Gavin de Becker & Associates Reviews | Glassdoor

Gavin de Becker & Associates Reviews

Updated November 17, 2018
92 reviews

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3.9
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Gavin de Becker
57 Ratings

92 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)

  • "To me, it was supposed to be a stepping stone while I pursued a career in Law Enforcement or Govt agency" (in 9 reviews)

Cons
  • "Coming from working a traditional work schedule (8 hour work days M-F) it was an adjustment to get use to the 12 hour shifts" (in 12 reviews)

  • "Work/life balance can stink at times" (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "A Road to Success"

    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 (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    GDBA continues to provide platforms of opportunity for its' associates to achieve success from the very beginning. If you desire to lead people, serve in unique and challenging roles, and be recognized for your hard work, then this is a career to pursue, and a company to invest in.

    Cons

    The work is unconventional because our services are driven by the needs of the world's elite. The responsibilities that we are entrusted with are greater than most can ever imagine. You will be pushed to your limits physically, mentally, and emotionally. Our work is challenging because our decision making hinges on the safety and security of those we seek to protect on a daily basis. This profession requires commitment, discipline, and a humble understanding that you are contributing to something bigger than yourself.

    Advice to Management

    Continue investing in your employees. Since my beginning with GDBA, this company has made tremendous strides in serving its' employees and in fostering a culture and community of people who are driven by the same mission. We seek to improve the way we serve our clients, market our brand, and cast our vision as an industry leader in close protection and risk management.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Great Filler job until something better happens."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    You may meet some good guys at your detail. Being a Marine I was able to feel at home with the overwhelming amount of prior military members that join.

    Some decent benefits, such as partial gym membership paid, partial cellphone data reimbursement etc.

    Easy work, you’ll never work so little for “ehh” pay.

    Show up, watch Netflix, go home.

    Really only a job to fill those few months between transitioning out of the military and finding a legitimate career.

    Gavin de Becker I think is brilliant in terms of security. I highly recommend reading his books if you want to pursue a career in this field.

    Cons

    Where to begin...
    The academy is a joke, getting attacked by dogs and OC sprayed without any warning is kind of a rediculous training method for stress inoculation in my opinion. Especially when 90% of the academy will be a desk warrior in a security “shack” for 6 months before they leave.

    A few of their instructors enjoyed “flexing” their military service or combat experience as if it had any relevance on the current job.

    Contrary to what they sell you in the “Academy” you will not be on any travel details, or do any real body coverage for at least 6 months to a year.

    You will however sit in a small office/shack/closet/garage/your car for 12 hours and fill out reports on every little thing, get bombarded with unessary emails, and on top of it all have to do mandatory online classes each week.

    Pay is terrible plain and simple.

    All in all GDBA is a great company for you to join while you’re figuring out your life post military, or college. You will not advance to management unless you are part of the very cliquey “good ole boys” club that should all be fired for one misconduct or another but they all have dirt on each other so every other month they get promoted to some made up position. They will preach that everyone works there way from the bottom which is not true instead they hire leadership directly, which contradicts the “everyone starts from the bottom” mantra they preach.

    GDBA does offer a wide array of experience, to tailor your application elsewhere.

    Advice to Management

    Stop treating employees as a number. Take care of your people and they will take care of you. You need more leaders not bosses.

  3. "Upward and onward"

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

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

    Pros

    Best thing about the company - if you have an idea, people will listen to you. Unlike government bureaucracies, a good idea can quickly flourish and be put into action. Knowing that you have a voice, and that your voice matters, is incredibly rewarding and is uncommon in most companies.
    Additionally within the past year, the company's leadership has really started to listen to employees' needs and understand changes they think should be made. There has been a shift in the atmosphere which has led to policies, procedures, and the general work environment, to be reexamined. These changes seem like they will really help to shape the company in a positive way and push the company upward.

