Desired traits of a security officer

This is not an easy question to answer. I can tell you what I believe they are. And many security company managers and owners will strongly disagree, and some agree, with me on some of these points. As they have dozens of times in the past. However, I firmly believe that the traits I list below are the ones that will make the best officers, in nearly every post they may serve and protect.

While I was an Operations Supervisor for First Response, Inc., of Mission Kansas I would interview potential officers; these are the traits and qualities I looked for. Additionally, when I made post checks, I looked for continued affirmation of them. And admittedly, some of these could only be noticed after they had been on post for several shifts.

  • A customer service background i.e. retail or service business. With this type of experience they will treat internal & external clients properly
  • Security experience was wonderful but not necessary. Mainly they wouldn’t have picked up any bad habits from somewhere else
  • Held their past jobs for at least 12 – 18 months. They have a chance to avoid the 300% turn-over rate
  • Able to answer all of your probing questions quickly and succinctly. Thinking on their feet is a good quality
  • Willing to listen and learn from an experienced pro. Meaning they will learn
  • Willing to go the extra mile. Push the limits to satisfy customers/clients
  • Attentive and observant of their surroundings. That is what they were hired for
  • Talkative and alert – even at 0400 hours. You know they won’t fall asleep easily
  • Willing to volunteer for extra duties or hours. A willingness to help out if they can
  • Always willing to learn something new or  changed on post
  • Arriving early for the interview or post, usually 5 – 10 minutes was good enough
  • Showing up in apparel that was appropriate for the interview and then wearing the uniform appropriately. Not making a fashion statement with their clothes before the job started i.e. baggy pants and their uniform after


These are just a few of the points I looked for both in the interview and on post. This is by no means an all-inclusive list. I’m sure that you have your own mental list. And having a mental list is not one you even have to think about.

You arrive on post for a post check and in one second you know whether they are doing their job and you’ve evaluated them from top to bottom. Likewise in the interview, you’ll usually know within a couple of minutes whether this person is for you and your company.

Have I ever been disappointed by someone we hired on my recommendation? Of course I have! Have I ever been disappointed that an officer turned out totally different after we hired them, in other words a lazy bum instead of the bright eager person I thought? You durned right!

Does that dissuade me in any form from looking at these qualities in a security officer? Nope, not at all. Some of these traits are what makes good lead officers, supervisors, and managers. And the industry is constantly looking for these kinds of people.

Now, go make your list and stop hiring by the Warm Body Syndrome method (WBS). It literally means you are so hard up for people/guards that you will literally hire anyone that walks through your door and fills out the app – even if they can’t spel or rite gud.

Robert D. Sollars assists businesses and their employees to lessen their risk of WPV as well as other security/customer service related issues. You can follow him on his Facebook page,, or twitter@robertsollars2.


                                 I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear

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