Rigorous hiring and screening programs consisting of background, criminal record, and fingerprint checks is the norm in the security industry. Applicants are expected to have good character references, no police record, and good health. They should be mentally alert, emotionally stable, and physically fit in order to cope with emergencies. Officers who have frequent contact with the public should communicate well.
Business owners, facilities managers and others with responsibility for maintaining security are faced with the task of interviewing and hiring security guards who may be responsible for the lives of many people or property worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Criminal, credit, professional, scholastic, and employment checks have become a vital tool for determining the qualifications and honesty of the applicant.
An exhaustive background check is a crucial part of the interview process. Any person who is employed for the purpose of security, regardless of how limited, MUST be checked for at least a prior criminal record.
Checking a candidate’s background will help verify what they wrote on their resume and what they have told you about themselves. If the resume or the oral interview contains any falsehoods, the applicant should be automatically rejected. If the applicant is having major financial difficulties, domestic problems, or legal problems, they may pose a security risk due to the instability in their personal lives.
A certain amount of common sense is also needed when evaluating a background report. If someone is having financial problems, it does not mean they will be a bad employee. If on the other hand someone has a long record of financial troubles and a history including bankruptcy, or a (misdemeanor) criminal record involving moral turpitude such as shoplifting or receiving stolen property, they should be bypassed. Felons should never be hired as security guards. They may have cleaned up their act and gone straight, but you cannot take a chance when the property and lives of you, your employees, and your customers are at stake.