Let’s begin by setting the scene to help our readers better understand the concept of subcontracting security services. In particular, as a legitimate practice that supports clients when they need it most.
Unfortunately, for some people, the term subcontractor is so pervasive that only a few will admit they subcontract work. You would understandably be upset if the caregiver you hired to mind your children recruited someone else to put the kids to bed. Right?
But why do similar concerns arise when a security company outsources to a smaller and cheaper provider? Is all that we see a profitable company taking the contracted figure from a client while gauging the profit margins and passing it on without doing any actual work on the contract? What’s more, the poor subcontractor takes on the majority of the workload to earn pay.
Rarely is it as simple as large companies bidding smaller contractors as a way to offload services. Or, alternatively, prime contractors geared solely by profits.
For this reason, we need to look at how forming securer liability schemes assigns greater responsibility to companies that outsource services. In turn, subcontractors enjoy more protection with insurance coverage.
The truth of the matter is that there are times when hiring subcontractors is not only appropriate but advisable. For instance, a trip abroad with a high-profile clientele may call for the outsourcing of added protection details from the destination country. Local security drivers know the language and other minutiae to reduce any logistical burdens.
The Practice of Subcontracting
What do subcontracting security services actually entail? Subcontracting refers to the process of bringing an outside body to undertake certain aspects of the services’ contract or interim project. In essence, it’s a business-to-business relationship where one entity or prime contractor outsources obligations they have with a client to another entity or subcontractor.
The close protection industry is a specialized sector, intrinsically requiring the guidance of experts. All assignments are unique and involve the protection of status individuals or groups who bring a set of distinctive challenges. That is where contracting services to an external provider is beneficial.
Companies that specialize in a particular set of services partner up with other exclusive suppliers. Understandably, it’s impossible to guarantee 100 percent security. The point, however, is to bring odds in favor of the person receiving protective services. And that is done with a well-planned and effective security program, which might include additional staffing and support for one-off events and unplanned incidents.
The Benefits of Outsourcing Security Services
There are many positive impacts of outsourcing service contracts, not least the scalable and flexible benefits it provides. Frequently, this type of approach is more cost-effective. But most importantly, by subcontracting, organizations can attract and compensate for the talent that they lack.
For example, for clients traveling to high-risk or hostile areas, hiring an EP team helps minimize the risk of assaults, hazards, and potential road ambushes. For this reason, considering the assistance of counter-surveillance teams and CPOs or EPAs with intensive training for high-risk clients is a must. That is where outsourcing the help of more experienced EP details with a robust military background helps.
Not to mention, in some countries, even if nothing goes wrong during the trip, there’s always the possibility that someone can sue you. Taking special precautions by liaising with local experts and outsourcing services from ground-stationed EP agents may be of assistance, helping prevent potential trouble.
Furthermore, certain logistical aspects need to be taken into account when traveling to places where armed private security details are not permitted to operate. In a country where heightened danger exists, i.e., Nigeria, high-profile execs who need armed guards must seek armed police escort, also called MOPOL.
How to Minimize Subcontractor Risks?
At times, ordinary workers find it hard to identify their legal rights in a world where it’s easier for clients and principal contractors to dispose of liability for wages, taxes, and other social contributions. In many industrialized nations, the fluid boundaries between legal and illegal practices happen with the intent of cutting HR costs.
As expected, certain complications arise when contracting companies don’t pay the subcontractor, as the sub then files a lien against the client or corporate building where the work took place. Full-disclosure policies are there to protect all parties involved. That means introducing proper vetting practices with transparency about the use of subcontractors.
What’s more, multi-level subcontracting is a risky business. The more people there are in the supply chain, the harder it is to monitor compliance with contractual obligations. In no way is it a recommended practice. But, if hiring a subcontractor to subcontract is necessary, anyone involved must produce proof of liability and compensation insurance.
Conversely, branching out as an independent EP services operative may be the best option. Independent contractors are self-employed, meaning they negotiate their fees and working arrangements. As expected, they must hold adequate licensing and possess the corresponding level of insurance to operate. Still, they too are personally responsible if their business makes a profit or loss.
Finally, it’s imperative for any subcontractor dealing directly with clients, contracts service, or retainer agreements to sign. In this way, a method to accept payment deposits is developed. Just make sure to send professional invoices with your service/retainer agreement.
It’s All About Realism: Assess Your Options
For smaller security companies or independent subcontractors, the best option is to be offered a subcontract directly from the partner contractor. As mentioned above, multi-level subcontracting is a risky business best avoided. Protect yourself or your company by ascertaining the client is aware of the subcontract arrangement.
Network partnering can be a sound process. Organizations that provide subcontracting security services help other companies with overstretched resources fulfill staffing requirements and deliver quality work. Regardless of what contracting companies claim to deliver, they still need to justify their supply model, acknowledging the vetting process is followed.
Note: Before entering into a subcontract with foreign organizations, be proactive and verify the security status of that organization. Ensure compliance with the provisions of the security agreements between the countries involved.
When it comes to subcontracting, long-term objectives need to be considered.
We need to ask: Do subcontracts help or hurt smaller providers or self-employed workers? Are the companies they contract for or from in any way affected? Does this practice impact clients?
At the end of the day, whether you’re a primer contractor, subcontracting business, or independent subcontractor, you must adhere to legal and ethical responsibilities. It’s vital to sustain the work that delivers quality service.
Clients and organizations can benefit from subcontracting security services, given you identify a provider that meets your needs. With forethought, thorough planning, and careful execution, independent subcontractors can achieve success in the field.
As such, subcontracting in security needs to be about experts working together to provide clients with quality protection.
Profit extortion, shady agreements, and client suffering have no place.