Gavin de Becker & Associates Employee Reviews

Found 29 reviews matching the search
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The worst security firm on the planet
Security Staff Agent (Former Employee) –  Los Angeles, Malibu, Beverly HillsSeptember 5, 2017
Everybody hates this company, and I suspect the positive reviews here were written by management. I worked here for over two years, primarily at a celebrity estate.

Expect to work days and nights in the same week, always 12-hour shifts. Salaries are based on a 48-hour work week, which includes 8 hours of time and a half, so when they start you out in the $45,000-a-year range, you're getting completely screwed.

The management is utterly inept, which is apparently why some were fired after TPG Growth bought part of the company in 2013. Maybe it's better now, but when I was there, there were far too many cooks in the kitchen, and the bureaucracy was incredible. They would enact ridiculous hoops you'd have to jump through, like "GDBA University" which you'd have to do to get promoted. Also, I hope you like silly, made-up acronyms, because you'll be tested on them randomly while sitting in your guard shack, bored out of your mind.

Oh, and I forgot to mention, they have a camera staring at your back in every CC ("command center," which is a fancy word for "guard shack") to make sure you don't fall asleep on the job, as they hire a lot of irresponsible morons who've never heard of coffee.

Every person I talk to in the security industry says the same thing: Gavin de Becker's reputation has gone down the toilet in the last five years. They have EASILY the highest turn-over rate in the industry for a reason.
Pros
The clients were usually pretty cool.
Cons
Employees are encouraged to rat on each other for minor infractions and mistakes, horrible hours, horrible people
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Only in small doses
Staff Agent (Former Employee) –  North Hollywood, CAJuly 9, 2017
I find it difficult to give a poor review to any company that will go out of their way to trust me, train me, and pay me. However, Gavin de Becker & Associates (GDBA) is a tough cookie to swallow.

The company is based out of California, where most of the contracts and employment opportunities reside. If you are outside of California, you are going to be hard pressed to find training opportunities or advancement.

The company does a great job of bringing you on and sending you to California for training, which was well done and about half of the instructors know what they are talking about, but is far below industry standards in terms of defensive tactics, the legality of civilian use of force, and firearms instruction. After the honeymoon phase of being scared into confidentiality and being made to feel as if this is a 5-Star organization, the feeling quickly fades.

Management here is highly under qualified, under educated, and under challenged. There is very little training for managers and it shows quickly, as the atmosphere anti-professional development. Managers are generally former Marines with only a few years of experience that came over to this job right after separation, and it shows. Low emotional intelligence and managerial skills turn work sites into a game of machismo and a rent-a-cop attitude.

Compensation is on an individual base and generally well below industry standards, but turnover is so high that they can afford to underpay employees for the average two year turnover.

With all of the negative stuff out of the way, I can say that this is a great
  more... stepping stone into law enforcement. There is a lot of downtime (actual downtime where you are looking at monitors and expected to do nothing), so you can finish up school work and other tasks that may need attention while at your work site.

Overall, not recommended but I can appreciate that they allowed me to come and train with them and work a location for about a year. If it sounds like I am being overly negative, the location I worked at had a 100% turnover in the one year I was there, this includes managers.
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Pros
Stepping stone work
Cons
Pay, management, work/life balance, training is poor
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Executive Protection
Executive Protection (Former Employee) –  San Francisco, CAMay 22, 2017
Hardwork, long hours, ensuring clients property is safe from stalkers or pursuers, lots of paperwork, multi-tasking and the ability to work none stop..
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Great first job out of the military
Security Staff Agent (Current Employee) –  Los Angeles, CAMay 15, 2017
Like many of my peers, I joined GDBA out of the Marines I met a lot of good guys and was a part of a solid team. Scheduling is always a challenge, which everyone is aware of. I am lucky to work on a larger team and there is more flexibility.
Pros
Management takes interest in employees, training
Cons
Schedule, Inclusion
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Security Staff Agent
Security Staff Agent (Current Employee) –  Los Angeles, CAFebruary 21, 2017
Been working at GDBA for the past 9 months or so. So far, its been a good experience. The schedule is sometimes challenging and a 12 hour shift is long. However, the management team has been pretty good about working with me. I haven't a day off request that wasn't met and they work to ensure that you are not going from Days to Nights, etc. without a break in between.