    Cons

    Middle management needs to be trained and developed more so there isn't a large leadership gap.
    Everyday has a nonstop pace to it - and you will be given work that at other companies would be covered by two people.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Unique company culture and SOLID mission"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    I love what we do for our clients. I also really enjoy the people I work with, who surprisingly have a very varied background and life experience. Being someone in more of the "corporate" function of the company it's humbling to see what our Protectors do in the field. I also tend to find leadership very open to suggestions, even if they're not always implemented. The PSD track tends to have promotions very often and I do see it as a true meritocracy - work hard, get rewarded!

    Cons

    The company is a bit "old school" in some ways though this has changed quite a bit in the last year. Communication also tends to be through certain channels (email, intranet, "water cooler", etc so it's really important to be proactive in seeking colleagues and mentors, as most of the field are remote employees. Benefits are above/on par the market, though could improve 401k match.

    Advice to Management

    Continue the trend of increased transparency - it's making a difference!


  5. "Manager"

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

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

    Pros

    Everyone at the company is incredibly committed to the mission. Upper management prioritizes a positive culture and encourages communication between divisions. Lots of room for advancement, both in office and in PSD positions.

    Cons

    As with any client-centric organization, sometimes employees must bend over backwards to meet demands or deadlines as requested by clients or upper management.


  6. "SSA"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - SSA III
    Former Employee - SSA III
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Good Pay
    - A camera is watching you while your at work

    Cons

    - Long hours
    - Be ready to have stupid people that should not be leaders in charge of you
    - be "voluntold" to go to locations across the USA
    - Your not really a bodyguard unless you are upper management
    - Death by emails you will send and get more emails then ever before
    - You probably will never travel outside the USA
    - Body armor is terrible
    - Get better firearms trainers the stuff they teach you is so bad I've never heard of a tactical reload that makes you eject a good round.

    Advice to Management

    Get better leadership


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Be polite, be professional, but always have a plan to detect, deter, and defend against assassination. - Mattis, 2020"

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

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

    Pros

    If you're in the Marine Corps on the fence about transitioning, let me provide you the rundown of my own limited experience and perspective as a Marine that was once in your shoes. If you're in another branch or coming from the civilian side, I don't write this with the frame of mind meant to exclude your considerations, but am only admitting a familiarity with what I've addressed, and that I accept I am more uniquely qualified to pursue the satisfaction of those questions and concerns more effectively than those outside it.

    - Life Fulfillment
    I walked away from being a contract deadly illness for the Marine Corps (7-years) to now protecting socialites in the limelight, business moguls who've built massive empires of finance, and forerunners of the technology and industry moving the rest of mankind forward. As a collective, the peace of mind we provide in turn affords our clients the ability to impact the world with a range and breadth that I genuinely believe rivals the Marine Corps. And I get to see it with my own eyes and experience the same occupational prestige and "I'm doing something with my life"-satisfaction I felt while serving my beloved Corps.

    - Knowledge and Education
    They're literally going to pay you a baseline of 48-hours a week to better yourself -- not only through their own academy of trademark knowledge you wished you'd learned in the Corps, but additionally and on top of their pay, you can use (optionally) the GI Bill to pay you even more for subject matter you're actually invested in learning. (I've no desire to learn Algebra or Geometry just to get a degree in a field I'll never use either of the two.) The knowledge I've acquired, as a Protector, leader, and the pater familias, remains relevant to my every waking moment in life and to those I hold dear.

    - The Squad
    "Trash slips through the cracks at every rank." You've heard the phrase, yes? Note the amount of sour privates that fell by the wayside attempting membership into this elite club. The people you work with, should you be accepted, are all going to be hardworking, exceptionally screened for weakness, and will incite gratitude for their ability to be relied upon. "We're only as strong as our weakest link." That sandbagger that was the cause of all the company formations and freedom-draining policy doesn't quite exist here. They get rid of them. They're a quality-before-profit driven vehicle, and this goes a long way towards job satisfaction.

    - You will not find yourself playing as many games as Milton Bradley as you did in the Corps.
    'Nuff said.

