Balancing Price, Quality and Wages


Balancing Price, Quality and WagesHow much should security officers be paid? What sort of working conditions should be provided? Most importantly, how does that affect the quality of a security team, and why should the client care?

The answer depends on what a client thinks is important when it comes to security.


The Trade-Offs

Security firms and clients must balance three factors: price, wages and quality. Clients, in particular, should understand how the salaries and working conditions of the security officers who serve and protect them affect the quality of that service and protection.

Clients should also understand that a security firm isn’t a vendor, but a partner.

Both the client and the security firm have the same goal: to keep the facility, staff and visitors safe and secure. In most cases, the client also wants staff, students, residents, visitors—in short, whoever is on the grounds or in the facility—to also feel safe and secure.

There’s no secret to achieving both the reality and the perception of safety and security:

  • Security officers are well trained, motivated and treated fairly
  • Security firm management is present, accountable and service-oriented
  • The client and security firm have a transparent, professional relationship
  • Communications are regular, open and honest

It really is that simple.


What Partnership Looks Like

A security firm is more a partner than a vendor: the security officers know your facility, your staff, and your regular visitors or clients. They’re aware when something is out of place or “doesn’t look right.” They ask employees how their children are doing in school and help them when they have a possible medical emergency. They track down an unusual sound and alert the facilities manager about a small leak before it becomes a large one.

In short, they become a trusted part of the team.

A good security officer is an investment for both the security firm and the client.

For the security firm, the costs to recruit, screen, uniform, train, manage and develop an officer are significant. (Sunstates Security, for example, typically hires fewer than 10% of all applicants.) Supporting and educating the officer—so they can increase their skills, their responsibilities and their salaries—can be a significant cost as well.

The alternative is higher turnover. When officers leave because they can make the same or more working in a warehouse, because they don’t have the opportunity to advance, or because they’re not treated well, both the security firm and the client pay the cost.


The Benefits of Wage Increases

Should an officer who continually does an excellent job be financially rewarded? Should a professional who has been at a facility for a long time and is trusted by the people who work there get a raise?

The answer seems obvious. Officers who are recognized and rewarded for their work, like anyone else, are motivated to continue to do an excellent job.

An officer who’s locked into a “lowest bidder” contract, or who is treated as a commodity, won’t. Most likely, they’ll leave.

Wages, like benefits, training and education, are tools to recruit and retain the caliber of security officers that most clients want to keep their facilities and people safe and secure. In the long run, clients and security firms that recognize this reality and develop a partnership will be better served.


To discuss security and other issues when reopening during the time of COVID-19, please call Sunstates Security at 866-710-2019 or contact us.

Sunstates Security is a proud holder of the WBENC certification.