How to Save Money When Hiring a Private Investigator

How to Save Money When Hiring a Private Investigator

Under ideal circumstances, no one will ever have to hire a private investigator for their personal or professional crisis. In the event that the need for a private investigator should arise, prospective clients should know that there is a way to save money when vetting professional private investigators for their needs.

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Private investigators provide a valuable service to both businesses and private citizens by providing them with the intelligence they need to make complex decisions in their lives. That being said, individuals who are looking for a bargain bin deal when hiring a private investigator find themselves highly dissatisfied with the end result. These are sophisticated investigations that require the best tools and the best expertise available in pursuit of the truth. That doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to save money when hiring a private investigator. The answer lies in the pre-investigation phase before you’ve officially contracted the private investigator.

Quality fact finding is the basis of any quality investigation. Private investigators spend hours at the beginning of an investigation combing verified databases comparable to the ones used by law enforcement every day. Private investigators run names of all relevant subjects through these databases in order to build comprehensive background checks on the subjects in the case. These background reports have to be cross-referenced with multiple sources in order to perform due-diligence. Private investigators must take extra care to ensure that they have found the correct person in the database before This can become expensive, both in billable hours and in the cost of these verified reports.

Clients who are looking to hire a private investigator can save money in these investigations by having a much information available as possible about all subjects involved at the onset of a case. When you hire a private investigator, private investigators will sit down with clients and begin taking an intake narrative. Here is the type of information you can have available to save the investigator some time and money.

Name

Ideally, you would know the full name of the subjects involved in the case. This is not always possible—clients may only have a first name, or a nickname, which will lead to more fact finding on the part of the investigator. Having a person’s full name (with the correct spelling) is one of the most relevant pieces of information you can have for an investigator at the onset of the investigation so it can be accurately cross-referenced during due-diligence.

Birthday

A subject’s birthday is the second biggest piece of information you can have when you hire a private investigator. A subject’s birthday is cross-referenced with their name and other pieces of information to ensure private investigators have identified the correct report in their verified databases.

Address History

It is not necessary to know the exact address of a subject in order for the information to be valuable to the private investigator. Private investigators can use an approximate location to cross-reference other information on the subject and develop additional leads.

Work History

Knowing a subject’s trade, the cities where they’ve worked, or what companies they’ve worked for can provide the same context as an address history. In a skip trace (subject location) investigation, a private investigator can use knowledge of the subject’s trade in order to predict where they might go next to find work. A subject’s occupation and how it affects their daily schedule can help a private investigator develop leads and identify possible surveillance locations.

Make and model of relevant vehicles

A subject’s vehicle, whether it is legally owned by them or otherwise is a useful piece of information for a private investigator to track a subject’s movements. Depending on the location of the investigation, it may be legal for a private investigator to track a vehicle’s movements with a GPS tracker. Using this information, private investigators can document a subject’s movements for the investigation.

Existing evidence

In addition to word of mouth information you might have regarding an investigation, the tangible evidence is also important. Any relevant documentation to the investigation, including financial records, court documents, social media screenshots, or voicemail and text records, can go a long way in saving a private investigator time during the onset of an investigation.

At the end of the day, the best thing you can do when hiring a private investigator is gathering as much information as you possibly have for a private investigator at the onset of the case. It saves billable hours, resources, and frustration in any investigation. When you have your information ready, you’ll need a private investigator who always sweats the details. If you have a personal or corporate crisis in your life, call Lauth Investigations International today for a private investigator who will leave no stone unturned. Call 317-951-1100 or visit us on www.lauthinvestigations.com

Corporate Diversity Improves Culture, Increases Profits

Corporate Diversity Improves Culture, Increases Profits

Corporate diversity improves businesses from within
Executives are finding that corporate diversity is not only the right thing to do but the prudent thing to do.

As the Black Lives Matter movement continues throughout the globe, corporate diversity is once again on the minds of leadership in the United States. Leadership has begun developing strategies to improve diversity in their structure. Regardless of the motivations behind resisting this change, leadership might not understand that corporate diversity is a measure that not only elevates BIPOC professionals, but will improve the quality of life within the corporation.

When leadership is singular in representation, it cannot possibly consider all the needs of everyone in the organization. Leadership that is composed entirely of White executives will have a functional blindness or bias towards the needs of non-White employees. Not only will they leave their non-White employees feeling undervalued, but corporations can be selling themselves short on opportunity to improve business from within, and ultimately from without.

