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Gavin de Becker & Associates Reviews

Updated February 21, 2018
73 reviews

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Gavin de Becker
45 Ratings

73 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • While you will be expected to work long hours, you will be rewarded for your hard work and dedication to this firm (in 12 reviews)

  • Merit based Company: Most protectors start relatively the same no matter your background (in 10 reviews)

Cons
  • The 12 hour shifts can be pretty brutal at times (in 10 reviews)

  • Work/life balance can stink at times (in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Employment Opportunities, staff, and career progression"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Security Staff Agent in Orange, CA
    Current Employee - Security Staff Agent in Orange, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Gavin de Becker & Associates full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Career growth and potential is very high, very respectable Company with career minded individuals all striving for excellence. This Company has alot of talent. I personally am a retired Marine with over 22 years of Military and Law Enforcement experience, I have met some very talented individuals with similar experience. Every single Employee that I have come into contact with here at this Company will most definitely help you in any way that they can. The mindset here is to set you up for success, I firmly believe that " If you put in the work, you will blossom at Gavin de Becker and Associates". I highly recommend looking into Gavin de Becker and associates. You will be very impressed with the quality of training and professional attitude that you receive. I plan on making this "Career number 2". I joined this Company exactly for the Professionalism and Camaraderie that I had while a U.S. Marine.

    Cons

    You must put in the work, you must be a self starter with long term goals here at GDBA, dont stay idle. Most importantly, you must be patient, for example: my goals are to move up as far and as fast as I can here at GDBA but there are milestones that I have to complete. GDBA has a solid training program to do just that.

    Advice to Management

    Gavin de Becker and Associates is spread throughout the world. The only advice that I personally have is to not lose that Employee/Employer relationship. It is present at the Company now and works very well.

    What I mean is, as a new GDBA Employee I was told over and over how it is important to reach out to your leadership for any questions or advice. I can say that I have had "personal conversations" with senior leadership on various topics. I will be the biggest advocate to keep this practice in place. great team, great mindset I feel like I am at home.


  2. "Opportunity in the security industry for novices and experienced professionals"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - SSA in New York, NY
    Current Employee - SSA in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Gavin de Becker & Associates full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    GDBA is an interesting company to work for. They do provide varied opportunity within the security field, that is, once you’ve spent time and built a foundation in the organization.

    All potential recruits attend their academy in LA, before heading of to their perspective sites. This is a great introduction for persons new to the industry, and, an introduction into the ‘GDBA way’ of doing things for more experienced guys. The academy creates a decent employee baseline for the company. The course can amp guys into believing that they will jump straight into a dynamic position. The company is very honest about what you will actually be doing and what to expect in the beginning. For the majority of guys it’s off to a static site for a while. Only a few will get the more dynamic roles straight after leaving the academy. They will most probably possess an attribute that GBDA or the client needs, and therefore have been specifically recruited for this purpose. Again all of this will be made clear to you by your recruiter.

    The sites, or CC’s (Command Centers) as they are known, are different from location to location. It’s a proving ground for the employee, to show that he/she can master the basics and perform the job he/she has been given. They are also a great place to familiarize yourself with GDBA procedures and process, of which there are many. Whilst working at the site, you will continue your training via their online academy. There will also be opportunity to jump out and assist other teams on more mobile jobs outside of your site. You will be on a shift pattern for a substantial period, so ready yourself for that. Each site is different as to how the roster is done.

    GDBA can be a fit for anyone. If you are a career minded individual, then this the place for you. In time, opportunities to rise or move around will surface. Also on the flip-side, if you’re balancing a variety of things in life and need a steady job that you can plan around, this can also be for you.

    Cons

    Attending their academy before employment is mandatory. Basic accommodation and a few other expenses are covered. However, they do make you pay for your own flight, which I think should be covered.

    Advice to Management

    More transparency with regards to realistic career opportunities.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "GDBA is a company for all sorts"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Gavin de Becker & Associates full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    There are a lot of Pros to working at GDBA. The thing I like about GDBA the most is that nothing in the company is a life sentence. You're not stuck at a certain place or doing a certain thing. You have the ability to move around and change what you're doing in the company. If you don't where you are show that you have an aptitude for a different position and more than likely you will get there. The key is showing an aptitude. Anyone can ask but not everyone can perform.

    Another thing that I like is that GDBA is different for everyone and the leadership understands that. Plenty of guys get out of the military and want a professional job while going to school. This job allows you to do that. You can voice that you are doing that and that decision is respected. I finished my bachelors while working at GDBA. Inversely if you have a bachelors but have no work experience this is a great opportunity to get some in a well respected firm. I have a few colleagues that went this route and they are stellar agents.

