Jeff Davis, TEAM Software, CALSAGA Network Partner

As a security contractor, you’re well aware the current labor market is pretty crazy. You’ve got a lot stacked against you, and you’re not alone. National applicant trends across industries aren’t keeping up with those of hiring. That’s a problem for your hiring efforts. So, how do you attract applicants to your open jobs?  

First things first. 

Promote your jobs. Due to the lack of job seekers, employers have sponsored more job listings on job boards, leading to an all-out bidding war. With placements coming at a premium, companies have had to aggressively increase their job board spending budget to remain visible. Before you start throwing money around, though, consider your options. 

Diversify your applicant search. One source of job postings may garner lots of applicant volume, but with low quality. This means you may end up with candidates in your hiring funnel who have little interest in being there or who aren’t qualified. Or, the opposite may be true. A job board could only generate a sliver of applicant volume, but with applicants who are highly qualified with long-term retention potential at your company. Evaluate what your KPIs are in the hiring process and parcel out your advertising process accordingly. Then make postings on job boards based on those KPI goals. 

Next up, marketing. 

One of the best ways to improve your candidate quality is by improving your job listing. If the listing is unclear, people won’t apply. If it is misrepresentative of work tasks, you could have officers apply, begin work, then decide the job isn’t right for them and turn over quickly. Speak to what’s unique about your company, what might make it a good fit for the right candidates, and why people should be excited to join your team. Highlight benefits, even if you can’t afford to pay rates as high as some of your competitors. Unique benefits could attract candidates who might otherwise skip based on wage criteria alone. Make each listing easy to read and quick to process and use social media to increase job visibility. 

Look beyond the obvious. 

The truth is, COVID-19 has changed the hiring landscape. Even if changes aren’t permanent, it’s possible we could see continued impact on when and how applicants return to the hiring market. Even as applicants do return, there could be a shift in who is coming back to what jobs. As a result, you may need to rethink the type of candidate you’re trying to attract, and how you move them through your hiring process. Make it speedy. Quick apply tools and ATS systems with data capture help gather applicant information, meaning you have a larger pool of candidates to draw from, even if they aren’t able to complete an application in full. Move even quicker by keying in on what really matters to your open jobs and focusing on collecting secondary information, like historical job information past a few years ago. 

Whatever you do, don’t ghost. 

You know how hard it is to source and hire qualified applicants to join your team. It’s a whole other challenge to actually convert a new-hire into a member of your security workforce who stays on past sixty days. It’s not uncommon to hire a new employee, then have that employee “ghost” you, or never show up, before day one. 

Knowing this is a challenge for your security business, it’s imperative that you as the hiring agent also doesn’t ghost your potential employees, either. Don’t leave applicants in the hiring funnel too long. Don’t ignore potential candidates, or waste time holding out on an offer. While you still want to find a candidate who is a good fit, gone are the days that afforded you time to be super selective in your hiring tactics — at least for now. If you don’t move quickly, your competitors will. 

Keep these “get” strategies in mind as you enter into 2022. It’s likely the hiring market will continue to keep us on our toes as current challenges evolve, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared. And, don’t forget to focus on your retention efforts, too. Once you have the right officer on your payroll, you want to do everything you can to keep them. 

Jeff Davis was president of Kwantek, a recruiting and onboarding software provider acquired by TEAM Software, the leading provider of integrated financial, operations and workforce management software for cleaning and security contractors, in 2020. Since joining TEAM, Jeff is the VP of Strategic Growth North America, acting as a subject matter expert and thought leader for TEAM in the security and cleaning industries and assisting with global sales and marketing initiatives. For the last 20 years, Jeff has focused on technology, working in sales and marketing to executive leadership, with four years specializing in human resources technology. He has an MBA focusing on Information Systems from Tennessee Tech and a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the University of Louisville.


Brandy Tomasek, TEAM Software, Network Partner

There’s no doubt you’ve heard something described as the “meat and potatoes” before. The saying refers to the most basic or fundamental aspects of something. For your security company, the meat and potatoes of your business are your jobs. But keeping your security jobs profitable is a challenge. Especially, when labor and overhead costs are on the rise due to added costs of the pandemic.

The challenge: staying profitable when you’re up against tight margins. 

In an industry where profit margins are already thin, you don’t have a lot of wiggle room to dip into your profits to offset new and increased costs. So, it’s especially important to maintain a clear and accurate picture of your profitability at all times. It’s likely you’re managing your business to some degree with technology. But, have you factored in job costing? If you’re not actively allocating costs down the job level, you’re missing the “meat and potatoes” of your profitability opportunities. 

