First Alarm Security & Patrol

  www.firstalarm.com
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First Alarm Security & Patrol Reviews

Updated May 16, 2014
Updated May 16, 2014
4 Reviews

1.8
4 Reviews

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Dave Hood
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Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Within that company I got to experience many of the things that are inappropriate at work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Security Officer  in  San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Security Officer in San Diego, CA

    Pros

    The company is always hiring.

    Cons

    They will hire just about anybody. Hopefully they changed that.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Screen everyone before hire.

    Doesn't Recommend
  2.  

    ONe of the Worst companies in the industry

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Account Supervisor  in  San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Account Supervisor in San Jose, CA

    Pros

    As stated below, they are always hiring, but will still hire anyone that walks through the door

    Cons

    For those thinking of applying for or hiring First Alarm... don't! It is one of the top worst security companies to work for in the state. Respect is not in their vocabulary. The Operations Manager, Omar, will lie and mislead you about jobs and posts. They will cheat you out on pay, specifically lying about the hourly wage they stated and promised when your check comes in. They are not interested in your corporate or industry growth. The office managers and account managers work only to secure and covet their own jobs. To this end, they will, and have, lied and covered up violations of their clients' contract requirements and site policies. They will use employees as scape-goats if things are uncovered.You are expendable, and worse yet, treated as a convenient, worthless tool to use and abuse. Hard work and commitment mean nothing to them. Branch Manager Chris de Guzman will get rid of you and cut ties if you stand up for yourself in regards to respect, hours, or being passed over. Apply and hire at your own risk.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Advice to ownership: If you care about your company, replace your branch management team at the SJ office. You need people with integrity, and community mindedness. That office is a lawsuit bomb waiting to explode on you. And again, as stated below, put some effort and appreciation into the officers that work for you. Take some pride in yourself, and appreciate those that care about doing an excellent job. If you don't care about the officer and the quality of work they do, then they themselves won't.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  3.  

    VERY TOP HEAVY ORGANIZATION

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Security Guard  in  San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Security Guard in San Jose, CA

    Pros

    The company has some very good accounts of diverse types and are spreading into more areas. They are a smaller company so you are pretty much on the radar most of the time and they will remember you by name IF they ever come to do site inspections.

    Cons

    They really do not seem to care about the staff that are the revenue generators. There is no opportunity for salary increases, they use several bait and switch methods to get people "suckered in" and then the old adage "make sure you get it in writing" or they will not honor their word. They pay very low market rates on extremely large accounts. They make promises they don't keep and with all the upper management running around taking all the profits off the projects/ there is nothing left for the "little" guys. They are far too concerned about their legal stance than doing a good job for their client accounts. They dangle UBOT bonuses for supervisors/managers but then fail to do any adequate recruiting in order to fill open slots that are causing the overtime. They require a great deal from the supervisors and line staff but then fail to recognize the efforts that are generating the money that allows those people in the "crystal palace" (8th floor of a high rise in downtown San Jose near the airport) to obtain their very large salaries.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Wake up and realize WHO is generating the revenue for you. Your employees are your greatest asset and can only continue to be if you treat them as such. You cannot keep making promises that never pan out and expect to retain talent.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
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  5.  

    Good place to be a guard, could be a better place for managers.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    First Alarm is rare amongst security companies in that it's big enough to not one of the smaller "mom-and-pop" operations where one's advancement potential is nil, but yet it's small enough that you're not seen as a faceless number on a roster. Many of the larger national / multinational security firms cannot say the same. It has many quality accounts in a number of different sectors. From the point of view of a manager within the company, the corporate office does a pretty good job of getting out of your hair and letting you do your job (provided, of course that you don't rack up too much unbillable overtime, or otherwise force yourself onto the radar screen).

    Cons

    Benefits, and compensation. Health benefits for regular security officers only start after a year of service. That makes it difficult for a lot of security officers, and it makes it difficult to recruit staff that don't already have some other form of healthcare coverage (i.e. VA, etc.) Merit increases are non-existent, and in 99% of the cases the only time you will ever get a raise is when you take on a new position with more responsibility. Occasional problems with payroll accuracy for hourly staff. Tendency for upper management to strongly prefer supervisory/management personnel to be very "military" in their outlook and demeanor, which isn't always appropriate for every client. By way of background, the company started out in a relatively small geographic area and has overwhelming market dominance there. Since then, they've spread out. However, there is still a tendency in upper management to still think like they're where they started. They forget that they're not the only company in town, and that they have to work to compete with other security companies in attracting talent.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Realize that there is importance in investing in your guard force. You'll attract better officers, and you'll retain them for longer periods. Remember that you are competing with other companies. Bring your benefits in line with the rest of the industry, so that you'll attract the best and the brightest.

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