    The people that you work with here are pretty great. All different walks of life and all very professional. It is very rare to work with someone at GDBA that is not professional or at least competent at their job.

    The best part about GDBA is that you make your own way. It can be very difficult and it takes time But you do not have to have a Navy SEAL resume to be successful here. I certainly did not have that background and I am doing very well in the company. But in order to move up here you have to work, you have to volunteer for things, you have to be reliable, and GDBA has to be a top priority in your life. Very rare is it that a promotion just falls into someone's lap. And there is plenty to do for guys in the company to show that they deserve leadership or promotion opportunities. And on the opposite end of the spectrum if you want to work nights and not be in management that is perfect too. Plenty of people go this route and coming from someone that makes schedules having a competent reliable night shift employee is amazing.

    These are a few of the pros but there are tons more. Like I said I'm not one of the guys that has a crazy awesome background that propelled me to success here. I had minimal military experience, was almost done with my degree, and had never done this type of work. I worked as much as I could and stayed positive. Within a year I was off night shifts and within two years I was pretty much running my own site. If you want to be successful here you can.

    Cons

    GDBA has a few unique cons. The 12 hour shifts can be pretty brutal at times. And the no tobacco policy kind of stinks but there are some great reasons behind these policies so I tend to overlook how annoying they can be. Work/life balance can stink at times. Just the nature of the beast really.

    The biggest complaint I hear from new employees is that they feel their skills are not being used appropriately and they are wasting their time sitting on a night shift. I myself even felt this way at points. The reality is that it is assumed that everyone that works here is capable of protecting someone/leading a team. People always say "I have X amount of years doing this that and the other..." and my response is always "How much experience do you have on this protective detail?" There are tons of things you need to learn about each individual detail in order for you to get the trust of the leadership and build a relationship with who you are protecting. Everyone thinks they are superman until someone is at the gate and you have no clue if it is cool to let them in or not. Does it suck having to start at the bottom again? Yea it does, but it's not because we don't respect your background or skills. We just don't want you getting fired within your first month.

    Another con is that working here can be lonely. I see very few actual GDB employees throughout the week. There are guys that I started with that I have not seen once we graduated EPS. It stinks being alone so much but it is the reality of work. It doesn't have to be this way but odds are your experience will reflect mine. The nice thing about this is that you have time to work on yourself and develop your skills.

    Advice to Management

    I don't have much advice to management. My experience has been when I complain about something or think there is a better way to do something I find out the reasons behind something and it is pretty reasonable why we do things a certain way. Behind every policy there is a real world experience/reason and it's usually a pretty good one. If it has been determined that we're doing something just because we always have then the policy gets changed.

    I'll use this area to give advice to you. First, if you don't get hired the first time apply again. I applied twice and got hired the second time. Second, be humble and seek out criticism. Every detail is different and what works with one team does not work for the other. Third is communicate your desires with leadership and ask their advice. Should you do this week one day one? No because you may hate this job. But after six months speak with your leadership and explore all of what GDBA has to offer. There are tons of things in this company to do. If you are interested in an area ask questions about it. But again be patient. Odds are you should not be complaining about lack of field experience within your first month. Instead work your tail off your first six months, learn as much as you can, be as reliable as you can, and be positive and you'll get noticed. That way when you want to communicate with leadership you have all this experience and reputation you've cultivated to back you up. And remember this takes time and experience. And last but I think probably the most important is stay positive. It is easy to crawl into a bad attitude at three in the morning on a Saturday night. Do. Not. Do. This. We have all been there. From the newest agent to the most senior of leadership we have all been there. As I said it is not a life sentence.


  4. "Manager of McDonalds"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager
    Current Employee - Manager
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Gavin de Becker & Associates full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I get whipped everyday, I like it tho :)

    Cons

    We get payed $180 every hr.

    Advice to Management

    Do not work hee unless u liked getting whipped


  5. ""it's alright""

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Gavin de Becker & Associates full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    High paced environment. The company prides itself on offering services so be prepared for face time with many influential individuals.

    Cons

    All opportunities are self made. Leadership is not incentivized to actually lead. Companies focus on offering services makes it hard to realize your personal value (performing 5 jobs instead of 1).

    Advice to Management

    Be more honest with employees about what the job actually entails. Occupation is closer to that of an armed personal assistant than actual EP.