It should be a given that if a particular revenue or expense exists in accordance with a contract, then it should be included in your job costing. But the real challenge is getting accurate numbers and recording them down to the job level. Typically, costs you should be allocating per job include labor costs, payroll taxes, workers compensation, general liability insurance, umbrella insurance, supplies, materials, fuel, vehicles and more.

The solution: gaining visibility into profits at the job level. 

Job costing strategies aren’t one-size-fits all. To maximize your competitive advantage, security companies should be leveraging job costing opportunities that look at costs in detail at the job level. Oftentimes, it can look like a job is profitable when seen from the 1,000-foot view. But when you dig into some of the expenses coded to overhead jobs, you find some of those larger, true cost overhead expenses are what make up a good chunk of costs at the job level, too. 

For example, worker’s compensation typically isn’t expensed down to the job level because it’s hard to manage. Depending on the specific services you provide, worker’s compensation could be more costly than specific payroll taxes. So, if you aren’t accounting a portion of worker’s compensation expenses as a cost per job, you aren’t getting an accurate picture at what it took from your expense budget to service that contract.

As a security industry leader, it’s important to properly allocate your true job costs. Here are some tips to keep in mind when exploring job costing opportunities: 

  1. Make sure you have a way for every financial transaction processed to include a job number. Including everything from payroll, to accounts receivable, accounts payable and adjusted journal entries — no detail is too small. 
  2. Look for additional features that allow for payroll taxes and miscellaneous insurance costs to be taken down to the job level, based on payroll dollars at that specific job. 
  3. Establish review processes to compare data collected to budgets for an accurate gauge of profitability. 

Once you complete these tasks, you should be holding on to some solid, irrefutable data with insights into your true job costs. And as you evaluate contracts or bid for future work, you can use this as solid testimony backing up any negotiations or changes in SLAs. And, keep in mind job costing is an ongoing process. A job that’s profitable at one time could become unprofitable as SLAs change over time, or supply costs fluctuate. 

So, are you job costing? Are you doing so correctly? Do you analyze the data and put it in action? As a security company, you need to be asking yourself these important meat and potato questions to know whether you have a clear view of your profitability.


Brandy Tomasek joined TEAM Software in 2016. She’s a part of the Professional Services team, working as a Sr. Business Consultant. Prior to joining TEAM, Brandy earned a Bachelor’s degree in Management and Marketing, as well as her MBA in Organizational Leadership. Brandy’s professional experience spans a range of disciplines from management and leadership, to training and accounting. In her free time, Brandy enjoys spending time with her family, training their puppy and DIY everything.


Chris Anderson, Thinkcurity, Silvertrac, CALSAGA Network Partner

No matter what stage a private security company is in, growth is a primary goal. The simple answer to growth is winning more contracts. But that is never as simple as it sounds.

There are a lot of methods to secure more contracts as a security provider and it’s helpful to consider them. But one of the most effective ways is to diversify the security services that you offer.

It’s clear that security services are not one-size-fits all. Potential clients will be looking for services that fit their specific wants and needs. So how do you add services to your operation that will win you more bids so you can grow year after year?

  1. Know what security services are in high demand
  2. Learn how to effectively add services based on your current size

If you read this article and still want more resources, check out the day 2 keynote speech from the Virtual Physical Security Summit. Steve Vitale talks all about how to incorporate new security services into your operation.

Types of Security Services to Add

Knowing what specific services potential clients want will help a lot as you start to consider which services you should add to your operation. For example, 2020 changed the physical security industry dramatically and many security clients want things like remote guarding services or security guards trained in de-escalation tactics.

With that in mind, take a look at these 5 services that show big potential for growth in the industry.

  1. Security Risk Assessments

Risk assessments are a service that every security company should offer no matter what size or stage they are because they affect the rest of your service offerings.

When you do a risk assessment, you will be able to see what specific security needs a current or potential client has and how you can address them with the services you provide. Risk assessments can also tell you what services you might need to add to your business.

An initial assessment and property walk won’t tell you everything you need to know about a new property. Steve Vitale – an expert in this area – recommends doing 30, 60, and 90-day risk assessment check-ins with every new client.

  1. Off-Duty Officers

Off-duty police officers, retired police officers, and veterans are great assets to any physical security company. These are people with tons of experience and training – especially in skills like de-escalation and tactical communication.

