There are several reasons to do a background check on a prospective security guard. To understand what types of checks should be done, it is helpful to understand why they should be done in the first place. Depending on the potential risks involved in the industry a guard may be working in, there may be different checks that are required.
Why do the checks?
One of the most important qualities in a security guard is honesty. There needs to be a strong sense of trust between an employer and the guards they employ. If it can be proven that a potential security guard is dishonest during the screening stage, they should be disqualified. If a potential security guard shows honesty from the beginning, trust is built before they are given responsibility. Background checks are used to verify information that a guard gives during the interview process.
Depending on the industry the potential guard will be working in, specific skills may be required. For example, security personnel in banks typically need to be armed. If they lack the skills needed for firearm maintenance and use, they are not suitable for the position. By verifying certification, employers can quickly find out if a potential guard has the skills needed for specific posts.
When a security company provides security services, they are entering into a legal contract that places the safety of others in their care. If a security company knowingly posts incapable guards in a post and there is an event, the security company is liable to face lawsuits. By conducting background checks, the security company can protect itself from lawsuits by being able to prove that the guards posted are qualified.
Another legal challenge faced by security companies is the validity of insurance claims. If a security guard has committed theft in the past, an insurance company is not likely to pay out a claim for theft.
What are the different background checks?
The criminal background check is one of the most common types of check and should be conducted on all potential security guards. This check is used to find out if the prospective guard has ever been convicted of a crime. If a potential guard has been convicted, it does not necessarily mean that they should not be hired but it can cause legal or insurance issues.
Depending on the environment a guard will be deployed in, different skill sets will be required. For example, if a guard is in a high-risk environment such as cash transportation, they will need firearms and defensive driving skills. By having these skills certified, a potential security guard can prove that their skills have been tested by a third party. If their skills are not certified, then it is easy to make false claims about skill proficiencies.
Most countries will have a regulated training system for security guards. This is to provide a uniform base skill level that all guards must be able to adhere to. In some cases, companies may not be legally permitted to hire and offer the services of a guard who has not been certified. In most cases, a government will provide a license for a security guard to operate once they have passed an exam and completed a formal training course.
Previous employment verification
In many cases, more experienced security guards will be preferable to new recruits, especially when there is a high risk of incidents that may result in violence. In these cases, it will be important to conduct a previous employment verification check. If a potential guard claims to have experience, it would be best to verify their claims with their previous employer. As with training claims, it would be easy to provide false information if the claims are not verified.
In some cases, potential security guards will need to have a credit check done in order to show that they are in good financial standing. This is especially true when the guard may be required to take responsibility for cash or other valuables. If a guard is proven to be in dire financial circumstances, it could be assumed that they are a security risk.
Sex offender database
In rare cases, a potential guard should be checked against the sex offender database. If a guard is expected to be in contact with minors, they should be screened carefully to provide peace of mind to the people they are guarding.
Driving record checks
Guards that will be required to transport valuable cargo or individuals should have their driving records thoroughly checked. If they have repeatedly violated traffic laws, they may not be suitable for personal transport.
Any guard who is required to carry a firearm must be legally permitted to do so. Depending on the country or state, the requirements for obtaining a firearm permit may be different. This is especially true if the firearm is intended to be concealed.