Holiday season is here and for most that means it’s time to relax, maybe take a little year-end vacation, spend some time with family, go to parties and events, and do a little shopping. But for those in the private security industry the holidays can be the busiest time of year.

Providing security services during the holidays is a tremendous opportunity for business growth. Clients that do not normally utilize live guards suddenly need them, those that do have a live guard presence on-site increase their man hours, plus a number of public and private annual events means there’s more than enough work to go around.

This is the time to upsell additional services such as event security, parking lot monitoring, and supplemental guards to address existing clients’ holiday needs and extended hours. Approach new accounts about adding security to this year’s holiday party or doorbuster event. Speak to local government agencies about providing security services for large scale public events.

The Need for Seasonal Holiday Security Services

The 2022 holiday season is expected to see a return to pre-pandemic levels of crowds, travelers, shoppers, traffic, and partygoers.

That means more vehicle break-ins and incidents of purse-snatching and pickpocketing, more crowd and traffic control, more fights among intoxicated people, more shoplifting, more separated parents and children, more medical emergencies and accidents suffered by visitors and guests, more, well, everything.

Security guards are needed to provide a visible, physical deterrent to crime and to stop incidents of theft in progress by those bold enough to try. They assist in directing foot and vehicle traffic at events, bring order to chaos at the entrance to retail stores on Black Friday, watch for shoplifters, handle crowd control at a parade while looking for signs of terror, and serve as first responders and a liaison to police in case of emergency.

Recruiting for Temporary Security Guards

The trouble is, with so many people preferring to wind down at the end of the year, it can be a challenge for private security companies to achieve the boost in temporary staffing levels necessary to take advantage of seasonal opportunities.

If you want to hire seasonal security officers, here are a few tips to shore up your holiday recruiting efforts:

  • Try to rehire the same temporary officers each year. This will speed your ramp up with minimal on-boarding and limit training to refresher courses for experienced officers. Keep a list of those who worked the holiday season last year.
  • Consider students and retirees. Is there a group of snowbirds who flock to your city every year in time for the holidays, or a local college with students looking for work over winter break
  • Hire veterans seeking to reenter the workforce. Veterans are usually extremely reliable and familiar with basic security principles.
  • Contract with an employment agency specializing in temporary workers. There will be a fee, but these agencies are tapped into populations of workers seeking short-term employment.
  • Hire women. Security isn’t always about the physical attributes males bring to the job, and even if it were, there are plenty of women up to the task of handling it. Don’t miss out on half the population.

Seasonal employment is a great opportunity for newcomers to the security industry. If you actively recruit for holiday security jobs, you may just find a diamond in the rough to keep all year round.

Security Challenges for the Holidays

Holiday security needs and guard behaviors will differ by environment. TrackTik segments the holiday security market into four areas: Holiday Events, Corporate, Independent Businesses, and Retailers.

Consider these tips and techniques to meet the needs of your seasonal clients more effectively:

Holiday Event Security Challenges

Security for one-time or annual holiday events is necessary for company holiday parties, Black Friday sales, bowl games, church events, parades, concerts, and public New Year’s Eve gatherings.

Private security firms should collaborate with corporate clients about holiday plans, and with event organizers, police, and government agencies to assist with crowd control and safety at public events.

Your guards should be monitoring for and trained to deal with risks of crowd control and stampedes, and domestic terrorism stemming from gun violence, vehicle ramming attacks, etc.

Corporate Event Security Challenges

Corporate clients may require after-hours security for events such as office holiday parties on company property. Private security firms can provide office Christmas party security guards to perform access point management, pre-entry checking and escorting of authorized employees and guests, monitor on-premises security cameras, patrol parking lots, and handle intoxicated partygoers.

Your guards should be trained in access control as well as de-escalation tactics to deter party crashers, control inebriated guests, and minimize liability issues like stopping drunk employees from driving home.

Independent Business Security Challenges

Independent businesses see a rise in visitor traffic, shipments, deliveries – and crime – during the holidays.

Private security firms can help independent businesses and their customers stay safe by identifying security vulnerabilities, monitoring the flow of traffic and packages into and out of the business, and patrolling parking lots to protect visitors and unattended vehicles with valuable gifts inside.

Your guards should be trained in situational awareness, identifying suspicious behaviors, use of force, and how to correct surveillance distractions and blockages caused by holiday decorations.

Holiday Shopping Security Challenges for Retailers

Retailers present perhaps the most lucrative opportunities for holiday security services. It’s peak retail theft and shoplifting season. In fact, 54% of small business owners report an increase in shoplifting during the holidays.

An enhanced guard presence is needed to manage large crowds of shoppers during Black Friday and extended retail hours. Private security firms can help retailers direct foot traffic, intervene in customer disputes over the last trendy item, and of course, keep an eye out for shoplifters to minimize losses to theft.

Your guards should be trained in crowd control, de-escalation techniques, and theft prevention. Store management should give guards a tour of the premises to help direct customers to products if asked for directions, or to exits in case of emergency.

Holiday Security Services Can be More than just a Seasonal Opportunity

A positive experience at this most crucial time of year can lead to year-round client relationships and holistic business growth. TrackTik offers the software tools you need to scale your workforce for the holidays.