Working in nightclub security



Working in nightclub security: 7 tips you need to know

There are lots of interesting places people work as security officers and guards and probably one of the most well-known, is the nightclub. Australians love a good night out, and publicans and venue owners have a responsibility to their patrons to keep them safe, and to allow everyone to have a good time.

Also known as bouncers or doormen, security officers and guards may work in the venue, outside the venue and may help with crowd control, patrolling or checking the legal age of patrons. They might also refuse entry for intoxication, aggressive behaviour or non-compliance with statutory or establishment rules. Here are 7 tips you need to know about working in nightclub security.

Nightclub security tip #1: Proper training is crucial

Point number 1 is really the most important. To work as a security guard anywhere in Australia, you need a security license gained at a reputable training organisation. This is to ensure that you’re trained properly and given the support to succeed in your role.

Security Guard Training HQ points out that, “Proper training is the most crucial aspect of this job. It is more than muscles and mean looks. A nightclub security officer must be properly trained to handle any situation they may encounter. Poorly trained security personnel can take a bad situation to worse and quickly.”

“Training is also important in order to understand legal boundaries when on the job. There are many fine lines that cannot be crossed when it comes to being a nightclub security officer.” That’s why proper training is highly recommended.

Nightclub security tip #2: Learn to manage obnoxious patrons

It may seem obvious but working in a nightclub you will come across intoxicated people and troublemakers. In many cases, it’s your job to identify and control them.

Crime Doctor says, “Contact with an obnoxious customer should begin at the first sign of trouble. (Security staff and) bouncers should issue early, friendly warnings. Once warned, all club employees should be trained to collectively keep an eye on the patron and issue second reminder warnings, if appropriate. Most customers will respond to this approach.” Go back to your training to help you deal with these types of people.

Nightclub security tip #3: Learn to recognise when a patron is intoxicated

Liquor and Gaming NSW has a useful resource available which provides a comprehensive list of dozens of signs that someone is affected by alcohol. See Intoxicated Guidelines for information on behaviours, speech, coordination and balance.

Remember that a degree of judgement is required in determining whether a person is intoxicated, or approaching the point of becoming intoxicated. In exercising that judgement, the Guide says, “other factors should also be considered, such as the amount and types of alcohol served to a patron. Care must be taken to establish if there are other causes, such as a medical condition or disability.” These are all things to consider when working in nightclub security.

Nightclub security tip #4: Supplying liquor to a minor will get you fired (and possibly a large fine)

Even if you never serve at the bar as a security guard, you still need to be aware of the possibility of minors attempting to enter the premises and purchase alcohol. Recently in Manly NSW recently, the iconic Hotel Steyne was shut for a week after Liquor and Gaming NSW suspended the pub’s liquor licence after four underage girls were caught drinking there by police patrolling the venue.

The owner of the business mentioned that this would cost the venue about 100K in lost takings and that several jobs were on the line because of the error. Put simply, as a security guard, underage drinking should be something you need to be hyperaware of, as this can compromise a venue’s license.

Nightclub security tip #5: Rely on the support of your team

You probably will not be working alone, but as part of a team, rely on your teammates and support them. Wiki How says, “Learn from your team members and earn your co-workers' respect. This is the most important thing to remember - respect means everything.”

Security staff should act like a cohesive unit. “To work effectively on a team, members need to know their role and the overall project objective. Then, they can analyse situations that arise, diagnose the problem, and propose solutions that help the collective team work more effectively towards reaching the goal,” according to Tara Duggan of Demand Media, a small business network.

Nightclub security tip #6: Beware of stereotypes

Security Guard Training HQ points out that, “Nightclub security guards often have a stereotype placed upon them. Many believe that all nightclub security guards and bouncers are all muscle-bound rejects from some other venture.”

These days, there are many different types of guards, including nearly 20% of the workforce being made up of women, and plenty of workers aged 50+. Don’t let the stereotypes of the profession be a barrier to getting a job in a nightclub. These days, no one expects you to be enormous. Sometimes brains trump brawn in the nightclub game.

Nightclub security tip #7: You may have to eject a patron

The correct way to eject or escort a patron away from a nightclub premises would be covered in your training. Crime Doctor says, “Escorting a patron out of a nightclub involves the use of professional verbal commands and a polite explanation of why they are being asked to leave. If a patron has been dutifully warned previously, then it will be of no surprise.”

That’s not to say you won’t encounter any issues, so refer to your training. “If the conduct of the patron was obviously inappropriate,” explains Crime Doctor, “then it should be clear why they are being escorted out.”

Privacy in job seeking: what are the rules?


Privacy in job seeking: what are the rules?

You’re looking to take the next step in your career and you have been applying for jobs. This might mean sending prospective employers lots of personal information – your resume, cover letter, qualifications, references, email and physical addresses – and in some cases, even sensitive information such as police and working with children checks, personal medical information or disability documentation. What are the rules when it comes to your personal privacy?

What is privacy?

Fair Work Australia says, “Privacy is the word we give to being able to keep certain information to ourselves and to control what happens to our personal information. It also refers to being able to do things without interference by others. Privacy issues can arise in all aspects of life.”

The current Privacy Act came into effect on 12 March 2014, and it applies to public and private sector entities, including organisations and companies that you may be jobseeking with. The Act contains 13 Australian Privacy Principles which regulate the way employers and others can collect, store, use and disclose your personal information.

What is workplace privacy?

How does this relate to you when jobseeking? Essentially, prospective employers will need to know a lot about you before offering you a job. So how much information can they ask for?

Fair Work Australia says, “Employers will have access to personal information about employees. This information may be sensitive and employees may wish to keep this information private. This means that employers will need to think about the way in which they collect, use and disclose information they obtain from employees.”

Companies need to have firm HR practices in place and the larger they are and the more employees they have, the more robust these need to be. As well as this, it’s best practice to let you know what they’re collecting from you and how they plan to use it.

“It is good privacy practice for employers to tell employees when they collect their personal information,” according to Fair Work. “In doing so, the employer could tell the employee why they are collecting the information and who the employer might pass that information on to.”

Privacy rights when checking references

As well as the personal information you provide, there are also privacy issues surrounding when and how your referees can be contacted, and how this information is stored. You also have a right to know what your referees said about you, in many cases.

Career One has interviewed Peter Ferraro, a senior associate of Harmers Workplace Lawyers who deals with privacy issues day-to-day.

The lawyer points out a company that makes a bad hiring decision in part built on information they have gathered via a referee “could seek damages from the organisation that provided the reference” if it was found to be false or misleading.

He also says that a candidate “could also bring an action if information provided by a referee was defamatory or invaded their privacy,” so rights to privacy and correct information gathering do work both ways. A jobseeker might also have some rights to find out what a referee said about them. “Under the Privacy Act, a job candidate can apply to see notes made about them during recruitment process,” Ferraro says.

Ways to protect your privacy as a jobseeker

Another thing to consider is that some potential employers might not be legitimate. The Australian Government’s Job Active website says that although there are thousands of genuine job vacancies posted every day, recently they have seen an increase in fake employers posting false job ads. These “fake employers” might also email you directly, sometimes having purchased your details from a mailing list provider.

According to the Australia Government’s Job Active website it’s important for you to protect your privacy. Here’s what they suggest:

  • Never give your bank or credit card details when applying for a job
  • Never provide your date of birth
  • Do not pay job application fees
  • Do not give out your Driver’s Licence or passport information
  • Check if the job is genuine (if possible) by researching the employer online or calling them before applying

A final note on privacy

Once you lose it, it’s hard to gain it back. There are also privacy issues when it comes to employers accessing your personal social media accounts and there are rules about what you can and can’t say online too. There have been multiple cases where people have lost jobs due to insensitive things they have said online.

In a article, lawyer Johnathan Mamaril points out that, “If you’re on social media saying nasty things about your boss, you can imagine that’s going to cause problems. You should imagine anything you post may end up in front of someone you don’t want to see it.”

With a bit of common sense, your privacy can be protected and you’ll find the job that best suits your experience and qualifications. Take a little time to go over your privacy settings, Google yourself and check your resume and cover letter for unnecessary sensitive information.

How to survive the office Christmas party

Xmas Party

Tis the season to let your hair down, swivel the office chair around a few times and dance to some classic 90s hits at your office Christmas party. How do you make sure it’s a success for your career? Up to 50% of workers say that they regret going to the end of year celebrations

A recent survey showed that not everyone said they had negative feelings towards it, in fact, the office Christmas party was the highlight of the year for up to 43% of respondents in the 18-34 year old category. 25% of workers said they only looked forward to it if it was an all-expenses paid party, with 14% of workers having to pay for their own end of year celebrations. 15% of workers say they will be getting a Christmas bonus and nearly 60% planned on receiving a gift, however small, such as a mug or keyring.

If you’re about to have your office Christmas party, there are 7 main things you need to do to ensure that your night goes smoothly. Here’s your checklist.

  1. 1.Think ahead about what you want to achieve

Some people say they always skip the Christmas party as it’s too risky: they don’t want to end up in a compromising situation or in an embarrassing conversation. However, out-of-work-hours socialising can be one of your best opportunities to network. Identify at least 5 new people you’d like to get to know better and hit them up for a conversation in the first hour or two of the event before the karaoke tunes come out and important conversations will be forgotten.

  1. 2.Know who will be attending

From your direct colleagues, to upper management, sales staff and even contractors and out-of-office workers, know who will be there and plan in advance who to stick close to, and who to avoid. Office and workplace politics can transfer over to out-of-work events, so make sure you can dodge any awkward conversations easily.

  1. 3.Start with a sugary drink

Whether you’re planning on drinking alcohol or not (and let’s face it, most people will have a drink or two at their Christmas party!) start your night with a sugary drink such as lemonade or orange juice. The sugar gets into your bloodstream and the non-alcoholic liquid will hydrate you so that when you do have that first drink, you’re starting off right.

  1. 4.Make sure you eat enough

Most Australian companies would be cluey enough now to know they must provide both food and drinks at work events to ensure that staffers don’t get too inebriated too quickly. We all know that we’re supposed to alternate non-alcoholic drinks with alcoholic drinks but making sure you consume enough food is also important to your recovery the next day.

  1. 5.Safe passage is your employer’s responsibility

Believe it or not, it’s up to your boss to make sure you get home OK, to an extent. HR Inform says, “Organisations should ensure that at least one senior staff member does not consume alcohol and monitors employee consumption and behaviour at the event. Those responsible should also have sufficient taxi vouchers to ensure safe passage home… Many organisations include the cost of taxi vouchers in (their) Christmas function budget.”

  1. 6.Have fun

Let‘s not forget what the holiday season is all about – it’s time to let your hair down and enjoy life. Do not forget to have fun and try to appreciate the company of your teammates. Make an effort to reach out to someone new if you’ve been with the company for some time and make sure you act respectfully, and keep to the standards expected of you at work, particularly those rules around swearing, flirting and excessive alcohol consumption.

  1. 7.…and if something went wrong

Hopefully no one really noticed. Saying or doing something embarrassing is usually never that bad, unless the intent was malicious. If you really messed up, send an apology by email, raise it in person with the colleague affected or in a worse case scenario, speak to your managers or to HR/People and Culture, and get their expert advice. A quick apology and expression of regret usually goes a long way.

Can your social media profile harm your job seeking prospects?


Can your social media profile harm your job seeking prospects?

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn: How active are you on social media and more importantly, how active is your boss, or a potential employer? Social media has unarguably become a central part of most people’s lives. Often, checking their feeds is the very first thing people will do in the morning, and one of the last things they do at night.

A large (2300 people plus) survey was recently conducted by website asking the question, “How and why do you incorporate social media into your hiring process?” The survey was aimed at hiring managers and HR professionals, those who are the gatekeepers for organisations that might award you the job, or the promotion of your dreams.

