watch list and compliance screening, these still do not not focus on their current behaviour!
So we have all of this information, does it actually change what we do? Yes!
The Background Checks that BPS Security Implements
At BPS Security, in addition to the background searches listed above, we also implement specific searches that we use during PI investigations. Additionally, we do this before we even sit down to interview a candidate!
As a result, we can easily identify the type of extracurricular activities a candidate is participating in today. This technique will definitely help prevent employing a drug dealer from working for our company, but it also arms us with additional questions to ask to determine whether or not a person is lying.
For example, if we ask whether or not they have a puppy, and for whatever reason (perhaps they are concerned that we would be hesitant to hire an individual with a puppy since puppies take time to train) they say, “No!” We will know if they are lying.
Sure, this may be a harmless lie, but if they are lying about a puppy, what will they lie about in the future?
When hiring security officers, it is critical that the security firm perform a thorough background check! Why? They are giving an individual access and authority to make decisions that could have costly effects. By taking the time to perform a thorough check, employers take a proactive stance on preventing potential problems!