Top 15 Qualities to Look for in A Residential Security Guard

Good workers are hard to find these days, and that goes double for security guards. Given the inherent danger of the job, picking the right prospect that will make you feel secure in your home can be immensely difficult.

Luckily for you, we have done some digging and uncovered the fifteen qualities that make an individual uniquely capable to guard your property. Read on to find out more.

Verbal Communication

Something that is often overlooked in the hiring process is your prospect’s ability to clearly communicate. If they are not able to converse and communicate pertinent information to you, then how will they be able to handle strangers they encounter?

Our voice is the first thing we use when confronted with the unknown: your applicant should have that.

Body Language

As humans, we use body language as a silent means of communicating intent. If your security guard is overly lax in their stance, would-be intruders might altogether disregard their presence and go about their crimes.

However, if they are outwardly hostile, they might be unapproachable to people looking to report suspicious activity. The ideal candidate should focus on striking a balance between professionalism and warmth.

Physical & Mental Fitness

It’s easy to focus on either physical or mental fitness when selecting a security guard for the job. However, what you should instead focus on is a blend of both traits.

If your guard is not physically fit, they’ll have difficulty handling intruders in scenarios where the situation with a would-be intruder does escalate. However, if they are not mentally fit, they may lack the ability to prevent things from escalating in the first place, or from picking up on smaller cues that would help them in their job.

Observation Skills

Observational skills are an absolute must for anyone serious about becoming a guard. Their whole job is geared toward preventing crimes, but it’s not as if all criminals will have neon blinking signs indicating their crimes.

Being able to notice the small things is paramount. And just as important is the need to filter out unimportant information in lieu of pertinent details.

Critical Thinking

All of the skills your candidate has are meaningless if they are not able to properly evaluate the situation and determine which is most applicable. For instance, one might take a slightly different tact between misbehaving children and adults committing similar acts.

Written Communication

Residential guards work a wide variety of hours. Sometimes, it is simply not feasible to arrange a face-to-face meeting to relay pertinent information.
When written communication is to be used, it must be clear and concise. This will allow you to have an idea of potential threats as they emerge. It could even help the guard get a better idea of how the clues in front of them come together.

Honesty & Integrity

If one is expected to stop crime, it’s paramount that they’re doing it for the right reasons — make a point to vet your candidates for the proper character. If they are just another criminal looking for a different avenue to make their money, then hiring them is actively worse than not having a guard at all

Conflict Resolution

Conflict resolution skills are a necessity for any prospective security guard. If your candidate views themselves as a John McClane type, they are going to escalate a lot of otherwise harmless situations. The ideal guard should approach situations with a cool attitude and clear head, only escalating situations when necessary.

Ability to Multitask

Most security guards are going to have a variety of tasks on their plate at any given time. Meeting with residents, handling visitors, keeping an eye out for anything unusual, the list is endless. If they cannot multitask, odds are they will drop the ball one or more of these things — with potentially catastrophic results.

Team Player

It’s important to have a guard who is focused on the team. Many people entering this line of work often have aspirations of solitary heroism, but truthfully communal efforts have a much more pronounced problem-solving impact. If they identify as a lone wolf, steer clear


It’s human nature to want to take a shot on the naive newcomer — who isn’t rooting for the underdog? But in terms of security, especially for residential areas, your candidate’s experience should be a determining factor. There are a thousand hidden aspects to the job that are cultivated via experience. When your personal safety is at risk, it’s better to let the seasoned veteran take the reins.


We’ve all seen the show where the guard is asleep on the job. Unfortunately, truth is just as strange as fiction in this case.
Not only do some security guards fall asleep on the job, but others also fail to pursue leads and concerning information out of laziness. It cannot be overstated how important it is to have a guard who is willing to take decisive action.


Your guard’s training (or lack thereof) should be addressed in the interview process. If they are going to be armed, gun safety training is a requirement that cannot be dismissed. Similarly, training in various police practices such as de-escalation and risk assessment is invaluable.


If your guard is more concerned with getting a paycheck than they are with protecting residents, they should not be hired. When lives and livelihoods are at stake, having someone who is committed to protecting them is a necessity.


Having someone with the drive to succeed is important for any job, but in security, it can save lives. The difference between following up on one strange visitor or noise in the bushes can be the difference between life and death. Make certain you choose a candidate who understands that and has the drive to go one step further.

Contact U.S. Security and Protective Services Today

It’s hard to find the perfect guard for your residential complex. Someone who has all fifteen of these qualities is a bigger ask than it may seem on the surface. At U.S. Security and Protective Services, we find highly qualified individuals who meet these 15 qualities. We are committed to the highest professional standards, working in partnership with our clients to create a safer environment. If you choose to work with our team, you can sleep fitfully knowing you’re in the best possible hands. Contact us today to learn more about our services.