How to pick a bodyguard? 14 questions to ask.

It’s not as difficult to pick a bodyguard as you might think. You can hire a bodyguard in different ways. For example for a single event, a business trip abroad, or even as a long term contract where the bodyguard almost becomes an extended member of the family. You don’t wanna mess with your own safety, or the safety of your loved one. That’s why it is crucial to be extremely diligent while picking a bodyguard that fits your needs.

Professional bodyguard companies are working with you to provide a service that suits your lifestyle, with the minimum disruption to your family and work life.

Bodyguard companies get requests from all over the world every week, every request is different, facing varying levels of threat, ranging from travel to hostile environments, such as Middle East countries or Africa, to VIP such as wealthy families, political figures, and even royal. Now, it can feel complicated at first to recruit a bodyguard. And you might wonder why bodyguard companies ask so many questions when you get in touch with them. But don’t worry, the article below should give you a good introduction on what to ask when you are considering selecting a bodyguard.

Small note, if you are about to request bodyguard services and the service providers do not ask you a lot of questions about the gig, then this is a red flag. The more thorough the company is at first, the better protected you will be.

“Not everything depends on career and origin, but it’s often a matter of hours of training and networking!”

Close protection officers or bodyguards?

Many different people call bodyguards many different things and it depends a lot on the role they are employed for. Bodyguard is a very generic term and a number of types of close protection exist, such as:

VIP close protection

Services are performed in every capital city worldwide, you might not even notice. You of course have seen photos of protected celebrities in the press and this is the image of bodyguards most people have. A black suit, dark sunglasses and constantly touching his hear for communication.

Yet not all close protection is so noticeable, many customers prefer not to attract attention, instead opting for a subtler approach.

Although there are a number of different areas of specialization and experience as part of the close protection of VIPs, from working with royal families to working with young children. Each job or assignment requires a different selection of mindsets and skills and may involve different qualifications such as a qualification for first aid pediatrics or psychological evaluation.

Close protection in a hostile environment

This is really where military capabilities take over. Providing close protection in hostile places is all about working together, moving fast, and reacting to dynamic situations and scenarios that are often completely out of your control. Driving and medical training are becoming very important and are perceived as specialist roles.

How to pick the right bodyguard? Do your bodyguard needs to be heavily armed? - Source: pexels
How to pick the right bodyguard? Do your bodyguard needs to be heavily armed? – Source: pexels

Most important questions to Ask When Hiring a Bodyguard

It’s okay to ask as many questions as you wish about the bodyguard company you want to hire. Each client has different needs, so when recruiting a bodyguard it’s important that you get exactly what you want/need. In order to get the best possible level of service, and meet your requirements for a bodyguard it is important that you do not leave any stone unturned.

What a serious bodyguard company will ask you?

  1. Who is close protection intended for?
  2. Must we protect kids or those with special needs?
  3. What level of perceived threat?
  4. Is Police liaison necessary?
  5. Do you need close protection, whether discreet or visible?
  6. Are vehicles needed? If so, what type might suit?
  7. Are you on treatment, or somebody else?
  8. Are there any underlying health problems?
  9. What hours do you want to get the service back?
  10. Why do you need this service for how long?
  11. Do you have specific requirements regarding language?
  12. Need to have a trained safety driver too?
  13. Do they provide food and accommodation?

What kind of questions should you ask?

  1. When was the company established?
  2. What is the company’s legal status? Is it a limited company?
  3. Must we agree on a contract for the service?
  4. Are you contracting for confidentiality?
  5. Do bodyguards have the qualifications?
  6. What are the daily rates?
  7. Is there a discount for a longer period? 
  8. Can you give me any references?
  9. Which insurance are you in?
  10. What is the experience of that company?
  11. Can you see resumes of potentially acceptable bodyguards?
  12. How does it work out abroad?
  13. Is all the equipment (first aid or communications, etc.) included?
  14. Which is the agreed communication method for further instructions?

Some myths about bodyguards

They are tough and they’re going to beat people up for you – on demand!

No, no-one will be hit by professional bodyguards! A professional bodyguard will always act professionally, obey the laws of the country they are operating in, and keep their client safe. Fighting is, or should be, the final thing a bodyguard wants to do. A professionally trained bodyguard will be able to see people through, know how to assess the situation, try to defuse a situation, and if necessary get you out of it.

Bodyguards are untrained thug

Far from the truth! All professional bodyguards must attend several training sessions before they can function as a bodyguard. These courses cover all aspects of the bodyguard profession, ranging from dressing, ethics, including how to handle VIPs, training on firearms, first aid, self-mastery, unarmed fighting, and defensive driving, as well as many other abilities.

All bodyguard carry a weapon

In most European countries an armed bodyguard can not be hired. It may not happen overnight, in the short term, even in countries around the world where it’s possible to hire an armed bodyguard. From a logistics standpoint, providing armed security can be a nightmare. An audit must be carried out, and permits must be obtained on time. Bodyguards are not police officers and have no special authority to arrest them or to act outside the laws of the country they operate in.

A bodyguard is enough – he can also be my driver!

No matter how skilled a professional bodyguard can’t do everything. He or she can not guide a customer safely, and at the same time protect the customer. A close protection operator is very often not enough for a client, and either two bodyguards or a bodyguard and a well-trained and qualified driver are required. 

It’s about being professional and knowing the boundaries, bodyguards are eager to please, but they aren’t all arounder. 

The taller the bodyguard, the better!

Just because somebody’s tall doesn’t mean they’re able to protect you, they’re in good enough shape or they’re having quick reaction times. Sometimes someone over-sized stands out and gets undesirable attention.
Being a professional bodyguard often means being the individual who goes unnoticed and doesn’t stand out.

>> In Africa, as well as in other continents, the more you show your wealth, the more you made yourself a target. You are more vulnerable to kidnapping or violence if your surrounding knows you are rich. For this reason, holding cryptocurrencies instead of holding real estate for example could be a very discrete way to hold wealth. If this is an option for you, have a look at my guide to finding the best site to buy Bitcoin in Nigeria.

Is it essential they are ex-military or ex-police?

Being an ex-military or police officer does not necessarily make a person a good bodyguard. However, many companies believe that somebody is a better operator because of the skills and discipline taught and acquired through government service. Most are capable of operating under pressure, on their own or as part of a team, and have that protection spirit that you can only experience in the military.

There are no female bodyguards

This is wrong. Not all bodyguards are men and not every situation requires a man to be the primary bodyguard. Many royals prefer a woman as the team leader, since as a first impression it seems like a much smoother approach, often with the rest of the team not visible at first glance.

Women are also a very popular choice for young families to work with. It seems that children are more comfortable with women.

If you follow the objective of investing in Africa, you will often have to travel there. We would highly recommend hiring a good bodyguard especially if it is clear for your surrounding that you are looking to invest.

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