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The Essential Traits of an Effective Door Supervisor: What to Look for in Security Personnel 

18 Jan 2024

Door supervisor security is a non-negotiable for any commercial space, but particularly those with late closing times or expensive valuables inside. Yet, no two door supervisors are the same. To handle a role with such great responsibility, it’s important to be selective in who you hire.  

This hiring process doesn’t have to be drawn out or complicated, as long as you are aware of the essential traits of an effective door supervisor – outlined in this article. Here, we provide invaluable insight into what to look for in security personnel.  

Find out more, below. 

Physical Fitness and Presence 

A door supervisor must be in good physical health and is preferably physically fit. Oftentimes, being involved in door supervisor security requires more than verbal conflict resolution, and the ability to manage a situation if a physical confrontation occurs. Simply put, this means they must be able to withstand anti-social behaviour from members of the public. To this end, it also helps if the door supervisor of your choosing has ‘presence,’ meaning that they appear as strong, commanding and powerful to most onlookers.  

Good Observation 

Conflict can occur in an instant, which means door supervisor security should have exceptional observation skills. Noticing minute changes in the environment prepares you for any circumstances, and enables security personnel to prepare for potential trouble with time to spare. This also leads to better risk management and mitigation; the ultimate goal of door supervisor security is preventing problems before they escalate.  

Conflict Resolution Abilities 

Although door security personnel may be required to handle conflicts physically, the more advanced their conflict resolution abilities are, the less likely it is that confrontations will escalate into fights and other dangerous actions. Previous training in conflict management is something to look for here. However, the essential conflict resolution skills you should keep watch for amongst potential hires include: 

  • Active listening 
  • Empathy 
  • Problem-solving 
  • Negotiation skills 
  • Patience 
  • Assertiveness 
  • Conflict analysis 

Above all, security personnel should be open-minded, too. There are multiple sides to every conflict, and a big part of conflict resolution is fostering a communicative and respectful environment.  

Crowd Management Expertise 

Large gatherings of people in a commercial setting can soon get out of hand. The trampling of others is a serious concern, as is disorderly conduct. Therefore, crowd management expertise is an essential trait of an effective door supervisor.  

Understanding crowd psychology – how large groups of people react to different situations, and how crowd dynamics work – is a must, as is the ability to co-ordinate crowd management strategy with other security personnel. 

 Crowd management must be a team effort, especially when it comes to maintaining physical barriers and directing people as needed. 

Communication Skills 

Although we’ve mentioned the importance of team work and conflict resolution above, we can’t understate how essential it is that any security personnel you hire have good communication skills. Clear and effective communication can prevent most problems from escalating, and also ensure most conflicts don’t ever occur. When groups are given clear directions on where to go – and in some cases – what behaviours are expected of them, door supervisors need not handle physical or verbal confrontations at all. A positive and welcoming atmosphere is fostered from the outset, which is how door supervisor security should be.  


What is often forgotten in the field of door supervisor security is that the people security personnel equally protect, screen and guard against are their customers. As a result, door supervisor personnel must have a customer-oriented mindset when dealing with members of the public.  

Door supervisors are the first point of contact for most people entering a commercial establishment, and the impression or atmosphere that supervisors generate can impact public perception of the establishment moving forward. If a potential hire seems polite, approachable and communicative, this points toward a positive and customer-oriented mindset. 

Training and Certification 

Door supervisors must be well-trained and certified, and in some cases, well-equipped with the right gear. For example, All Time Security personnel always have access to radios, protective and high-visibility clothing. These are a reliable marker of a door supervisor that has been thoroughly trained to the latest standards.  

To hire the best of the best, seek out security personnel from a company that has been recently SIA approved – this means that their security services, training policies, health and safety practices and more are all deemed excellent. 

Adaptability and Professionalism 

In many cases, these two qualities – adaptability and professionalism – go hand-in-hand for a door supervisor. When involved in door supervisor security, you must be able to adapt to changing situations, unexpected events and misconduct without breaking a sweat.  

Other customers in a commercial space depend on door supervisors to keep them safe and calm whatever the situation, and decisions on how to handle a set of circumstances can only be made if you work well under pressure. Maintaining composure is – and always will be – an essential trait of an effective door supervisor. 

In the same way, being able to maintain a steady composure under pressure also demonstrates a security personnel’s level of professionalism and experience on the job. When you hire an employee that directly interacts with your customers, their professionalism dictates how professional your establishment will be perceived. That is to say, the more respectful and trustworthy your security personnel, the more your business will benefit. 

Knowledge of Local Laws and Regulations 

Finally, though we’ve covered the basis of training and certification as essential traits of an effective door supervisor, there’s one more quality that establishments often overlook during interviews – the supervisor’s knowledge of local laws and regulations.  

Meaning that, if conflict arises, can your door supervisor liaise well with local police officers and other law enforcement? Security personnel must behave appropriately and in accordance with the law at all times.  

Moreover, knowledge of local regulations also extends to the independent security protocols and emergency procedures of your business – any personnel you hire must be willing to learn these procedures inside and out. 

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