15 Top Qualities of a Good Security Guard: What Skills Should a Security Guard Have?

15 Top Qualities of a Good Security Guard: What Skills Should a Security Guard Have?

In most businesses where the safety of property, guests, and employees is the top priority, knowing what makes a good security guard is crucial. From physical fitness and vigilance to integrity and professionalism, having the required key security guard qualities ensures the preparedness of your staff to handle any incident with competence. Thus, contributing to a safer and more secure environment for your patrons and employees alike.

So if you need help with hiring security guards, our list of the top essential qualities of a good security officer would be a wise place to start.

We, at Scout Security, perform a rigorous screening process for our private security guards, mobile patrol officers, fire watch guards, and others to ensure unparalleled services. We use a comprehensive guard ranking system that includes the qualities that a good security guard should possess. Hire us now!

Top Characteristics of a Security Guard That Property Managers Should Look for When Hiring Security Personnel

Physical strength is not the only basis when selecting capable security guards. They need to possess a combination of different skills and qualities that are equally needed in maintaining your company’s good image.

Many soft skills are required to ensure future success in the security industry. That is why we’ve listed 15 good qualities of a security guard to guide you in choosing the best security guards for your team.

Top Qualities of a Good Security Guard: Physical Fitness/Strength

#1. Physical Fitness/Strength

A physically (and mentally) fit security guard not only creates a professional image but also ensures rapid response to incidents. It also provides confidence in their capability to keep your property or business secure and safe from various criminal activities.

Physical fitness and strength are among the critical qualities that a security guard should possess. This is because the role of dedicated or stationary security guards encompasses more than just staying in a fixed location. It also often demands high physical activity from chasing down law violators to handling physical interventions.

Moreover, they should have the strength and stamina needed for long patrols (especially in large areas), agility for quick responses, and the toughness to handle extended periods of activity or confrontation.

A physically fit security guard also means a mentally alert guard which ensures that they are always ready to assess and deal with threats swiftly. It also reinforces their ability to protect themselves and those they are responsible for.

Also Read: Proprietary Security vs Contract Security Companies: Which Suits Your Business Best?

Top Qualities of a Good Security Guard: Alertness/Vigilance | Observation Skills & Judgement

#2. Alertness/Vigilance

Long hours of vigilance are needed especially during off-peak hours when your property is most vulnerable to crimes. This ensures that the guards can proactively address any suspicious activity such as unauthorized entry, break-ins, and theft to safeguard your premises and its occupants.

In addition, vigilance is also about being mentally present and ready to act at short notice. The guards should avoid any distractions, such as idle chit-chat or mobile phones, and maintain their alertness even if they haven’t encountered any security incidents for a long time.

Vigilance fatigue in policing poses a constant but unseen risk to threat detection and mitigation.

#3. Observation Skills & Judgement

The effectiveness of a security guard not only depends on their vigilance but also their ability to:

  • Remain focused under all circumstances
  • Make rapid decisions to maintain peace and security

Top-notch observation skills and judgment are among a good security guard’s best qualities that allow them to spot anomalies and assess threats swiftly. A keen ability to assess any subtle hints of danger also allows them to disrupt threats quickly and de-escalate tense situations.

Moreover, sharp judgment skills help security guards decide on the fly the best course of action and when to intervene and call for backup to maximize safety during potentially dangerous situations

Also Read: 15 Different Types of Security Guards & What They Do: A Guide for Property Managers

Top Qualities of a Good Security Guard: Verbal & Written Communication Skills | Honesty & Integrity

#4. Verbal & Written Communication Skills

Strong verbal and written communication skills contribute to effective teamwork and coordination with emergency services and law enforcers.

Whether collaborating with a security team, coordinating with emergency services, or writing detailed reports, clear communication is important in security. This allows for quick response during emergencies and detailed reports can help in aiding law enforcement investigations.

Security guards also interact with various individuals daily, including your customers, which necessitates the ability to articulate information clearly and appropriately. They often serve as the face of your business which not only requires professionalism but also friendliness and helpfulness to your patrons to boost customer satisfaction.

Also Read: The Role of Security Guards in Emergency Response

#5. Honesty & Integrity

Dishonest guards can increase your vulnerability to security risks and endanger your property and the people in it.

