Security is a critical priority for companies across New Jersey looking to protect their people, property, assets, data, and operations. With major metropolitan hubs, dense population centers, valuable infrastructure, and heavy industry in the state, having a trusted security partner is key. Selecting the right security company to meet your needs requires careful evaluation across a number of important factors. This comprehensive guide provides an in-depth look at key considerations as you assess security firms and make the smartest investment to safeguard your organization.

Conducting a Full Risk Assessment

Before evaluating potential security partners, complete an exhaustive company-wide risk assessment. This will provide you with the details needed to guide your search and articulate precise needs to prospective security firms. Be sure to gather details on:

Locations and Facilities

List all facilities and locations requiring security coverage, such as office buildings, warehouses, manufacturing plants, retail stores, parking lots/garages, and more. Note details like size, entry points, existing security measures, and assets housed there.

Operations and Scheduling

Document your business operating hours and work schedules across all locations. Detail out all shifts and times facilities are occupied by staff. These details directly impact security staffing requirements.

Assets and Inventory

Catalog high-value assets and inventory, including equipment, electronics, supplies, data centers/servers, intellectual property, and any sensitive materials. Detail the locations where each asset resides and existing protections.

Compliance Requirements

Research all industry regulations and standards that legally mandate security measures for your business type. Also, note any certifications your company wishes to obtain that hinge on certain security criteria being met.

Existing Security Systems

List all current security equipment and systems, including surveillance cameras, access control systems, onsite guards, alarms, cybersecurity software, etc. Note aging systems likely need replacement or upgrades.

Incidents and Prior Breaches

Document any security incidents from the past, including break-ins, theft, vandalism, and security emergencies. Also, detail any data breaches or cyber-attacks experienced. These insights highlight vulnerabilities a new provider must address.

With a completed risk assessment in hand, you can vividly illustrate priorities and requirements to prospective security partners to assist in tailoring the ideal customized solution.

Vetting Security Companies for Business Needs

Next, conduct thorough research on security companies operating in your region of New Jersey to compile a list of top contenders to further evaluate. Look for signals of quality providers, including:

State Licensing

Confirm that prospective companies hold an active State Security Officer Registration Act (SORA) license for New Jersey. This ensures they are legally compliant to operate.

Industry Experience

Seek out firms with extensive experience securing organizations similar to yours, whether healthcare centers, manufacturing plants, school districts, warehouses, or commercial real estate. Experience optimizes their ability to address risks unique to your industry.

Staff Training and Certification

The best firms employ security personnel who hold key training certifications such as first aid/CPR, AED, workplace violence response, surveillance, ethics protocols, and more. Mandatory ongoing training demonstrates a commitment to professional service.

Insurance Coverage

Only partner with companies holding proper commercial general liability and errors and omissions insurance policies to protect your interests in case legal issues arise.

Security Associations

Look for active participation in respected security industry groups like ASIS International, SIA, ISSA, NJBA, NJAESA, or NJSBA. This signals a commitment to professional standards and best practices.

Local Reputation

Favor companies and providers recommended by security directors within your professional network and industry. Local reputation highlights trustworthy service.

Customer Reviews

Seek candid third-party reviews on Google, Facebook, and other sites to gauge customer satisfaction and experience. Multiple negative reviews should spark added caution.

Check for these indicators of security expertise as you research and filter down to a list of the top 5-10 contenders meriting closer evaluation.

Relying on reputable providers vetted by resources like further helps ensure an ideal security match.

Interviewing Short-Listed Companies

Once your target list of security firms is compiled, take time to interview each of them directly. Prep a list of questions to gain insights into these key areas:

Risk Assessment Approach

How will they evaluate your documented security risks and needs? What questions do they have on details or areas that need clarification? Their strategy here offers clues on their diligence.

Scope of Services

What do their service offerings include? Probe not just patrolling guards but technology like video surveillance, access control, cybersecurity services, workplace violence programs, emergency response systems, employee training, and more.

Account Management

Who will be assigned as the day-to-day contact and account manager? What is their experience? Are they local to your geographic area? Access to responsive contacts is key for swift resolution should any issues arise.

Screening and Staffing

Ask about their security officer recruiting and vetting process. Do they thoroughly screen candidates’ backgrounds, credentials, and experience? Also, inquire about wages, retention incentives, and supervision protocols. The caliber of guards they deploy reflects directly on your security posturing.

Pricing and Contracts

After an initial risk consultation, a reputable security firm will provide a detailed bid accounting for your documented scope. Review pricing and contractual terms closely to protect your interests. Are there exit clauses if you need to part ways? Is pricing locked in contractually or subject to hikes?

Emergency Response

Evaluate each company’s emergency response capabilities and protocols. How rapidly can they dispatch qualified personnel in a crisis? Do they offer backup support? How is escalation handled for multisite clients? Their plans here are critical.

Technology Capabilities

Explore their expertise and toolsets within key tech domains like video surveillance, access control systems, alarm monitoring, cybersecurity solutions, and visitor management software. State-of-the-art technology augments human security efforts.

Client References

Request two to three client references, ideally with needs similar to yours. Reach out to these contacts directly to discuss their experience partnering with the provider. Client feedback offers invaluable insights.

Assessing responses and capabilities across these facets assists greatly in determining the ideal security company match.

Making a Smart Security Investment

Landing the right security partner wields immense influence over your property protection, incident response, safety, compliance, insurance costs, and overall business productivity. While robust security requires investment, the return on risk reduction and peace of mind makes the expense well justified. As you evaluate providers and calculate costs, keep the following wisdom in mind:

Right-size It – Work closely with your chosen provider to tailor and deploy adequate security measures to fully mitigate risks without overspending on unnecessary services. Find the right balance between protection and added overhead.

Plan for Scalability – Your security needs will likely evolve as your business changes. Seek out solutions positioned to flex, scale, and adjust seamlessly as you operate and grow.

Think Holistically – Physical security officers represent one important safeguard, but explore how they can be fortified with surveillance, cybersecurity, emergency notification systems, access control, and beyond. Modern integrated solutions offer comprehensive protection.

Focus on Capabilities – Rather than zero in exclusively on cost, devote attention to vetting providers’ expertise, diligence, and capabilities to successfully deliver your required scope of security. Subject matter expertise is everything in security.

By following this start-to-finish guide, you can identify and invest wisely in a trusted New Jersey security partner positioned to fully safeguard your people, property, and interests over the long term.