Effective security management is essential to every aspect of a business's operation. Private security firms provide contractual employees to businesses for a set fee. There are advantages and disadvantages of hiring an outside firm to conduct security operations. Cost and flexibility are advantages that businesses appreciate. On the other side is the risk of the disadvantages that can result in not hiring career employees. Management of any business needs to assess fully the risks and rewards before entering into a private security contract.

Advantage: Cost

Cost savings is an advantage of hiring private security. Businesses save the costs of advertising for recruiting, hiring and training their own security personnel. Administration costs associated with retaining an employee are also eliminated. Costs for payroll, timekeeping and additional human resource personnel are not needed. Additional savings are acquired due to contractual employees not being offered any type of medical or retirement benefits packages. Cost savings can add up to a significant amount over the course of just one year.

Advantage: Flexibility

The flexibility of hiring contractual security employees is suitable for most any sized business. The amount of personnel can be increased or decreased as a business's needs change. A business can opt to terminate the service of a contractual employee without policy write-ups or union problems. A business can also terminate the security company's contract if performance is substandard. Some businesses require specialized skills for their security. Specialized skills or experience are provided and confirmed by the security company.

Disadvantage: Lack of Commitment

A primary disadvantage of hiring a private security firm is the lack of commitment to your business. Contractual employees tend to have less loyalty to a third-party business. Because they are usually paid less than career security employees are, they have a lower level of motivation to comply with third-party business standards. Resentment can ensue because they are not offered the same benefits as career employees, even though they work at the same establishment.

Disadvantage: High Turnover

High turnover is a disadvantage that can affect overall performance. Highly qualified security personnel tend to leave contractual employment for career employment. This is a result of the lower salaries offered to contractual employees. There is also little to no room for promotion within the contract security industry. Businesses are then left without the highest level of service.