Ensuring the safety of your property starts with hiring honest and sincere guards to whom you can entrust your business. This makes background checks important to guarantee the integrity of your potential hires regardless if they have shown promising qualities during the actual recruitment process.

Top Qualities of a Good Security Guard: Assertive & Conciliatory Attitude | Training

#6. Assertive & Conciliatory Attitude

Assertiveness and a peacemaker attitude not only prevent threats but also ensure a harmonious environment for the guards, perpetrators, and other people involved.

Assertiveness ensures that your guards will command respect and cooperation to establish control during tense situations. This skill, coupled with respectful communication known as verbal judo, fosters a pleasant environment where perpetrators will feel valued and understood to avoid making conflicts worse.

Moreover, a security guard’s conciliatory attitude will be useful in diffusing tensions and prioritizing peace over conflict. They should know how to stay calm under pressure and manage provocations without escalation. They should always prioritize their and other people’s safety first.

Also Read: How Security Guards Handle Conflicts & De-escalate Violent Situations

#7. Training

A comprehensive training program significantly enhances a security guard’s skills. For instance, de-escalation techniques allow our guards to effectively handle conflicts with a high success rate. Using force should be a last resort.

Scout Security also trains its security personnel in various fields to ensure that they are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge needed to perform their duties effectively. These include:

  • Uniform etiquette to ensure professionalism
  • Legal responsibilities
  • Use of physical force
  • Documentation & report writing
  • Patrol techniques
  • Situational response & communication protocols
  • Security ethics
  • Sexual harassment
  • Conflict de-escalation (verbal judo)
  • Emergency protocols
  • Who to call and when to call during emergencies
  • Shots fired / active shooter protocols
  • Leadership training

In addition, find guards who have obtained the required certifications and licenses, like the Security Industry Authority (SIA) license, to ensure that they have completed the necessary training.

Also Read: How Can Uniformed Security Guards Deter Crime in Your Business?

Top Qualities of a Good Security Guard: Experience | Punctuality & Preparedness

#8. Experience

Real-world experience is what truly sets apart competent guards. Seasoned professionals who can deal with a variety of security threats and situations, from crowd management to providing VIP protection, are highly valued.

Many outstanding guards have military and law enforcement backgrounds which offer extensive experience that’s invaluable in ensuring comprehensive security coverage for your business. So aside from hiring guards that have a minimum of one year experience in a security role, consider the depth of their experience.

Scout Security’s staff includes veterans and former law enforcers who are experienced in dealing with even the most challenging situations in different industries. Thus, you can trust their expertise to provide you with exceptional security services.

Also Read: 10 Benefits of Hiring a Security Guard to Protect Your Business

#9. Punctuality & Preparedness

Punctuality and preparedness are non-negotiable security guard qualities. Being on time is more than a courtesy – it eliminates gaps in the protective coverage being provided to your property. Guards should not only arrive on time for their shifts. They should also be ready and well-equipped to handle any challenges right from the get-go.

Top Qualities of a Good Security Guard: Courtesy & Respect | Professionalism & Customer Service | Leadership & Teamwork Skills

#10. Courtesy & Respect

Whether it’s engaging with employees or your patrons, a security guard’s respectful demeanor is crucial for building customer trust and getting repeat customers by impressing potential clients. By fostering a welcoming and comfortable environment, security guards can help encourage your customers’ continued patronage.

Also Read: A Complete Guide to Ensuring Building Security: 11 Helpful Tips

#11. Professionalism & Customer Service

Aside from a professional presence with a well-kempt appearance that serves as an effective visual deterrent against crime, being able to understand and adapt to customer needs professionally is also important. They should not only look the part but also embody the role through their actions. After all, customer service is among the top security guard responsibilities aside from access control.

#12. Leadership & Teamwork Skills

Security guards should know when to step up and implement necessary measures or when to follow protocols for optimal safety, especially when working in a team.

Leadership involves ensuring compliance with legal standards, managing threats, controlling crowds, and navigating emergencies quickly. Moreover, teamwork skills are important in cooperating with public services like emergency service providers (e.g. firefighters) and law enforcers to enhance overall security operations.

