But building a strong supervisor team isn’t always easy. Razor-thin profit margins and high turnover actively work against getting and keeping the right people in your organization.

So how do you develop strong supervisors who are qualified for the job, dedicated to your company, and can help increase profits? Let’s look at 3 things you do in your private security company to move in that direction:

  1. Hire the Right People
  2. Promote Your Own Guards
  3. Have a Supervisor Promotion Plan

Like what you see here? Then check out this webinar on building supervisor training program for private security companies.

1. Hire the Right People

Good hiring practices are important no matter what role you are looking to fill. Having the best people on the job will improve your security services, win you more contracts, and allow you to raise bill rates.

Hiring qualified, trainable guards for entry level jobs will give you a qualified pool of internal people to promote into supervisory positions down the road. So what kind of people should you look for?

First, you need to look at your company culture and core values. You know best what you want and need to provide your unique services with high quality.

After you establish how job candidates should fit into your culture, there are more general qualifications of a good potential supervisor that even entry-level guards should show during your hiring process. There are two basic types of qualifications to look for: soft skills and hard skills.

Soft Skills – Soft skills are less obvious skills of a person. They are also harder to train. They include things like patience, management ability, listening, and conflict resolution. Soft skills are important for any officer to have if you want to eventually promote them to a supervisor role.

Hard Skills – These typically get a little more attention when hiring new officers. Hard skills include things like ability to lift a certain weight, speaking more than one language, or knowing how to use a software/technology.

You shouldn’t ignore hard skills during the recruiting process. Hard skills are very important for a physically and mentally demanding job like private security, but they’re also trainable. Giving a little more focus to soft skills like leadership will help you get qualified supervisor candidates from the start.

2. Promote Your Own Guards

Taking a hard look at your hiring practices will put you in a great position to promote existing security officers into supervisor and management positions. Internal promotions will also save you money.

You can reduce all of the costs associated with recruiting, onboarding, and new employee training and invest that money in officers you already believe in. Not only does this reduce business costs for you, it shows your entire security team that you are willing to invest in your employees. This type of investment promotes positive employee morale.

Training your own security supervisors also gives you much more control over how the supervisors conduct themselves on the job. When you put them through training, you can set expectations and performance standards. This also gives you a chance to show your dedication to your security guards.

Lastly, promoting your own employees sets a great example for other entry-level guards. When they see their peers promoted, they will better understand what’s expected of them if they also want to be promoted.

If you hadn’t noticed, all of these things benefit both you and your security officers. You get better performing, more engaged employees, and officers get to work at a company that invests and believes in their career and future.

3. Supervisor Promotion Plan

Once you have hired the best security guards and future supervisors from day 1, it’s time to develop a plan to prepare them for promotion. The first thing to understand is that spending money on supervisor training is just like any other business investment.

By spending the right amount of time, energy, and resources on your current guards, you can provide better security services to clients, which will ultimately grow your security operation.

Like the hiring process, the first step here is to figure out exactly what you want and need out of your supervisor teams. Evaluate your current supervisors’ strengths and weaknesses, and where you would like to improve.

You can even sit down with your current supervisors and ask what qualities they would look for in a security guard to be promoted.

Once you know what you need, develop a supervisor job description. Even though job descriptions are usually used externally, you can use these job descriptions to help you “hire” your own security guards as supervisors.

By sharing the job description with your current officers, you can clearly communicate what you are looking for in potential supervisors.

After all of these things are in place, it’s time to develop a supervisor training program. The training program should be designed to teach your highest potential security guards the hard and soft skills you need in a supervisor.

The training program should cover things like emotional intelligence, how to effectively listen and communicate, how to hire and fire, and conflict resolution. Obviously, like everything else that has been covered, your supervisor training program needs to be specific to your company’s needs.


Spending a little bit of time and money on revamping your hiring, communication, and ongoing training will produce better and better security supervisors. Remember that an investment in your people will usually result in more buy-in and better work ethic.

Want to start developing a promotion plan and supervisor training program now, but don’t know where to start? You’re in luck. This webinar on security supervisor training with Steve Donofrio will walk you through the essentials to developing these programs in your private security operation.