Police officers and veterans also allow you to justify higher bill rates (just keep in mind you usually have to pay them more, too). Clients tend to feel better about having experienced, highly trained security officers on the job and are willing to pay for it.

  1. Security Technology

The world runs on information and your clients are no different. Offering security technology as part of your services provides you and your client with more information which means better decision making.

If you don’t have any physical security technologies, guard tour software is a great place to start. It will allow you and your supervisors to see what’s going on in your business and the data it collects will show clients that they are getting what they paid for.

For larger security companies, having a global security operations center (GSOC) will help you collect even more data that will help you use resources efficiently and make better decisions.

  1. Mobile Patrol

Mobile patrols have become more and more popular over the years. They give you an opportunity to win contracts with clients who might not be able to afford a standing guard but still want a small amount of security coverage at their property.

The key to a successful mobile patrol is good private security fleet management. This includes things like managing your mobile patrol costs and knowing what the best vehicles are for private security.

  1. Remote Monitoring

Remote monitoring is a security service that is being requested more and more for reasons similar to mobile patrols. It is great for clients because it usually costs less, and it is great for security businesses because they can pay one officer to patrol multiple locations at once.

Plus, implementing remote monitoring systems has gotten much easier over the years as technology has gotten cheaper and things like artificial intelligence have become more readily available.

How to Effectively Add New Security Services

Adding services is one of the best ways to win new contracts from clients who are looking for those services. Not to mention it’s a great way to grow contracts with existing clients. Use these tips to make sure that you know how to add new services to your company in the most effective way – even if you’re small.

  1. Self Evaluation

If you’re just starting out as a security company, you might only offer standing guards. You might even be the one on site!

Before adding your next service, there are a couple of questions you need to ask yourself:

  • What does our company have the resources to offer?
  • What services do our current and prospective clients need?

Without the right resources, you will quickly find yourself in over your head. Don’t forget resources include personnel.

Make sure you aren’t straining your supervisors by giving them too much to manage. And when you add a new service, make sure you have well-trained employees that can implement it.

  1. Affiliate Service Partners

A great solution for small security companies looking to add new services is to partner with other security companies that already offer those services – especially companies that specialize in the specific services you’re looking to add.

The key here is to make sure any security company you do partner with aligns with your culture, values, and standards. Don’t settle for a company just because they offer the services you need.

If you need help finding companies to partner with, check in with your local and regional security associations, chamber of commerce, or even LinkedIn.

  1. Technology

While security technology can be viewed as part of your services, you can also use it to add new services easier.

Using technology in your security business is one of the most efficient ways to manage the entire operation at scale. As you grow, your security technology should do the heavy lifting for you and allow you to oversee every part of the business.

Security technology will also provide you with data you need during the self-evaluation process. Data from your GSOC and summary reports from the field can show you trends that will help you make informed decisions when it is time to change or add the security services you provide.


If you’re a private security company in growth mode, adding new services is one of the best ways to win new contracts and grow existing ones. When it’s time to add a new service, keep these two tips in mind:

  • Add services that current and potential clients are asking for
  • Be strategic in when and how you add services

If you want more resources, remember to check out this webinar on incorporating new services into your security operation.

Chris is the Founder of Silvertrac Software and has been working in the security industry for more than 25 years. He enjoys working with our clients everyday to help them grow their businesses and really enjoy what they are doing. Chris currently lives and works in Seal Beach, CA.


Shaun Kelly, Tolman & Wiker, CALSAGA Preferred Broker

Now that we are in a new year, it is good to reflect on the past year and look at what to anticipate for the year(s) to come. Insurance rates and premiums are based on historical loss data, trends, economic conditions and many other factors. We are going to share some 2019 overall industry results, how they will affect 2020 and influence premiums and limit coverage. Then we will review the Security Industry, which is insured primarily through “Program Underwriters”. Many may be influenced by the overall industry results, but more often they beat to their own drum when it comes to premium and coverage changes based on their own experience.

2019 Industry Results

  • Premium pricing across all-sized accounts increased moderately at 6.2% in Q3 2019, marking the eighth consecutive quarter of rate increases. Large accounts were impacted the most by the hardening market, recording an average premium increase of 7.6%, compared to 5.6% in Q2 2019.
  • With the exception of Workers’ Compensation, signs of market hardening were seen across all commercial lines of business, which experienced slight-to-moderate pricing increases in Q3 2019. Umbrella and Commercial Auto were hit hardest in Q3, with average price increases of 9.8% and 9.1%, respectively. The average premium increase across all major lines was 5.9%, in comparison to 4.6% in Q2 2019 and 3.4% in Q1 2019.