Work with some solid guys, some new and others I've known from my previous unit.
Pros
teamwork
Cons
hours
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Professional atmosphere, great opportunities for growth
Manager (Current Employee) –  Seattle, WAFebruary 18, 2017
This is a firm that isn't necessarily for everybody. It takes the right mentality, patience, and energy in this line of work to excel. I've spent the last few years with GDBA and in my time I've come across fantastic leadership that has done more and more every year to make the lives of their employees better, and the opportunities to excel grow each year. It's merit-based, so you get what you put into it. The opportunities and types of work that each agent can work are limitless. Like all companies, there is some cons. I won't say this is a perfect company. Often times there are scheduling conflicts, long workdays, and the work will sometimes feel unappreciated depending on the client you're working with. However, it's a career. Anybody that comes into this line of work should do so with the mindset that this is not for the faint of heart, and it takes some real dedication to excel.
Pros
Growth, leadership, opportunities, benefits
Cons
Schedule
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No room for advancement.
Security Operations Director (Former Employee) –  Studio City, CAFebruary 16, 2017
unfortunately for anyone who does not already have a director position there will not be one available until someone else leaves or they create new jobs. Room for advancement is slim and they do not treat their employees properly.
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Gate guard
Executive Protection Agent (Former Employee) –  Studio City, CA 91604February 12, 2017
This job and its role is dictated upon where you live. You will not be walking red carpet events your first year, and even if you make it into those details, the culture at this company would suck out any of the enjoyment for being around such company.

What is this job? A glorified gate guard. The pay is low and the hours are long. You focus more on the residential side than anything else. Those that do the more "exciting" work are set and getting into those positions are rare.
Pros
Strong work curlture and amazing support
Cons
Low pay, long hours
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Great place to work and grow as a protection specialist
Security Operations Director (Current Employee) –  Hawaii County, HIFebruary 6, 2017
Gavin de Becker & Associates has been a great place to work for the last 13+ years. I have grown as a person and protector since leaving the military and my Army Ranger career. A career as a protector isn't easy, and it's definitely not for everyone, but if you are a motivated, adaptable, self starter, you can succeed at GDBA.
Pros
Fast growing company with much opportunity for motivated and hard working individuals.
Cons
Changing schedules, occasional night and weekend shifts, and can be long hours.
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Career prospects
Security staff agent (Current Employee) –  Los AngelesFebruary 2, 2017
My passion is protection and I had worked for several security companies, prior to joining GDBA. The reason I left those companies was because I felt there was no prospects for me to develop an actual career.

I do struggle with the schedule, but I blame the nature of this profession and it is something I now understand. I do not blame the firm. My direct manager is fantastic, he cares about the team and GDBA as a whole and I trust him. He has been with GDBA for just over 2 years and looking at the pay chart, he earns fantastic money. I want that too.

I am here because I want a career, I want to retire doing the profession I love and I believe GDBA is one of very few places that can give me what I desire.

And what firm issue their employees protein bars!
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Dissapointed.
Security Staff Agent (Current Employee) –  Sherman Oaks, CAJanuary 30, 2017
The pay is okay and they have adequate benefits, The problem is they are top heavy on the management side, resulting in a menagerie of people who sit around dreaming up ever more bureaucratic hoops for us employees to jump through.
Also, advancement seems to be a Good Ole Boys Club type of affair. All things said and done, there are better places with less BS.
Pros
The pay is okay. Good benefits, 401K kinda scimpy though.
Cons
a lot of bureaucracy and finger pointing
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Constant Opportunities To Grow Professionally and Personally
Director (Current Employee) –  Los Angeles, CAJanuary 23, 2017
GDBA strives for excellence in delivering unparalleled service to it's clients. With such lofty goals this organization requires great people in every department.

There is always a new opportunity at GDBA to grow or help someone.

The culture here is strong and composed of devoted practitioners working to better themselves and the clients we service.

The investment you make in yourself at GDBA, whether your part of the company for 6 months or 6 years will last forever. GDBA focuses on instilling excellence in what you do and if you are open to learning and growing and testing your abilities daily, GDBA will meet your expectations fully.
Pros
Working with Great People, Helping Many people in different ways, Each day is different
Cons
Always work to be done
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Security Agent
Security Staff Agent (Former Employee) –  New York, NYJanuary 5, 2017
As with any company, you have to start at the bottom. This can be frustrating for some, but others it gives the opportunity to highlight your strengths and excel through the ranks. This company is one of few that provides full-time, entry level positions. While many other companies only offer part-time or "on call" jobs, Gavin de Becker has hundreds of opportunities to get your foot in the door.