Also Read: Why Private Security and Law Enforcement Collaboration is Crucial

Top Qualities of a Good Security Guard: Knowledge of Applicable Rules & Regulations | Ability to Maintain Order | Hard-Working & Flexible

#13. Knowledge of Applicable Rules & Regulations

Guards should not just memorize safety and security rules and regulations. They should also demonstrate commitment to these guidelines, even when it’s inconvenient to do so. They should understand their limits and distinguish their role from law enforcers to maintain security without overstepping their bounds.

For instance, they should know when to call law enforcers and emergency personnel when the situation has become out of their control.

#14. Ability to Maintain Order

Security guards are not just protectors, they help maintain law and order while creating a peaceful environment.

Security guards should be able to manage unruly crowds or handle individuals refusing to comply with company protocols. This includes de-escalating tensions through gentle communication and physical prowess to ensure adherence to security guidelines.

#15. Hard-Working & Flexible

Security guards should possess a diverse skill set that surpasses mere physical presence and alertness.

Modern security demands require guards that embody both hard work and flexibility in which they are expected to go beyond their traditional duties. They should be able to adapt to various roles including patrolling, video surveillance, customer service, and others.

Scout Security’s dedicated security guards offer invaluable skills that can meet the demands of any industry and business.

Also Read: The Role of Security Guards in Retail & Commercial Properties

Other Helpful Tips to Know About the Qualities of a Good Security Guard From a Security Expert

Other Helpful Tips to Know About the Qualities of a Good Security Guard From a Security Expert

  • First Impressions Count: The initial interaction with your customers and employees significantly impacts your customers’/employees’ perception of safety and hospitality. The guards’ demeanor should reflect your business’s dedication to the well-being of your customers/employees.

  • Beyond Physical Strength: While physical fitness is important in security guards, modern security demands more than that. Surveillance and conflict de-escalation are equally important and encompass a broader skill set including observation, communication, and problem-solving capabilities.

  • Comprehensive Training & Experience Matter: Training and experience are often overlooked when hiring security personnel. However, security guards that well-trained and experienced indicate a higher level of preparedness and professionalism. 

  • The Importance of a Security Company’s Rigorous Hiring Process: When outsourcing security services from a security company, consider their hiring process. This can tell you a lot about the quality of the security guards that they are going to deploy to your property.

  • Commitment to Continuous Improvement: Choose a security company that provides continuous training to its staff to allow them to adapt to new security challenges.

Also Read:


What are the qualities of a good security guard?

A good security guard possesses vigilance to stay aware of their surroundings, detect unusual activities, and respond to them promptly. Physical fitness is also important in handling threats and emergencies as well as honesty to handle sensitive information reliably. Punctuality, courtesy, professionalism, and flexibility are also important to improve customer satisfaction while ensuring safety on your property.

What skills should a security guard have?

To effectively perform their duties, security guards should possess a range of skills including strong observational, communication, and problem-solving skills to handle emergencies or conflicts promptly. They should also have a basic understanding of security technology such as surveillance systems and alarms as well as a good understanding of laws and regulations related to security and public safety.

What are the duties and responsibilities of a security guard?

The primary duties of security guards include threat identification and monitoring your premises to prevent theft, vandalism, and other illegal activities. They also help enforce company rules, respond to alarms and emergencies, provide customer service, control access at entrances, and collaborate with law enforcement when necessary.

How do I hire a good security guard?

The process starts with determining your security needs and the specific security guard qualities you seek. After that, assess your candidates’ experience, certifications, and skills through interviews and background checks. During the interview, consider their ability to communicate effectively and make quick decisions in real-life situations while remaining calm even under pressure.

Hire Scout Security’s Comprehensively Trained & Flexible Security Guards in Colorado

Hiring in-house or full-time security guards and going through the rigorous hiring process yourself might not be the most effective method. You need the assistance of an experienced security company that already has meticulously screened staff to ensure that you get trustworthy and professional security guards to keep your property safe.

Scout Security has fully licensed and insured security guards and mobile patrol officers in the Denver Metro and Colorado Springs areas ready to be dispatched at your call. Book a consultation now!

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