  6. "Professionalism at its best"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Security Staff Agent in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Security Staff Agent in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Gavin de Becker & Associates full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Professional work environment where you will work with a great and positive team. Upper management truly listens and wants to do right by all the guys working. They really care about the workers and will help you with your ongoing training - which for any professional, is a must. The best part of the job is the team you work with by far - everyone is motivated to do well and help each other out. Really have enjoyed working here.

    Cons

    Schedule is hard to work around - however those in the field of private security and law enforcement know that this is a sacrifice that will have to be made.

    Advice to Management

    Hire more protectors


  7. "Detail Leader"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Detail Leader
    Current Employee - Detail Leader
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Gavin de Becker & Associates full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Wide range of opportunity within the firm.

    Cons

    Need to be willing to work difficult times.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "A Firm That Encourages Success Through Performance"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Gavin de Becker & Associates full-time

    Pros

    - Merit based Company: Most protectors start relatively the same no matter your background. Each employee shows their worth and earns promotions through mastery and work ethic.
    - The company invests heavily on continued and constant training.
    - The company is in a state of rapid growth which promotes limitless and quick career opportunities.

    Cons

    Schedule can be difficult and hard on other areas of your life. Make sure your home and social life are stable and resilient before applying.

    Advice to Management

    Hiring needs to keep up with the amount of growth to help stabilize current employee schedules


  9. Helpful (2)

    "You Get Out, What You Put In"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Security Operations Director
    Current Employee - Security Operations Director
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Gavin de Becker & Associates full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I was skeptical when I first started if it was a true merit-based company. After a couple of years of working my butt off and learning everything, I've been promoted and doubled my salary. The compensation is on par or above average for the market rate for executive protection. The benefits are also great - health insurance is reasonable (kids are free), you get a stipend for the gym, range time, and even massage/chiropractor. I've worked for other security companies and you will be hard pressed to find a company that invests the amount of time and money in your own professional development. Most security companies only want the amount of training required by the state. Here you get multiple opportunities a year to hone your skills and get better at what we do. And you get paid while your training.

    Cons

    The schedule. It's shift work and it's not for everyone. There can be a lack of communication with what's going on in other parts of the company.

    Advice to Management

    Communicate more and keep everyone informed.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Seek and You Shall Find"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Protector in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Protector in San Jose, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Gavin de Becker & Associates full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    As cliché as it may be, it's true that you will find whatever it is that you're looking for. I have read through all the reviews and I can't help but notice a distinct division between those who have wrote a favorable review, and those who have posted at the opposite end of the spectrum. Be sure you ask yourself what kind of person leaves these reviews and why as you do your homework on this company.
    I can personally attest to an overall positive experience created by this extraordinary firm and I have witnessed it treat all other employees around me just as fair. It is a company that is led by industry leaders who take care of you like you’re family. They invest an enormous amount of time and energy into the employees that make up the firm which reveals where their values truly lie. Due to this being a private company, everyone from the top down is truly invested in your success and very supportive every step of the way. Perhaps my favorite aspect of the company, and a huge distinction of anything government, is that there is truly a merit based system enacted here. Translation, the cream rises to the top. The leaders you have are there because they have proven they are the right person for the job, not because they've simply stuck it out for an extended period of time. This merit based system works particularly well because the company is growing exponentially. It feels like a young company in that it is expanding in a multitude of directions at the same time. This spells opportunity for anyone who is up for the challenge.

    Cons

    There is some merit to what others have said about a demanding work schedule, but that is driven by the nature of having demanding clients in a demanding environment. Don't lose sight of what the nature of this work is all about and who it is done for. The clientele is some of the most at-risk and influential entities of our time. Preserving human life throughout a lifestyle of this pace can seem demanding at times, but that's the name of the game. This is a service industry at its core and thus it's not really about you. There are several pros and cons in that truth alone. That said you can typically choose what days you want off so that you can achieve a work-life balance.
    I will also add that your experience can vary quite widely depending on your assignment; again, both pros and cons to this.

    Advice to Management

    In my opinion it's clear that the quality of personal standards has been the central focus as it is the most rewarded attribute, but I believe they should also focus on the attrition rate. The turnover rate does need attention because of its spillover effects on the entire brand and those who are determined to make this company the vehicle of their career. Executive management and senior leaders would serve the employee base well by finding a way for a wider range of people to experience success and creating an environment where people want to stay for the long-term. This option will push more experienced employees to the lower levels and dramatically increase the quality the firm provides.


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