What makes a great security officer?

When you work in the security industry, no two days are ever the same. You need to be able to adapt quickly to changing situations, going seamlessly from customer service champion to problem solver, conflict resolver to communicator, as an assignment may dictate.

To effectively navigate these shifting demands and become a truly outstanding security professional, takes both an extensive skillset and a commitment to continuous improvement – and that’s something we know a lot about here at Venture Security.

For more than a decade, we have been providing quality security services for a range of different customers. From providing mobile patrols and manned guarding for businesses; to managing security for high profile regional events and venues; and carrying out city centre foot patrols to help tackle anti-social behaviour in cities such as Winchester and Salisbury.

We know that the quality of service we deliver comes down to the quality of those we recruit, and the ongoing training and development we provide. Having employed and trained hundreds of security officers over the years, we’ve learned a thing or two about what makes some candidates exceptional. Here are the key traits we look out for.

8 characteristics of great security officers

Strong observation skills

Exceptional security operatives have strong observation skills and are advanced at analysing what is going on around them. They are able to quickly spot when something isn’t quite right, even in a busy or crowded environment. While many of our outstanding team members will put this down to experience or instinct, it is ultimately driven by an ability to take in the smallest of details and quickly assess a situation to be able to predict and often prevent issues before they arise.


Advanced customer service skills

Customer service skills are also vital. Security guards will often be the first person a visitor encounters when they arrive on site. They will also be the person a visitor turns to for help or looks for in the event of a crisis. Increasingly, our static security guards are fulfilling a dual role of receptionist and front of house security officer, so it’s vital they have advanced customer service skills and can interact and behave in a way that upholds the reputation of the client company.


Great attention to detail

When you work in security, it’s the detail that really matters. We don’t just look for diligence and a strong work ethic in our recruits, we also seek someone with great attention to detail. Whether it’s taking care of their personal appearance, uniforms and behaving professionally (such as always being on time); being conscientious and mindful of assignment instructions and specific customer requirements and preferences; or ensuring they complete all reporting processes both fully and insightfully, so they are of real value to the client.


Calm under pressure

The nature of the role means than security operatives can face difficult and stressful situations. Even with all the training and planning that goes on behind the scenes, the unexpected can and does happen. It is therefore vital that security officers can remain calm under pressure. They will often have just a split second to react and take control of the situation. Individuals who stay calm make better decisions and don’t risk adding to the problem by losing their cool, such as in the face of physical or verbal abuse.


Outstanding communicator

Communications skills are a biggie, as they are so vital for every single type of assignment and also for being a strong team player. To be a great security guard you need to be an outstanding communicator, that means being confident and clear in speaking with all kinds of people, and in managing a range of different situations. Words are one of the best and most effective ways to diffuse a situation, so great communication skills are absolutely essential.


Effective decision-making

Having the ability to assess a situation and make the right decision in a short amount of time is another key skill. It’s about having the confidence to step back, analyse any risk, draw on experience and training, and take into account all other factors, before taking appropriate action. Every situation calls for its own solution, and exceptional security officers can confidently make the best decision in an instant.


Physical fitness

While we’ve touched on certain mental strengths and abilities, we also look out for physical fitness. Security work can be physically very demanding, so personal fitness is important. Depending on the assignment, our security guards may be required to stand or walk around for long periods of time. They may also be required to step in and provide physical intervention, so a certain level of physical ability is always needed, for both the success of our assignments and the safety of our team members.


Team player

Ultimately, security is a team sport and if you’re not a team player it’s never going to work out. Exceptional security officers are not only comfortable working alone but understand that we are a team. Every assignment is planned and managed as a coordinated operation. We all need to work together with shared values and aiming for a common goal, if we’re to be successful in exceeding customer expectations.


Fancy joining the growing team at Venture Security?

If you are SIA licensed and passionate about providing a high quality service, then we want to hear from you. You can view our latest vacancies here, or for more information please email us using office@venturesec.co.uk

Venture is ranked among the top 1% of security companies in the UK, with customers based across Andover, Winchester, Salisbury, Basingstoke and the wider central southern region. We are committed to excellence and believe in supporting all our team members to achieve their potential, through ongoing training and career progression opportunities.


You may also be interested in: