Staffing has always been a challenge in the physical security industry. In fact, the national turnover rate for security guards is estimated at being between 100% – 300%, with most guards leaving within the first year. With the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, the staffing gaps have only grown for many security teams.
The Challenge of Being an Understaffed Security Team
With a lack of quality security guards available, it is no surprise that security teams are facing challenges that have a negative impact on their bottom line. Some of the most significant challenges being faced include:
- Excessive overtime costs. In an attempt to alleviate some of the security guard staffing gaps, security companies are incurring excessive overtime fees to keep guards on the ground.
- Relaxed policies and procedures. As security managers fear the loss of their remaining workforce, they are relaxing policies and procedures to keep guards happy. Doing this will no doubt affect the quality of their security services and the satisfaction of their clients.
- Limited talent pool of qualified security guards. When security companies and venues are forced to hire from a lower quality pool of guards, there is a greater chance they will fall short on providing adequate services for clients.
- Loss of client relationships. Schools, airports and even nightclubs are feeling the effects of security guard staffing shortages. As clients experience prolonged periods with limited security staff, they are questioning the services they are receiving and cancelling their security contracts.
With security teams experiencing these significant staffing challenges, many are solely focused on hiring. This has led to them overlooking the most important challenge of all – managing the security risks associated with security guard staffing gaps.
Utilizing Security Guard Management Software to Mitigate Security Risks Associated with Staffing Gaps
Tony Unfried, CEO of CSA360 Software, recently attended a security conference where guard shortage was a main focus. Many conference attendees mentioned the above challenges and stated that their sole focus was on hiring to negate them. When speaking on this, Unfried stated, “The real issue is that filling staffing gaps takes time, and security teams aren’t implementing solutions to manage the risks their client’s are experiencing now.”
The fact remains that businesses rely on physical security guards to provide real-time surveillance, ensuring that risks are managed quickly and effectively. Without these guards in place, defenses are down and criminal activity arises quickly.
When asked how security teams could continue to manage these risks while addressing staffing shortages he responded, “They need a modern approach to their security strategy and integrating security guard management software is the answer. By blending physical and digital capabilities, you can enhance your processes to continue managing risk.”
4 Security Software Modules to Utilize When Managing Risk with a Smaller Guard Staff
Not all security management software systems are equally effective in helping you manage risk while short staffed. It’s important that you choose the software that boasts the right features to enhance the strategy in place for your physical guards. The top 4 features and modules to utilize for effective security risk management with a smaller number of guards include:
1. Security Guard Scheduling Software
With security guard scheduling software, you take the guesswork out of finding your staffing gaps. This feature allows your guards to input their availability so you know exactly what to expect when scheduling.
Guard scheduling software can also allow guards to check-in remotely, giving immediate updates to who is on time and what checkpoints are attended to. This alerts you to any high-risk areas and gives you the opportunity to take a proactive approach to managing that risk.
2. Guard Tour Management Software
With guard tour management software that includes GPS verified tour confirmation you can ensure that your clients and properties are safe. Guard tour management software allows you to design and schedule tours to fit how you need them. That allows you to take your staffing gaps into account from the start.
By ensuring checkpoints are GPS verified and timestamped, you gain insight into real-time guard tour progress and are alerted to any missed locations.
3. Customizable, Live Security Dashboard
Physical security has a lot of moving parts and having everything in one place increases the likelihood of effectively managing risks. Employing a live security dashboard gives you real-time access to the most important data for your security team.
By ensuring that your live dashboard is customizable, you can choose what live data you see. This gives you additional insight into areas that may have less guards and allows you to catch issues before they become severe.
4. Visitor Management Software
When experiencing security guard staffing gaps, it’s more important than ever to ensure your visitor check-in process is safe and secure. Visitor management software with smart check-in capabilities allows guests to preregister.
This feature saves your guards and visitors time during check-in and electronically notifies hosts of their guest’s arrival. You can take this a step further and enhance safety when machine learning and facial recognition features are included.
At CSA360 Software, we understand the importance of having all the tools you need to manage your security guards in one place. By utilizing our Security Guard Management Software, your guards will have access to top features and modules that help you effectively manage risks while addressing your staffing gaps. Request a demo of our system today to discover how our software fits into your security services plan.