By Nathan Seabrook
Listed below are some examples of what many clients look for when hiring a protection specialist. These points have been compiled from a list of clients that have contacted Bodyguard Staffing looking for possible protection specialists to fill positions for protection details.
• Easy going and Confident
• High Moral character and integrity
• Good Conversationalist
• Clean cut
• Good Physical appearance
• Not intimidated and can make split second decisions
• Not cocky
• No criminal background or history
• Has presence
• Non smoker/Tobacco user
• Non drinker
• Good People skills
• Good personal hygiene
• Advanced first aid certifications
• Former Police officer or Military
• Clean driving record
• Current permit to “carry weapons”
• Good interpersonal relation skills
• Martial Arts background
• Mentally stable
• Stable employment record
• Has good social etiquette
• Able to think |”outside of the box”
• Work as a team player or individually
• Able to speak a foreign language
• Able to “Switch On” on and then “Switch off” in rapid succession if a threat arises
• Understanding of the law and legal issues with the use of force
• Able to keep personal issues dealing with race, religion, gender to oneself
Interesting comments. I’ve been working in the physical security industry in Northwestern Wisconsin for the last 3.5 years. It has been disgustingly easy to advance beyond my coworkers, and unfortunately, that has lead to boredom, and complacency in my confidence.
I will say appearance has been the key to my success. I work with so many overweight, and useless officers. It would blow your mind! As I progress my career, and continue getting in better physical shape as time goes on, I will enter the higher level of Executive Protection. I hope I can find challenges, competition, and fairly like minded individuals, in so far as work performance goes.
I’m sure all attractive male security professionals will agree, its easy to put down the cigarettes and drinks, but turning away the female attention on the job can be a real heart breaker…haha.
Again, great comments, great article.
Great list as a generally guide. However the most important skills are the ones the client is looking for or prioritizes. Keep in mind many private sector clients don’t really know what it takes to keep them safe…but they still have their list. As for the two or four year degree it depends on where you are applying as pointed out. Good communication is one of the most critical skills for an EP Agent. Confidence, calming demeanor (calm in the storm) attention to detail are also key. The three attributes I look for when hiring an are loyalty, discipline and humility (advance work, martial arts skills and firearm skills can be taught – however it takes discipline to perfect the skills). It is important to be able to communicate your DEMONSTRATED skills and experiences relative to the position you are applying for.
I regularly get people who apply to my agency and when I conduct an interview with them, most can’t articulate how their experiences and demonstrated skills (not just job titles) are a good match to my hiring requirements.
It is amazing how logic and common sense need not apply. I worked a detail a year ago and my client had hired a driver whom he had worked with in the past for the evening. When the driver realized I owned an agency he handed me several of his business cards. During our second stop the driver decided to leave the vehicle and come inside then proceeded to order a not one but two drinks in the nightclub. I then phoned one of my normal drivers and told him to wait for me outside of the club. When we got ready to leave the nightclub I removed all of my clients belongings from the car and told the prior driver he was fired. I told him, I was prepared to deal with the external threats and inherent risks of the job, but not a DWI from our driver.
I agree with the above , paticularly smoking when working, #1, it’s a put off to many clients, #2 it could give away your position and what your doing , and #3, especially at evening or night a very bad idea if your working, if you go off position to smoke or do it openly your not doing the main job of keeping up your clients image, one responsibility in protection is to make sure the client doesn’t embarrass themself nor should you.
I stand with you on the smoking. Some CPO just do not understand that this vice is going to make you of break you in the industry for long term projects.
Why the hell would you smoke in the clients house anyway? Idiot! It smells, it’s unhealthy one of many things the client don’t want you to be.
Well put on this discussion forum.
How many times do we have to tell CPOs try not to smoke as it stinks. The smell will linger and some clients have a good sense of smell like ladies.
CPOs are to portray a sporty healthy outlook. I have worked so many guys that have a big gut. The belly is touching the steering wheel. So can one imagine how fast will this CPO be with a weight issue. Good for sitting on people but that is not the new generation of CPOs.
I agree with you all that one must add value to you skills. What makes you different from all the CPOs postulating on the same job. Not many CPOs think in this way. In South Africa sometimes it is who you know and not what you know. I have worked with so called security people who do this when they are free. The customers are paying a premium for their safety and if they would ever find out they would be very unhappy.
All good points. With respect to Chris’ comments regarding the necessity of a 4-yr degree; I think it depends on the client or organization. If you are going to work protection in federal level law enforcement, a degree is required. In state and municipal roles, it is strongly preferred, but not necessarily a requirement. In the private sector, even though it may not be a direct indicator of your proficiency in protective operations, you’ll find that most major corporations prefer candidates with Bachelor degrees for salaried positions. This is often done so employees are competitively promotable to managerial jobs once inside the company.
With regards to John’s comments about smoking, I generally require that you don’t chew gum, drink, smoke, gamble or…have impure thoughts…while you’re on duty. When you’re off duty and out of the public view, I don’t care what you do as long as you show up fresh and clean for your next shift…and you haven’t done anything to embarrass your agency the night before. With budgets the way they are these days, I rarely have extra people on a project to give each other breaks—therefore, you need to do without all major vices until the end of the shift.
Good point John. A close friend was working an estate detail. He was in the main house, and there was nobody home, it was raining pretty hard. So he opened a window and had a smoke. A few minutes later the client came back home, notice the smoke and fried him on the spot. I told him smoking in someone’s home, is an invasion. No matter if you opened the window or not, you can still smell the smoke. You disrespected the client by smoking in their home and I’m not surprised that they fired you!
Thanks for posting this list Hucky. I think the importance of it for E.P. agents in the field is that it is a list of attributes expcted/required by the client – that very important person with the ability to hire and fire. In our most recent E.P training class we had a few smokers who would “light up” at every break. I told them that it was not my place to tell them they should or shouldn’t smoke, but the client would have that say. If you are a smoker and the client is anti-smoking or has an ailment such as asthma – it will not matter if you are the best E.P. agent in the world, you will not get the job. The Western World is becomming more health conscious all the time. Agents would be well served to keep that point in mind.
A four year degree may have more to do with “fitting into the background” while protecting an Executive or business client. They don’t want the “I am going to kill someone” look about them or at least a guy that looks comfortable in a suit at a business function.
Good point Chris
I don’t see a four year college degree listed there. There have been many clients I have been turned down by because my 2 year degree along with my certifications are not good enough. How important is this in the private sector?
THE ABOVE LISTED PERSONALITYS THAT A CLIENT WOULD BE LOOKING FOR IN A EXECUTIVE PROTECTION SPECALIST THAT IS ALL VERY GOOD TOO HAVE AS BUT WE ALL KNOW THIER IS ALWAYS ONE IN THE BOX THAI LACKS EVEN COMMUNCATION SKILLS THE WORK WE DO AS PROTECTION SPECIALIST AS STATED A LOT OF COMMON SENSE WILL GO A LONG WAY IN THE BUSINESS THAT WE UNDERTAKE . I WA A PLOICE OFFICER FOR A LONG TIME YES WE DO HAVE TOO REACT FAST AND AT TIMES THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX AND YES APPERANCE IS TO ME VERY IMPORTANT .THANKS TO THE ABOVE INFORMATION WE WILL ALL DO BETTER.
good list,great reeference for beginners.Just remember you don’t have to have every one of these listed.Different clients will have different priorities.Some more important than others.
Ditto! Good list for those looking to get into the industry and an excellent reminder for those of us actively working.