    Cons

    - "You don't have to think: Just show up at the right place, at the right time, in the right uniform."
    Public Figure Protection is a thinking man's game. There isn't going to be an authoritarian parental figure that dictates what's best for you and your career at every waking moment of your day. The onus is on you to perform; and changing from an environment that always gave you the answers to one that expects you to navigate the challenges the field presents can be overwhelming and insurmountable for some. Have an honest conversation with yourself; this path isn't the easy road, nor the one commonly walked and you'll feel it daily.

    - "Started from the bottom, now we here." (Back at the bottom)
    I chose to exchange being "Staff-Sergeant-Select" for a slice of the humble pie. All that hard work (or time and grade for some) that you put into being above the lowest rank will be forfeited and whatever that presents to you will be gone. In exchange, you'll be at the bottom of the totem pole; and while they will take into account your training and experience in the Corps, and supplement financially, there are those non-financial aspects to consider that only those who've been leaders in the Marine Corps will understand. Obviously this is not a plunge to be taken lightly, it requires formulating an accurate description of what you're weighing, and whether it truly is in alignment with who you are.

    - "The Marine Corps comes first -- before God, country, and family. All else is second."
    I'm not saying you've got to enjoy the prospect of being on a two-year deployment, but the mentality of "work first, life second" is what will separate the wheat from the chaff. That extends to your family and whoever your life pursuits are going to effect. This is a meritocracy, and for those that showcase an aptitude and resilience for our line of work are the ones who will benefit the most. If you find yourself being asked to work 60+ hours a week, take it as a sign that you're doing something right and that you're headed in the right direction. (Otherwise, why would they ask someone detrimental to work?) With experience comes proficiency, and with proficiency comes trust. That, in turn, leads to the rewards you seek.

    Advice to Management

    - Continue to empower your protectors with a bureaucracy free environment, a foundation built on the ideals of meritocracy, and maintain your open-door policy to pioneers and renowned members of the Public Figure Protection field.

    - Continue to except nothing less than the best. (Quality > Quantity)

  8. Helpful (4)

    "I have been working at Gavin de Becker & Associates full-time (More than 5 years)"

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

    I have been working at Gavin de Becker & Associates full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    -GDBA has continued to grow since I started in 2013, and it hasn’t shown any sign of slowing down.
    -Company is showing steady growth, which results in a premium opportunity to grow yourself and your career at a quick pace, given you prove your worth.
    -The room for personal/professional growth is abundant.
    -GDBA provides a Professional Leadership Track that prepares protectors for future leadership positions at GDBA or in their next career. Continued training, core values and executive leadership involvement is something GDBA prides itself on.
    -Leaders are there to help you become successful as individuals, but more importantly, as a team.

    Cons

    -Coming from working a traditional work schedule (8 hour work days M-F) it was an adjustment to get use to the 12 hour shifts. However, working four days a week is nice.
    - Rapid growth of the company cause for small schedule strain. Very disciplined and strong work ethic individuals excel at this while others will struggle.

    Advice to Management

    Keep focusing on the Employee/Employer relationship. It is present at the company now and has a positive influence. I get check in calls from senior leadership on a regular basis. This is something I really enjoy about working at GDBA


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Not Worth It"

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

    I worked at Gavin de Becker & Associates full-time

    Pros

    Ability to move up the chain quickly if your manager likes you. They emphasize meritocracy, but it's really just biased preferential treatment - suck up to your manager and you'll be golden.

    Cons

    High stress and long hours as a result of unnecessary last minute deadlines/projects. Inexperienced middle management/c-suite teams. Inability to retain top talent. Toxic culture and a hard "mission" to believe in.

    Advice to Management

    Get leadership training.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Worst management system"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Security
    Current Employee - Security
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Job pays well and the client makes the job worthwhile

    Cons

    There’s rarely good sense of leadership, the managers don’t care for you, your work ethic, or your growth. Get another job if you have the offer or option!!!

    Advice to Management

    Get new management that are skilled in their specific department.


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