SIA report into security recruitment results

November 24, 2022


The Security Industry Authority (SIA) has published a ‘snapshot’ profile of the guarding sector with low pay and unsocial hours among the two main barriers to recruitment.

It draws on findings from recent surveys and past research conducted by the SIA. It also uses data from the SIA’s licensing system.

Responses to surveys undertaken by the SIA suggest that some companies within the sector have found it difficult to recruit and retain security guards.

Business demand is increasing post-pandemic but pay is not rising at a rate that helps to attract and retain staff.

Responses also suggest that some of the barriers to recruitment and retention are:

  • low pay
  • work patterns (unsociable hours)
  • lack of flexibility, which is a barrier to attracting those with caring responsibilities (particularly women) to the industry
  • overcapacity and saturation of employment within local areas means fewer people are applying for jobs
  • high levels of verbal and physical violence in the workplace
    lack of career pathways and progression opportunities

This report is the second in a series of private security industry profiles undertaken by the SIA.


The first report, published in July 2021, focussed on recruitment and retention in the door supervision sector.

The Security Industry Authority is the organisation responsible for regulating the private security industry in the United Kingdom, reporting to the Home Secretary under the terms of the Private Security Industry Act 2001.

The SIA’s main duties are the compulsory licensing of individuals undertaking designated activities and managing the voluntary Approved Contractor Scheme.

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