There are a number of reasons to hire a private investigator. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for private investigators is expected to rise by 13 percent between now and 2030 — an extremely accelerated growth especially compared to other occupations. However, with private investigation agencies being used more frequently in business settings, knowing how to properly vet them can make all the difference in your search — and can help you avoid hiring shady investigators. Learn more about the steps you should take to hire the right private detective to suit your company’s needs.
Verify Their PI License and Other Applicable Experience
When meeting with a private detective, you should request to see their private investigator license, and confirm that their license is valid in the state you will be operating in. Most states require a valid investigative license to work as an investigator, and in order to qualify the individual must be at least 25 years old and have at least five years of experience serving as a police officer or investigator. They must also have a high school diploma, and have a U.S. citizenship or residency. You may also elect to run a background check to ensure that all of the information, employment history and any criminal history is addressed prior to signing any employment contracts.
Additionally, don’t be afraid to ask specific questions about the type of investigation that you are hiring for, including knowledge of privacy legislation, surveillance skills, and other investigative matters.
Ask for Proof of Insurance
It’s also important to confirm that the private investigator is insured, as insurance is required in order for them to work. Confirming their proof of insurance also protects you from being held liable in the event a private investigator is hurt or injured during the investigation. This also allows you to file a claim against the firm handling your case should there be an issue with the investigation, therefore offering you an extra layer of protection.
Request References and Testimonials
The testimonials on company websites may provide a quick snapshot of the investigator’s experience and success, but keep in mind that the testimonials on their personal website are typically biased and may not reflect the breadth of the candidate’s experience. Consider requesting testimonials or client references to receive , Reach out to previous clients,
Ask for Previous Work
A reputable private investigator should come prepared with ample experience and examples of their work. This may include surveillance video, photos, sample client reports, and other relevant experience. These documents are extremely important as they are often used in court proceedings, which is why the quality and accuracy of this work is so pivotal. Be sure to analyze the example work the investigator presents, as it’s typically a good indication of the efforts you would typically receive from them on a case.
The party hiring the investigator should meticulously review any work samples to check for details and accuracy. In a sensitive investigation, accuracy will be especially crucial.
Verify Confidentiality Policy
In corporate investigations, a prospective client must be able to trust the professional investigator with a wide range of sensitive information. Before finalizing the contract, be sure to include a confidentiality clause to confirm that the information discovered throughout the investigation remains the private property of the company. Doing so can also hold the investigator liable should any information become compromised.
Before moving forward with a private investigator, it’s important to have a candid discussion regarding pricing to avoid any hidden or unexpected fees once an employment contract has been signed. Research competitive rates within the investigation community to You may also consider whether or not the pricing for investigation services is an indication of the quality of service you will be receiving. Costs and fees may vary dramatically based on experience, and in most cases companies will get what they pay for — which is why it’s not always wise to select investigators with the most affordable rates.
When weighing your options, it may pay to hire through a more expensive detective agency with with proven results than to save money. Be prepared to spend a little more to guarantee the results you’re seeking.
Enlist the Help of a Reputable Firm
One way to ensure you are hiring a respected, top-rated private investigator is to work directly with an investigative firm. InQuest offers over 20 years of experience and seasoned staff of professionals specializing in investigative matters relating to Mass Tort, Workers’ Compensation, General Liability, Medical Malpractice, Product Liability, Disability and more.
About InQuest Solutions
InQuest offers the gold standard for investigative and fact-finding matters. InQuest Solutions provides top-rated professionals to address investigative needs in the following industries and areas:
InQuest’s fully-vetted partners are licensed and qualified to provide investigative services in all 50 states. Let InQuest Solutions assist you in hiring the right private investigator for your unique circumstances.