Of the many challenges your security business faces, effectively managing overtime expenses and other scheduling issues is one of the most important things you can do to maintain profitability.

It can be tempting to neglect the importance of managing overtime when your team has so many other responsibilities on their plate. But without proper management, overtime hours worked by your guards could become a major liability that hurts your profitability.

So what can be done to prevent overtime hours from draining your profits?

The following tactics will play a key role in helping you manage overtime effectively.

Invest in Scheduling Software

Managing Overtime and Expenses Related to SchedulingAdopting an advanced guard scheduling software is one of the best things a security company can do to manage overtime hours. Modern scheduling software has the ability to automate shift assignments, utilizing shift bidding, employee time off requests, and other factors to create weekly schedules for your guards.

More importantly, a scheduling software allows managers to review shift schedules and overtime requests so they can set limits that prevent guards from scheduling too much overtime. This makes it significantly easier to establish a system where you have an entire team that works 30 to 40 hours a week, rather than having some guards working a mere 20 hours while others work nearly 60.

Shift scheduling software can even allow your management teams to find the most cost-effective solution during unexpected scheduling situations. For example, should a guard not show up for his scheduled shift, the security workforce management software would help your team quickly identify which guards are available to fill in.

Additional Staffing Solutions

Managing Overtime and Expenses Related to SchedulingOf course, even with a quality shift scheduling program in place, it will be difficult to manage overtime effectively if you don’t have enough guards. Conducting an audit of a business’s overtime hours often reveals repeating or seasonal overtime patterns that can be attributed to a lack of guards.

When this occurs, the simplest solution is often to bring on additional staff who can fill those overtime hours, subsequently reducing the expenses associated with overtime pay. Some security companies accomplish this by hiring part-time employees or seasonal workers to help handle periods of increased demand. In many cases, hiring additional full-time guards is necessary to handle the needs of a growing security business.

However, it is important to keep in mind that the process of hiring and training a new staff has its own costs. Firms considering hiring part-time or seasonal workers may wish to compare the costs of overtime as opposed to hiring temporary workers before diving into this solution.


Managing Overtime and Expenses Related to SchedulingProviding additional training to your security guard team is another effective method of managing overtime. Quite often, dilemmas involving overtime pay occur because only certain members of your team are qualified to fulfill certain shifts.

For example, a particular client might require that guards patrolling their site obtain an extra security clearance or additional first aid training. If only a few members of your team match these qualifications, your options will be quite limited when the time comes to schedule shifts — which can very easily result in unnecessary overtime hours.

Providing certification courses, trainings, and other resources to your guards will result in a more highly qualified staff, allowing more members of your team to fill shifts for any of your clients. With additional training and qualifications, your management team will have more options to choose from when they need to fill a shift, reducing overtime hours and increasing client satisfaction.


Though it is often overlooked, learning to effectively manage your guards’ overtime hours can make all the difference for the long-term profitability of your security company. By implementing these and other tactics, you can take better control of your scheduling and keep your business in the black.