In-House Security vs. Contracted Security Services

In-House security and contract security agencies are responsible for protecting companies and businesses and ensuring the safety of property, employees and consumers. In-House company security is controlled entirely by the Company management and they themselves are responsible for the hiring, firing and management of personnel. A contract security company is operated by a professional security agency which contracts its services to different companies.

Most companies looking for security services debate within themselves whether to have an In-House security team or contract external security staff. When a company is looking for security elements like loyalty, training, supervision and control, they have an option to either consider In-House or outsourced security officers.

The question of hiring an outside security services provider or having own In-House security department quite often becomes a very critical decision for a CEO to make.  But the growth of the private services industry indicates that more companies are choosing to go the contract route. 

Pros and Cons:

CriteriaIn-House SecurityContract Security
ControlIn-House security employees often feel more loyal to the company, because they feel a camaraderie with fellow employees and have an opportunity for growth and promotions.The Company stick to its core competency to maximize results by focusing on their specialty and hiring other experts to support them. The management team of a professional security agency should make a CEO’s life easier by relieving him of the stress of managing his Security department.
EffectivenessIn-House security personnel are trained to the specific needs of the company, which helps them become more familiar with the layout of a building and recognize individuals coming in and out of offices.Because of a high turnover rate, contract security guards aren’t given the opportunity to become as friendly with employees. This can affect their loyalty and commitment and adversely, to your detriment, affect their performance.
ConsistencyIf the company requires to manage its security that needs to be micromanaged, then having day-to-day In-House security may be the way to go.Employee turnover is a possibility. Depending on the location of the Company, this could be problem that affects the safety of the property, individuals, etc.
CostIn-House security is more expensive because the company is in charge of paying for benefits and higher wages for experienced personnel. Because the status of In-House security is considered higher, it usually attracts a higher quality of guard.The wages tend to be lower with a contract security agency because uniforms, leaves and training benefits are all covered by the agency.
Skill & Background ChecksIt is the Company’s responsibility for taking the proper measures regarding background checks and ensuring that an applicant has the proper training and skills to handle a job of this magnitude.When working with a contract security company. The training, recruitment or background checks are all handled by the agency.
Replacement / Requirement of Security PersonnelWith In-House security, if the performance of certain security personnel is not liked then they have to be relieved of their duties. Then the company has to undergo through the daunting task of looking for a replacement to fill the vacancy.Private security agencies always have security personnel on standby specifically for such reasons. The company can easily request a security agency for a new officer and get one without delay.
Legal LiabilityHaving an In-House security personnel means that a company is liable for them and their actions. In extreme circumstances, this can be detrimental.Hiring private security agency means that the company does not have to take any liability on the security. In case an incident happens where a security guard is held responsible and a lawsuit ensues, the security agency is responsible to take care of all expenses incurred and any payments that may need to be made.
CommitmentBefore a security agency can start working for a company, a contract has to be signed first. When the contract is signed, there is a trust and commitment which forms between the two parties over time. Both parties have to sign a contract which serves as a legal document and it states how each part will do their part.Security companies are upheld by contracts they sign and they understand that they are under the oath of these contracts. They are required to provide security and safety services that meet or/and exceed the expectations of the contract.
Expertise & Training of Guards  The company should have its own personnel who should develop, implement and refine security policies and procedures regularly. When contracting with a security agency, the company is not only hiring a security guard, but the expertise of the management team. Contract security agencies are experienced in training Security personnel regularly.  They have established curriculum and materials that meet or exceed industry standards.  Professional trainers are able to modify their standard training programs to meet the specific needs of the Company where they are deployed.


Other advantages of outsourcing the safety and security needs include:

  • Minimize requirements to implement and track changing standards
  • Reduces costs required into internal infrastructure
  • Increase flexibility to meet changing security and business conditions
  • Access specific supplier benefits like payroll, training, screening and recruiting, etc.
  • Increase productivity and efficiency by concentrating on core business and not on security function


Between the convenience, commitment, and legal liability relief, etc. contract security agency could be the solution for small business needs at present. Maintaining safety and security should be the responsibility of the professionals who do it every day as a career.