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3 Tips for Managing Security Guards at Lower Rates

Reduce your turnover by how you manage your security guards
Kwantek Team

High turnover rates can be common in the contract security industry, particularly if you can’t afford to pay your security guards competitive hourly rates.

When your hourly rates are lower than those of your competitors, it’s easy for your guards to get enticed away by higher-paying offers, even if the pay increase is just a few cents an hour.

But there are ways to combat this problem without raising rates above what you can afford. Consider these three ideas for managing low-pay security guards in a way that inspires them to stay with your company even if they get offers for higher-paying roles.

1. Offer More Flexibility in Your Scheduling

Giving your security guards greater choice in their work schedules may create more work for you, but it can make the difference between retaining your guards and seeing them snatched away by a competitor.

Each of your employees has an ideal work schedule. Maybe they need to work third shift so that they can get their kids to and from school during their off hours. Maybe they want certain days off each week so that they’re off of work on the same days as their spouses.

If your competitors are less flexible in their scheduling than you are, then the higher pay rates they offer may become less compelling to your security guards.

After all, a few extra dollars an hour probably won’t cover the cost of daycare if your employees can’t be home to get their kids to and from school, and it’s probably not worth them not getting to spend time with their families because they’re always working when everyone else is home.

2. Provide More Training and Advancement Opportunities

Minimum wage—or just above minimum wage—may not seem like as much of a bad deal to aspiring security guards who are just looking to get their foot in the door in the field.

If you’re willing to offer training to new employees, you can attract students studying law enforcement who are looking for experience in the field or people looking for a career change who are interested in working as security guards.

Still, providing entry-level opportunities and training may not be enough on its own. After all, your newly trained guards could just use that training to land higher-paying positions elsewhere.

The other important step is to offer your guards a way to use the training you’ve provided to advance within your company.

You probably have a variety of customers—some who pay less, and some who pay more. You can probably afford to staff higher-paying jobs with security guards who earn higher rates.

Give your most promising guards opportunities to move into those higher-paying roles, and they won’t have to look to your competitors to build on the training and experience you provided.

3. Hire for Job Fit to Boost Employee Satisfaction

Finally, remember that pay isn’t the end-all-be-all of employee retention. In fact, studies have shown that compensation and benefits are actually two of the least important factors in employee job satisfaction.

The things that drive real workplace satisfaction are a company’s culture, values, and management team. So while offering higher pay rates may expand your talent pool when hiring new security guards, it doesn't improve job satisfaction once new guards are in their roles, so it won’t necessarily boost your retention rates.

The better way to improve your retention rates is by hiring the right people—guards whose preferences, interests, and working styles align with those of your company. If you hire the right people, you’ll boost retention—even if you pay low rates—by increasing job satisfaction.

Kwantek’s Working Style Assessment can help you find the right fit for open roles when hiring new security guards. It’s a pre-employment survey that identifies prospective hires’ preferred working styles, helping you place new employees in roles they’re most likely to be satisfied.

Managing Low-Pay Security Guards

Offering competitive rates may be a good way to attract a larger pool of applicants in the contract security industry, but it doesn’t necessarily lead to higher retention.

The better way to improve retention is through adjusting how you manage your staff: offering greater flexibility in scheduling, providing more training and advancement opportunities, and hiring the right people in the first place to inspire long-term job satisfaction.

If you’re looking to find more security guards that are a perfect fit for your open positions, schedule a demo, and we’ll show you how we can help.

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