How to Hire a Security Officer

Does your growing business need a security officer? A security officer can help keep clients, guests and employees safe. The right candidate will be a mix of stern and authoritative while not coming across as brash to passersby.

Here are some tips to help you find great security officer candidates and make the right hire for your business.

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Security officers searching for jobs on Indeed*

1,051,761  

Job seekers that clicked security officer jobs

382,285

Resumes for job seekers with security officer experience on Indeed

59,535

Security officer jobs that received clicks

What is the cost of hiring security officer?

  • Common salary in US: $13.40 hourly
  • Typical salaries range from $7.25$24.75 hourly
  • Find more information on Indeed Salary

*Indeed data (US) – April 2021

As of April 2021, security officer jobs in the U.S. are moderately competitive compared to other job markets, with an average of 18 job seekers per security officer job.

Why hire a security officer?

A great security officer can: 

  • Protect property 
  • Monitor video survelillance
  • Respond to emergencies
  • Control building access
  • Conduct security checks 
  • Complete security reports

Deciding between a full-time vs freelance security officer

Some businesses require constant security to protect the employees, customers, products and materials inside the building. You might hire a full-time security officer if your company works with highly sensitive information or high-value products. Evaluating your security needs helps you determine if you need a full-time security officer.

Other businesses only need a security officer occasionally. A freelance security officer can provide that infrequent security. You might host special events that call for a security officer, or your regular security officer might need extra help during those special events. A freelance security officer can also guard your facility if you only need help a few hours per week. 

What are the types of security officers?

Security officers work in a variety of locations, such as banks, medical facilities, museums, cruise ships and manufacturing facilities. The type of facility can affect the kind of security officer you need for your business. Some types of security officers include:

  • Armed security officer: An armed security officer carries a gun or similar weapon and has the option to use lethal force if necessary. This type is often used for high-stakes security needs or locations with a high risk of violence.
  • Unarmed security officer: Other security officers aren’t armed or only use nonlethal weapons such as tasers or batons. This type works well in environments with a lower risk of violence.
  • Stationary security officer: This type of security professional is stationed in one spot, such as the main entrance. You might have several stationary guards posted throughout the facility based on your needs.
  • Patrol security officer: Other security officers move around the facility to monitor a larger area. This can take place on foot inside the building or in a vehicle driving around the parking lots and perimeter of the property. A patrol security officer usually has a designated area to cover.

Where to find security officers

To find the right security officer for your business, consider trying out a few different recruiting strategies:

  • Hire from related fields. Consider hiring from fields with transferrable skills, such as loss prevention associates or military veterans with security experience.
  • Ask for referrals. Create an employee referral program to encourage your current employees to refer people they know. 
  • Promote from within. Look for current employees with potential as a security guard and consider them for a promotion. You might have a maintenance worker or receptionist who knows the facility well and would be good as a security officer.
  • Post on social media pages. Create posts on your social media pages about your security needs. Ask your followers to share the posts to reach more potential candidates.
  • Post your job online. Try posting your security officer job on Indeed to find and attract quality security officer candidates.

What are the types of security officers?

Security officers work in a variety of locations, such as banks, medical facilities, museums, cruise ships and manufacturing facilities. The type of facility can affect the kind of security officer you need for your business. Some types of security officers include:

  • Armed security officer: An armed security officer carries a gun or similar weapon and has the option to use lethal force if necessary. This type is often used for high-stakes security needs or locations with a high risk of violence.
  • Unarmed security officer: Other security officers aren’t armed or only use nonlethal weapons such as tasers or batons. This type works well in environments with a lower risk of violence.
  • Stationary security officer: This type of security professional is stationed in one spot, such as the main entrance. You might have several stationary guards posted throughout the facility based on your needs.
  • Patrol security officer: Other security officers move around the facility to monitor a larger area. This can take place on foot inside the building or in a vehicle driving around the parking lots and perimeter of the property. A patrol security officer usually has a designated area to cover.

Writing a security officer job description

A thoughtful description is important to finding qualified security officer candidates. A security officer job description includes a compelling summary of the role, a detailed list of duties and responsibilities and the required and preferred skills for the position.

When writing your security officer job description, consider including some or all of the following keywords to improve the visibility of your job posting. These are the most popular search terms leading to clicks on security officer jobs, according to Indeed data:

  • Security
  • Security officer
  • Security guard
  • Hiring immediately
  • Unarmed security
  • Armed security officer
  • Armed security
  • Cyber security
  • Unarmed security guard

Interviewing security officer candidates

Strong candidates for security officer positions will be confident answering questions regarding:

• Professional training 
• Experience in the security field
• Protocol for handling emergencies

Need help coming up with interview questions? See our list of security officer interview questions for examples (with sample answers).

FAQs about how to hire a security officer

What's an alternative to hiring a security officer?

You can install a high-tech security and access control system instead of having a security officer if your main concern is outsiders gaining access to the facility. Access control systems let your employees enter the building using a unique badge. You can also add access control panels to different parts of your facility so employees can only access the areas they’re authorized to be in. Doors can have a buzz-in option, allowing your receptionist to open the door remotely for visitors who don’t have an access badge. Security cameras can help you monitor the facilities remotely.

What does a security officer wear?

Some security officers wear uniforms to identify them as security staff. This creates a professional look and can discourage people from attempting anything illegal. Other businesses hire plainclothes security officers to help them blend in with others. This can help visitors feel more relaxed, since seeing a uniformed security officer can make some people uncomfortable. It’s also a discreet way for the officer to observe what’s happening.

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