The survey found that more than a third (37%) of these professionals accessed the social media profiles of candidates they were considering hiring, or forwarding on for further assessment to upper management staff. In effect, they were assessing your character, personality and “culture fit” for their organisation, in almost two out of three cases.

The good news is, unlike career advice five years ago, no one is suggesting that you are not supposed to have any active social media accounts, quite the opposite, in fact. For many roles, having a social media presence and knowledge base can be an asset, particularly in roles in marketing, digital strategy, graphics, web design and even creative fields, community environments or trades.

What posts on social media cause hiring managers to look you over for a position?

According to the survey, 34% of potential candidates were looked over by hiring managers for the same batch of reasons. Here are the 6 biggest things to look out for.

#1: Inappropriate or risqué photos

50% of employers said they didn’t offer a job candidate the position due to photos that appeared on their profile, such as “sexy selfies”, nights out at the club and other inappropriate content.

#2: Party lifestyle: drinking or drug taking

45% of hiring managers indicated that a candidate was not hired said they chose not to hire “because of evidence of drinking and/or drug use on his or her social profiles.”

#3: Lack of communication skills required

A few employers mentioned that many people displayed bad writing skills, terrible grammar and lack of editing and proofreading skills; vital for success in many roles.

#4: Burning bridges

In some cases, the potential candidate “bad mouthed previous employers”, which is never an encouraging signal to someone who might be considering giving you a job.

#5: Too political

Due to increasing political sensitivities across the globe, it’s probably not the best idea to make controversial comments related to race, gender, politics or religion. Play it safe.

#6: Resume “fluffing”

If you’ve lied about qualifications, this might be apparent from your social media feeds. Check your LinkedIn and Facebook profiles to make sure your current, accurate experience is reflected.

How popular is social media today?

Social media continues to grow in popularity. Today, Facebook Australia has 15 million users, YouTube has had 14.5 million unique views, Instagram has 5 million monthly active Australian users (Facebook/ Instagram data) & Tinder now has approximately 2 million users, and growing.

According to a Sensis Social Media Report (2016), 30% of ‘large’ Australian businesses spend 10%+ of their advertising budget on social media. 19% spend more than 50% of their advertising budget on social media and nearly half of Australian businesses will spend more on social media in the next 12 months.

What hiring managers think about your social media activity

Rosemary Haefner is the vice president of CareerBuilder and she has seen social media mistakes again and again in her career.

“If you choose to share content publicly on social media, make sure it’s working to your advantage and take down or secure anything that could potentially be viewed by an employer as unprofessional.”

The expert suggests to share content, “that highlights your accomplishments and qualifications in a positive way,” and to avoid anything that might be perceived in a negative light.

“36% of employers who screen via social networks have requested to ‘be a friend’ or follow candidates who have private accounts,” Haefner points out. “Of that group, 68% say they’ve been granted permission – down from 80% last year.”

“Depending on what hiring managers find, candidates’ online information can help or hurt their odds of getting a job. 49% percent of hiring managers who screen candidates via social networks said they’ve found information that caused them not to hire a candidate,” which was almost equal to the figures from the year before (48%).

7 top things to address on your social media feeds before you search for a job

  1. Make sure your LinkedIn profile and/or online resume is up to date and relevant to the career roles you’re currently scoping for.
  1. Make sure you do an audit of your social media pictures and images regularly.
  1. Make sure your contact details are up to date.
  1. Include any charities or community groups you support or have done volunteer work with.
  1. Check your privacy settings. Make profiles “public” only when you’ve done a content and image audit.
  1. Don’t give everything away. Only list your age and location if you feel it is necessary to do so and if it benefits your job search.
  1. Don’t comment or like controversial posts, e.g. political rants. If in doubt – “don’t”.

Ready to kick-start your career?

Getting back into the workforce or changing job roles can always feel a bit daunting but with the right tools and support network, you’ll be working in your dream role in next to no time. Follow the 7 steps above to clean up your social media profiles and give hiring managers no excuses to look your resume and experience over for the next candidate.