Business Bytes: Why an outside investigator may be your best bet Printer friendly format

 Most managers prefer to handle problems themselves, but investigations into workplace crime or violence usually call for expert assistance. Hiring an outside investigator may cost more money and require you to share more information than usual, but it also offers these advantages:

·      Qualifications. Look for an investigator with proven impartiality, legal and business knowledge, research and interviewing skills, and experience testifying. Don’t go by qualifications alone, however. Use your own knowledge of your people and organization to find an investigator who can adapt his or her experience to your situation.
·      Focus. Unlike a fellow manager, an outside investigator can concentrate entirely on your case without having to keep an eye on a regular job. Moreover, as the client, you’ll be informed about who’s interviewed, how interviews are done, and what’s been discovered. You’ll be able to help keep the investigation honest, confidential, and on track.
·      Objectivity. An investigator who isn’t an employee and who hasn’t worked with or been acquainted with your employees is less likely to be swayed by feelings toward the organization or its people.
·      Credibility. If your employees perceive the investigator as skilled and objective, they will be more forthcoming when they’re interviewed. Build their trust by telling them about your investigator’s credentials and experience, and the procedures he or she will follow.
--Adapted from