In 2022, the global private investigations industry is expected to be worth USD 18.2 billion. Many companies or individuals contribute to this huge market value. Private investigators conduct HR background checks, and threat assessments, or scout potential business partners.
Here are some important tips to remember when hiring a private investigator.
Request an In-Person Meeting
Never hire a private investigator without first meeting with them. An in-person meeting will help you determine whether this PI is someone you can trust to be discreet and competent.
Many private investigators operate on their own, relying on their experience as ex-cop or other skills. When conducting a highly sensitive investigation you require the assistance and professionalism of a higher level. Meeting in person will allow you to form a more accurate first impression of the investigator’s professionalism and demeanor.
You may require your private investigator to testify in criminal or civil court. You should ensure that your private investigator is a credible case representative. It’s probably not a good match if the PI cuts you off doesn’t answer your questions, or is vague. Remember, you are the client, and the private detective should be courting you.
You must find someone in whom you have faith. After all, you will be sharing confidential information with him or her.
On this one, go with your gut instinct. If something about the private investigator appears to be off, thank them for their time and continue your search for a better match.
Request to See Their Private Investigator License
Before hiring a private investigator, do your homework and make sure you hire a reputable and professional PI. Request to see their PI license and verify that it is valid in your state.
Check for Insurance
Insurance is one of the requirements for a private investigator. Make sure to request proof of insurance from your PI before hiring him or her. This shields you from liability if the private investigator is injured during the investigation.
Qualifications and Experience
You should ensure that the private investigator you hire is qualified to do the job and does it well. Examine the person’s website to see if it lists his or her qualifications. Many private investigators have previously served as police officers. However, that is not a sufficient reason to hire someone. Years of police experience will not help you if you have a legal problem. In such cases, a civil and criminal case investigator is required.
Make sure to inquire about your PI’s years of experience. You should ensure that your PI is qualified to investigate and possibly testify in the type of case for which you are hiring. Inquire how many cases like yours he or she has worked on in the last year.
It is best to hire a private investigator who specializes in the type of investigation you require. Not every private investigator is skilled in every type of investigation. So pick one whose strengths match the type of investigation you require. You’ll also want to know if your case will be handled by a single private investigator or if it will be handled by a team of private investigators.
Connections with Professional Organizations
A private investigator may or may not be a member of any professional organization. However, if they are enthusiastic and reputable, it is more likely. This is a good way to weed out fly-by-night companies that may try to con you. Shady investigators will be unconcerned about new legislation or continuing education.
A private investigator may be a member of the National Association of Legal Investigators, the National Association of Investigative Specialists, or the National Council of Investigation and Security Services. Membership in these organizations will allow you to assess a company’s reputation in the investigation community.
Testimonials and References
You should conduct your own investigation before hiring a private investigator. Look up the company or private detective on the internet. It is critical to run a query on both the investigator and the agency. Naturally, investigative work is discrete. So if you don’t see much, it’s not always a bad sign. Request that your PI provides you with a list of three previous clients who you can contact for references. Make certain to inquire about the private investigator’s professionalism, work ethic, and results.
Request a Work Sample
The final product, whether it’s a written report, a photograph, or a video, will serve as evidence in court. This proof must be of high quality. In many court cases, concrete evidence can provide enough leverage to obtain a settlement without having to go to court. A good investigator will almost certainly show you examples of their previous work. If not, make sure to inquire so you have a good idea of what to expect.
You’ll want photographs with time and date stamps, for example. The report should be typed and legible, with no blank spaces. The thoroughness and detail of the private investigator’s reports will reveal a lot about him or her.
Avoid Cheap Pricing
When looking for a private investigator, don’t just look for the cheapest one. Premium rates typically indicate that the agency has a solid reputation that justifies the price. Budget private investigators are either struggling to get business or are aware that they will not achieve excellent results. You don’t want to take any chances when it comes to your company’s reputation. Hire a professional investigator with the necessary experience and skill set.
Remember that in this field, experience and professionalism can vary greatly. At Champion Security Agency, we provide the most discreet and experienced private investigation services available.