Source: The Counsel of Insurance Agents and Brokers. Chart prepared by Barclays Research

Driving these rate increases have been losses in the property, auto and umbrella lines of business, coupled with low interest rates. Property losses, auto losses and low interest rates can be explained rather easily, however the claims that are piercing the umbrella coverage are becoming more frequent and much more costly than they have been in years prior. The introduction of “Nuclear verdict” and “Social inflation” have the industry concerned about the correct pricing that is required to cover future losses. 

A “Nuclear verdict” can be defined as a settlement greater than would be expected based upon the facts of the claim and the nature of the injuries. Typically, settlements greater than $10 million.

“Social inflation” is more complicated and influences the nuclear verdict. Factors driving social inflation include litigation funding, the erosion of tort reform, negative public sentiment toward larger businesses and corporations, plaintiff friendly legal decisions and larger jury awards.

Media and plaintiff attorneys have done a good job of painting the picture of big bad corporations operating their business unethically, taking advantage of employees and reaping huge profits. Aggressive plaintiff attorneys are activating the emotional side of jurors and suggesting that corporations must be punished and pay for their wrong doing. Large nuclear verdicts are occurring more often and no end in sight.

Security Industry 2020 Forecast

The Security Industry (Program underwriters) does not always follow the information provided above, however there are similarities on certain lines of business. An advantage to having insurance in Industry Programs, based my 29 years of experience in the Security Industry, is that Programs respond slower to a hard market (Increase in pricing) and faster to enter a soft market (Decrease in pricing).

Except for Workers Compensation, premiums are firming up for the other lines of coverage for 2020. Lines of coverage that will be affected the most in 2020 will be Auto, General Liability, Employment Practices Liability and possibly Umbrella (If you have a large fleet of autos).

Auto insurance has been a loss leader for all Program Underwriters for many years and rates have been increasing each year. The only way Auto can be written, is when a complimentary line of insurance (General Liability or Workers Compensation) is written in addition to the Auto. Premiums for Auto written on a stand-alone basis are normally much higher. Expect premiums to increase significantly, or we may see insurance carriers discontinue writing Auto.

*Please note, if you have a large fleet of autos, you may experience increased Workers Compensation and Umbrella premium. With the frequency and severity of Auto losses, injuries to employees occur which result in Workers Compensation claims. Also, with more Autos, there is a higher probability of having a large Auto loss that could pierce the Umbrella coverage.

Rate variances on General Liability  may be -5% to +5% in 2020, depending on your loss experience and operations. However, General Liability policies are changing and restricting coverage for certain types of operations. You need to review your policy to determine if you have any exclusions/limitations. For example:

  • Low income housing
  • Cannabis operations
  • Liquor establishments
  • Special events
  • Schools
  • Fast food restaurants
  • Religious establishments
  • Other

These exclusions/limitations are another way for an insurance carrier to reduce claim activity and not have to increase pricing. This way they can stay competitive, so please ask about coverage not just pricing. 

Employment Practices Liability is a difficult conversation. If you have not had a PAGA or Wage & Hour claim you are lucky! And I would say, “If you have not had one yet”, watch out you probably will at some point in time. Premiums are increasing and expect increases each year going forward unless something changes dramatically. Premium increases vary based on coverage and deductibles/retentions and range from 5% to 15% with no claim activity. 

Umbrella premiums will be affected by the Auto fleet and loss history. Limits up to $10 million are available at reasonable premiums, limits above $10 million may have coverage limitations and premiums vary.

In summary, except for Auto and Employment Practices Liability, expect minimal premium changes in 2020. Auto premiums are going to experience increases and they could influence premiums in other lines of coverage based on fleet size and loss history. I did not mention Property Insurance because this is not a significant line of coverage for the majority of our security clients. You may hear some horror stories regarding increases in Property Insurance premiums, the stories are true. Property premiums are skyrocketing for large property risks. 

 Thank you for your time.  

Shaun Kelly joined Tolman & Wiker Insurance Services in 2005.  He specializes in all lines of property and casualty insurance for industries including contract security firms, agriculture, construction, oil and gas. Shaun received a BS in Business Administration with a major in Finance from California State University in Fresno, California. He is an active member of several industry associations, including the Association CALSAGA, the Kern County Builders Exchange and the Independent Insurance Agents of Kern County. Shaun can be reached at 661-616-4700 or skelly@tolmanandwiker.com.