New ideas

One of the most obvious benefits to having corporate diversity—both at the executive level and below—is that diversity breeds innovation and creativity. When a corporation continually relies on the same thinktank of people who all come from similar backgrounds and have similar experiences, you will eventually begin to see a patter in the same 15 ideas or solutions generated by that thinktank. Workforces with diverse backgrounds see a more diverse array of ideas, innovations, and solutions to challenges faced in the workplace and in the market.

Better ideas

The more corporate diversity you have, the more likely your team will generate ideas and solutions that will better serve your customer base. Different skills and different histories of experience will lead to a more unique brainstorm—from the conference room to the loading dock. According to a study conducted by the Harvard Business Review, businesses with corporate diversity are able to find solutions to problems faster than teams of employees from similar backgrounds. The speed attributed to corporate diversity is due in part to the fact that these corporations foster an environment that promotes a free exchange of ideas, where everyone has a place at the table and their voice is heard. That is the sort of corporate culture all businesses should be striving for.

Better culture

Diversity is more than a two-pronged approach, but it is important that you have diversity from the top down, and that every person feel as though they can safely bring ideas, concerns, or solutions to the table. By encouraging this diversity, you make sure every person on your team feels as though their voice is being heard. When employees feel heard and valued, the corporate culture of the entire business significantly improves. We know the effects of corporate culture move in a cycle. Employees are either positively or negatively impacted by engagement and validation from leadership, which in turn effects their own engagement, which directly impacts their level of output. As corporate culture improves, output increases. The elevation of those diverse voices has the capacity to save your corporation money in billable hours, workplace lawsuits, and engagement.

Corporate culture audit

At Lauth Investigations International, we pride ourselves on using our intelligence services to connect business leadership with the solutions they need to improve their company from within. If you suspect your business is suffering due to a lack of diversity, call Lauth Investigations International today for a free quote on our corporate culture audit.

Employee Malingering During COVID-19

Employee Malingering During COVID-19

employee malingering

Is there a way to stamp out employee malingering? The answer is complicated.

Employee malingering is becoming a problem for some employers. As some states move forward with plans to open their states back up during the global COVID-19 pandemic, many are looking forward to life returning to some semblance of normalcy. While businesses make plans to reopen their doors, there are others that will keep the bulk of their operations remote with employees working from home in order to mitigate the spread of the disease. While many employers feel this precaution is still prudent, there is the additional layer of anxiety about whether employees are keeping their noses to the grindstone, or malingering.

Obviously, these are strange times. A majority of businesses in the United States were forced to shut down direct business to customer operations in order to prevent the spread of the disease. Employees who were not furloughed or laid off due to COVID-19 have been forced to adjust to a new working life devoid of work-life balance—their work is literally in the home—complete with the distraction of children, family, pets, spouses, and other household distractions. It is a stressful time, and it can be difficult to maintain focus. Corporations and organizations should always prioritize their employee’s mental health for the sake of their corporate culture. These predictable challenges with suddenly working from home should not be considered employee malingering. However, willful malingering can lay huge blows to daily productivity and ultimately profits. Employers must have a way to verify whether or not their employees are actually working.

Under more normal, stable circumstances, employers have the benefit of face to face interaction for determining how engaged and productive their employees are. In addition to output, supervisors can note how many breaks they take, the quality of the work, and the level of communication from the employee, both on and offline. However, remote working has made detecting employee malingering almost impossible.

Telecommunication technology has played a vital role in facilitating the continuation of the economy despite the quarantine. Meetings are held over Zoom, employee time is tracked through invoices or through an online time clock of sorts that allows employees to log their time worked and have their timesheets stored on a cloud server. Short of a live camera feed that documents the employee in front of the computer or on the phone, is there truly a way to verify if they are actually working?

The idea of hiring a private investigator to surveil your employees may sound strange or even wrong, but it’s a highly common business practice that legally exposes the drain an individual employee might be having on your company. Private investigators can track an employee’s movements during the time they have invoiced or logged, ensuring that any errands outside the home are work-related and have some value to the corporation. Private investigators can document these movements with GPS trackers placed under their car, photographing their activities in public to either prove or disprove employee malingering. Private investigators are trained to blend in with their surroundings, and conduct surveillance discretely to prevent their cover from being blown, so in the event that no employee malingering is found, no one is the wiser.

