Most events will require you to hire security and may even be a requirement to obtain an insurance policy for the event. Before hiring security personnel, you need to follow a list of criteria and assessments to make sure you are getting the right individuals for the job. Ask yourself these questions before hiring event security to find those who are the best fit for your team and event.
First, Do You Really Need A Security Team?
The answer to this question may not be as cut and dry as you may initially think. Having security in place can serve many functions and benefits for your event, but may not be as valuable to some depending on the size and scale of the event.
Some points to consider when deciding if you need security include:
- Electronic equipment - Is there expensive equipment on hand that should be guarded to prevent theft and damage?
- Alcohol - If alcohol is sold at the event, you will most likely require security.
- Guest safety - Security can help guests feel more secure and even walk them to their vehicles if the event runs late.
- Celebrity guests - If there are celebrity guests or performers present, you want to have extra security available for crowd control and available protection.
- Large events - If large crowds are present, security can provide effective crowd control and ensure safety protocols.
Not all events necessarily require professional security. Assess your needs and the value of your event before securing expensive security help; if little security is needed you can turn to volunteers with experience to fill these positions.
How Big Should The Team Be?
Your team size is heavily influenced by the size of the venue and the crowd, but you can also multiply their effectiveness through the use of additional security teams, systems and technology according to Security Magazine.
You also want to ensure you have security posted at the entrances and these team members available to walk the premises inside and outside to deter incidents and disturbances. If there are valuable items or noteworthy guests, you should also provide additional protection for those interests. For larger events, you can also include a member of local law enforcement who can work directly with your security team or volunteers for better efficiency and communication across organizations. Security positions your event might need:
- Parking and entrance security
- Event security (walking around within and outside of the grounds)
- Security for performers, special guests, etc.
- Security within the crowd for crowd control (think of concerts and big festivals)
- Stage security (who can enter backstage and special access areas)
Did You Check References And Reputation?
More than ever, it is crucial to thoroughly investigate each candidate before hiring them. It isn’t enough to hire well-known members of the community, such as the school crossing guard or your local football coach. Depending on the event’s status, security needs require solid experience and insight to handle a variety of potential security threats properly. One of the first things you should do when screening a potential security team member is a complete background check and then verify previous employment history and/or any references they supply.
In addition, put some time into checking their professional reputation to possibly reveal any incidents in their past that may disqualify them from being right for the job. A good option would be to choose those with military or first responder backgrounds who have no disciplinary issues on file. It is relatively easy to find individuals who work with government agencies who moonlight as security in their spare time as well. Here are some top security companies that you can work with when looking for professionals for your event.
Have You Determined What Specialization You Need?
Not all events are alike and may require the services of security personnel with specific skill sets. Determine what type of previous experience your security team members should have and make sure that their knowledge and experience match with the event needs.
You can request specific experience if you go through a major security company, or you can let applicants know in advance.
Keep in mind that there are many types of security specialties and you should carefully match their knowledge and skills with the appropriate available positions at the event.
Did You Check Their Licenses And Paperwork?
Qualified security personnel will have paperwork or licenses to validate their credentials. Request that they bring those credentials with them during the interview and cross reference them to make sure they are valid before you hire them for the security team. If you require armed security, they should also have the proper firearm permits on hand.
Hiring the right members for your security team can play a big part in overall safety for guests, attendees, and personal assets. If you need help with the hiring process, you can enlist the help of a professional security company or an industry insider.