Most experienced professionals in upper-management and/or HR positions are required to conduct corporate investigations at some point during their careers. It’s just par for the course. Unfortunately, there are certain circumstances in which an internal investigation conducted by company employees may not be the best option. In these cases, hiring a professional is a better choice. Not sure when’s the right time to call in reinforcements? Here are a few guidelines.
First, assess the situation to determine whether it warrants a full-blown corporate investigation. A single instance of employee theft from the petty cash box is probably not impactful enough to allocate money and resources toward a thorough investigation. Theft on a much larger scale, however, such as that carried out through suspected embezzlement, is a different story.
Once you’ve determined whether an investigation is, indeed, necessary, the next step is figuring out whether your personnel is equipped to handle the process internally. Again, this will likely depend on the size and scope of the alleged misconduct. It will also depend on the experience of those tasked with conducting the inquest. If you’re a sizeable organization with a designated investigation team, chances are you’ll be fine on your own. If your company is smaller or if nobody on staff has direct experience with conducting a corporate investigation, it may make sense to bring in a professional.
Another deciding factor is the important topic of confidentiality. It can be extremely difficult to conduct a thorough investigation using internal employees without arousing suspicion. It can also be challenging to keep an open mind and proceed without any type of bias, which is critical to the success of any corporate investigation. This is why most organizations choose to enlist the help of an experienced third-party investigator who can go undercover, if necessary.
Finally, if you’re considering whether to hire a pro for your corporate investigation, remember that completing such a monumental task successfully also involves a lot of time. It could take weeks, months or even years to gather the evidence needed to build a case, and activities may include surveillance, background investigations, data mining and interviews and substantial documentation. Can you really afford to have one of your own employees dedicate this much effort to the cause?
Simply put, in most cases, conducting a corporate investigation is best left to those who do so for a living. The outcome will likely be better, and your company will save time, money and aggravation in the process. If you’re considering working with a pro, give the team at Lauth Investigations International, Inc. a call. We’ve got the experience necessary to help you get the results you need.