If you get into this line of work thinking that you'll be traveling the world on a private jet 30 days after starting work, you have some more research to do. The reality is that you'll be starting on an overnight shift, learning everything you can about the company and the protectee. With time, experience and opportunities you'll do more, but it won't happen overnight. Many come and go from this organization due to their own internal struggle with this.

You have to put a lot into this career, with this company or others. There are many sacrifices that have to be made, but I do think that Gavin de Becker does a good job of taking care if it's associates and rewarding those who show commitment.
Pros
Excellent entry level opportunities, All full time positions, nothing part time, strong benefits program, opportunities for growth/sucess.
Cons
Long shift days, have to work shift rotations (days/nights), must create opportunies for yourself.
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A Great Job in Executive Protection
Security Staff Agent (Former Employee) –  Los Angeles, CAJanuary 5, 2017
I've been working at Gavin de Becker & Associates for a little over a year. Prior to this, I was active-duty in the Marines. There are many similarities between the two both positive and challenging.

Adapting to the civilian lifestyle can be tough for some, which lead us to jobs in security, law enforcement and the like. One thing that I like about working here, is that a good percentage of my peers are former military too. On some assignments you work in small teams and I've gotten to really know a lot of the other protectors.

This can be challenging and demanding, but I think that it also what makes our work satisfying. If you are interested in a career in executive protection, its worth checking out.
Pros
On-going training, benefits, get to work with protectors with similar backgrounds who are easy to relate to.
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No room for growth
Detail Leader (Former Employee) –  CaliforniaJanuary 4, 2017
This company is good for someone who is satisfied with just being a workhorse. They claim to be a company based on promotion by merit but they are actually a good old boy network. The job work / life balance is non existent, and the management leaves much to be desired for a company like this.
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Extremely long work periods.
Private Security Agent (Current Employee) –  United StatesDecember 14, 2016
I work an average of 72 hours a week. The pay is ok but the time it takes away from personal life is not worth it. Management can be better and contracts could be better as well.
Pros
Travel
Cons
Hours and management
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You get out what you put in
Protector (Current Employee) –  Los Angeles, CAOctober 18, 2016
If your view of protection is shaped by twenty years of television and movies, like I suspect it is for some of these guys who wrote poor reviews, then of course you'll be disappointed. But if you enter the company with realistic expectations about protection then you'll be very happy b/c you can grow with a growing company. But be ready to work hard.

I've entered the firm after being in the Marine Corps infantry. I'll just say this: If you enter GDBA entitled and expecting extra favors due to your "impressive" background, then it's best not to apply. All your promotions will be based upon one thing: your performance at GDBA, not five years ago in the Marine Corps.

The leadership here doesn't mess around when it comes to guys not doing there jobs. On the flip side, I know a protector in my region almost killed in a motorcycle accident, and the firm was 100% there for him and his family.

It's not an easy job; but if you want a career where top performers are rewarded and the mediocre are not, and a career where you'll meet like minded guys who want to protect others, then apply.
Pros
Merit-based promotions, mission
Cons
schedule is often brutal
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Overal Rating
Executive Protector (Current Employee) –  Los Angeles, CAOctober 4, 2016
Overall good company to work for. Lots of room for advancement in the company. All based on how willing you are to commit to the company and it's guidelines.
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Productive, yet heavy work
Manager (Current Employee) –  Los Angeles, CAJuly 13, 2016
Not much to say, you will be required to work long hours. Work life balance is kind of mixed. You will be expected to work after hours and weekends.
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Terrible Management/ No work-life balance
Security Staff Agent (Former Employee) –  San Francisco, CAJune 30, 2016
Unless you enjoy working 60 hours plus a week, often rotating between nights and days, then stay away from this company. Management does not care about your personal life. They do a great job of selling the GDBA image during the recruitment process, but ninety percent of the work you will be doing requires sitting in a command center 12 hours a day. Don't fall for it like I did.

Keep in mind that you will be working an average of 48 hours per week. In the San Francisco Bay area, you simply can't afford to live there unless you volunteer for more overtime. The company doesn't take into consideration how expensive these areas are. The online training this company provides is a joke. If you perform well in your CC but get a bad grade on an assignment, you won't get promoted.
Cons
Long hours, no hands on training after the academy, bad managers
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Overall rating

3.2
Based on 31 reviews
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2.6
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3.3
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3.3
Management
2.8
Culture
2.9