If you suspect your employee is malingering on your dime, reach out to Lauth Investigations International today for a free quote on our surveillance services. Call us at 317-951-1100, or visit our website at lauthinvestigations.com

Quashing Bias in Internal Investigations

Quashing Bias in Internal Investigations

Quashing Bias in Internal Investigations

With the current outbreak of COVID-19 keeping many employees at home, corporations in the midst of internal overhaul are feeling the drag. Investigations that could improve a corporation from within could be on hold, or being conducted by an internal investigator to mitigate the complications of the stay-at-home order. An internal investigation can often be the sharpest of double-edged swords in the business world. From employee theft to executive misconduct, internal investigations can often be the most attractive option for management and C-level executives. Internal investigations provide the investigating company with enough control over the situations to make crucial in-house decisions, overhaul faulty processes, and improve the quality of life of their organization, all while flying under the radar of public scrutiny. However, the obvious inherent issue with an internal investigation is an implicit level of bias that can have devastating consequences.

The idea of implicit bias within a corporation is usually brought up with regards to their diversity and how the lack of it creates blind spots within leadership. However, implicit bias can be the poison that rots an investigation from the inside out. There are innumerable factors that can influence a person’s inherent bias, like interactions with others, personal experiences, or exposure to external stimuli that can change a person’s beliefs. These factors are exacerbated when the investigator in question is part of the corporation or organization being investigation.

When an investigation is handled internally, leadership can obviously trust the investigator to conduct their fact-finding missions swiftly and discreetly with the best interests of the company in mind, but this comes at a cost, and that cost is internal bias.Internal investigators already have the bias of experience and personal belief as human beings. On top of that, you can add the inherent bias of being a part of the organization they are investigating. Internal investigations can have a myriad of consequences, the most extreme of which would be the dissolution of the corporation. That factor alone—the preservation of one’s job—is one of the strongest motivations for skewing results of an internal investigation in the corporation’s favor. When the investigator has a direct or indirect stake in the preservation of the corporation, the investigation can never be objective—leads will go unpursued, testimony uncorroborated, and important facts might be excluded from the findings of the investigation. This level of bias is something that many companies simply cannot afford.

Appointing an internal investigator to handle pervasive issues may sound like good money sense that also provides a layer of protection for the corporation, but the consequential costs of such an investigation can be astronomical. Internal bias can set an investigation back for weeks, leading to more lost productivity and profits. First and foremost, a faulty internal investigation can have litigious consequences that leadership might not foresee. For example, an internal investigation that results in the termination of an employee can result in a wrongful termination lawsuit on behalf of the former employee. If the investigation is subsequently found to be biased, the court could award the former employee with damages as part of a settlement, which can have devastating financial repercussions for the corporation or organization.

One of the worst parts of internal investigations is that the repercussions can end in the investigation being a huge waste of time and money for a corporation—like in the wrongful termination suit against IBM in 2013. An internal investigation into the employee’s misconduct resulted in that employee being terminated, and when the suit was brought to court, IBM wanted to show the court that they had conducted a fair investigation. The findings of IBM’s internal investigation were precluded from trial because it was determined by the court that the investigation was in fact biased. The court found that the internal investigator did not interview witnesses who might have supported the employee’s version of events. This resulted in countless of useless hours processed through payroll, not to mention the waste of resources and loss of productivity that consequently occurred. This is why if your corporation is considering conducting an internal investigation, it is a solid investment to hire an independent investigator before initiating an investigation.

Hiring a private investigator may seem like an unconventional way to approach an internal investigation. After all, how are you supposed to willingly invite an investigator who is a stranger to your organization and trust them to give you the best recommendations to improve it from within? Regardless of which private or independent investigator you hire, there is always one thing your money guarantees, and that’s objectivity. Unlike the aforementioned IBM case in which the internal investigation was precluded from trial due to bias, independent investigators are exactly that—independent, and their objectivity comes with a much higher threshold of bias and scrutiny. This means money spent on an investigation now won’t be for nothing when consequential litigation comes up on the docket.

Because private investigators are independent from the organization, their findings and testimony come with a higher degree of integrity. Private investigators have no direct or indirect stake in the outcome of an independent investigation, so their factual findings are not clouded by office politics or industry bias. They only have their verified resources and a toolbox of experience that allows them to gather evidence and follow leads internal investigators might not have considered or ignored. Internal bias can derail an investigation from the beginning, and it’s important to have an independent set of eyes in order to prevent lost productivity and manhours.

Furthermore, having an independent investigator like one of the quality private investigators with Lauth Investigations International, you know that you can trust the results of any investigation are free of internal bias. It is the source of intelligence that has the power to improve any corporation or organization from within—resolving pervasive issues within the workplace that contribute to drop in employee morale & engagement, productivity, and profits. Call Lauth Investigations International today to get a free consultation on our corporate culture audit and corporate intelligence services.

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