Hiring a PI: What to Look For in a Private Investigator
The private investigations industry will reach $7 billion in 2019. Many private investigators are hired by companies who need to look into threats, HR background checks, and potential business partners.
Read on to learn the best tips for hiring a private investigator.
Request an In-Person Meeting
Never hire a private investigator without meeting him or her in person. An in-person meeting will help you decide if this PI is the professional you can trust to be discreet and competent.
Unfortunately, many private investigators run a solo practice based on their experience as an ex-cop or other skill. However, when you have a highly sensitive investigation, you need the support and professionalism provided at a higher level.
Meeting in person will help you make a better first impression assessment of the investigator’s professionalism and manner.
You might need your private detective to testify in criminal or civil court. You want to make sure your PI is a reputable representative of your case/
If the PI cuts you off, doesn’t answer your questions, or is vague, it’s probably not a good match. Remember, you are the client, and the private detective should be trying to win you as a client.
You need to find a person that you trust. After all, you will have to share sensitive information with him or her.
Trust your gut feeling on this one. If something about the private investigator seems off, thank them for their time and keep looking for a better fit.
Ask to See Their Private Investigator License
Before you hire a private investigator, you must do your due diligence and ensure you choose a reliable and professional PI.
First, ask to see his or her PI license. Check their license is valid in your state.
Check for Insurance
One of the private investigator requirements is having insurance. Make sure you ask your PI before you hire him or her to show you proof of insurance.
This protects you from being liable if anything happens to the private investigator during the investigation.
Ask About Qualifications and Experience
You want to make sure that the private detective you hire is qualified to do the job and do it well.
If the person has a website, review it to see if it lists his or her qualifications. Many private investigators are former police officers. But that’s not a good enough reason to hire someone.
Years of police work won’t help you if you have a legal issue. In those cases, you need a civil and criminal case investigator.
Make sure to ask your PI how many years of experience he or she has. You want to make sure your PI is qualified to investigate and possibly testify in the type of case you are hiring for.
Ask how many cases similar to yours he or she has worked on in the past year.
It’s best to choose a PI that specializes in the type of investigations you need. Not every private investigator excels at every type of case. So choose one whose strengths are the type of investigation you need.
You also want to know if your case will be handled by just one PI of if there will be other private investigators on the case.
They Should Engage With Professional Organizations
A private investigator might not necessarily be part of any professional organizations. But if they are passionate and reputable, it is more likely.
This is a good way to weed out fly-by-the-night companies who may scam you. Shady investigators won’t care about the newest legislature and continuing education.
Some professional organizations that a private investigator might belong to include the National Association of Legal Investigators, the National Association of Investigative Specialists, and the National Council of Investigation and Security Services.
Membership in these types of organizations will help you to see a company’s standing in the investigation community.
Get Testimonials & References
Before you hire a private investigator, you’ll need to do a little investigation of your own.
Go online and look up the company or private detective. It is important to run a query on the investigator as well as on the agency.
Of course, investigative work is discreet. So if you don’t see much, that’s not necessarily a bad sign. Ask your PI to give you a list of three previous clients that you can contact as references.
Be sure to ask about the private investigator’s professionalism, work ethic, and the results.
Ask to See a Work Sample
The end product, whether it’s a written report, a photo, or a video, is the evidence that you may need in court.
This evidence must be of good quality. In many court cases, concrete proof can give you enough leverage to get a settlement without needing to go to court.
A good investigator will likely show you examples of their work. If not, make sure to ask so you can get a good idea of what you can expect.
For example, you’ll want photographs with time and date stamps marked. The report should be typed up and legible without any missing information.
You’ll be able to learn a lot about the private investigator based on how thorough and detailed his or her reports are.
Avoid Cheap Pricing
When hiring a private investigator, don’t just shop around for the lowest price. Premium rates usually mean that the agency has a solid reputation that warrants the price.
Budget private investigators either are struggling to get business or know that they can’t get excellent results.
You don’t want to risk getting sub-standard service when your business is involved. Hire a professional investigator that has the experience and skillset to get results.
Important Investigations Require Quality Investigators
There you have it! An in-depth guide for how to hire a private investigator for your business.
Remember, in this field, experience, and professionalism span a considerable range. At OPS Security Group, we offer the very best in discreet, experienced private investigation services.
Contact us for more info.
If you’d like to learn more about OPS Security Group Private Investigations, Visit Us at https://opssecuritygroup.com/ops-services/investigative-services/private-investigators/
OPS Security Group has over 80 years of combined experience protecting executives, businesses, residents, guests and government officials throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C. and New Jersey. As a regional security alternative with a service-first approach, we offer a level of customer service that international providers are too big to deliver. If you’d like to learn more, you can contact us at https://opssecuritygroup.com/contact/