The World Of Private Investigators

The World Of Private Investigators

Everyone has seen a movie or television show about the glamorous life of a private investigator.  Books and television have made private investigators larger than life characters, it has also made the profession very misunderstood.  Most people think the job is dangerous or they spend their time following cheating spouses.  While some of this is true there is much more to the profession than that.

The World Of Private Investigators

In truth most private investigators come from various fields of employment, many being former police officers or military personnel.  Others have come from jobs in debt collections or the financial sector.  Private investigators are in demand for a variety of situations, making differing backgrounds work for them.  Probably one of the more required skills regardless of employment background is the ability to be assertive and tenacity.  Private investigators are not afraid of confrontation, they are patient and very observant.  Private investigators investigate everything from criminal cases to insurance claims.  Corporate security is also a huge field for private investigators.  Here is an example of what they do everyday.

Corporate Private Investigation

Large corporations often hire private investigator to work both inside and outside the company.  Often investigators are hired to look into instances of employee theft and background checks for potential employees.  Most private investigators are highly skilled with a computer and can check databases and other information from the web.  These Los Angeles private investigators have also gone undercover as employees to catch white collar criminals.

Outside of the company investigators are used to look into potential business associates.  They perform hours of background checks, surveillance and interviews.  The computer and camera are staples in a private investigators arsenal, the ability to take pictures and document evidence is critical to the job.  Pictures and video are often used as evidence and if you have millions of dollars on the line then a private investigator can make sure you are working with honest people.  The team can take care of all the background information and help ensure it is a productive business relationship.

Your Business Needs a Private Investigator

At some point or another your business will have a need for a private investigator, whether it is for a background check for employees or business associates that needs to be dome.  There are so many things that a good security team can do for you.  Hiring a private investigator is another tool at your disposal to protect your assets and the future of your business.

 

Investigation employee theft

Investigating Employee Theft

As an employer what happens when an employee takes home some sticky notes or a stapler?  Some employees will only take minor things or things with very little value, some stationery or a calculator.  Others will take things of increased value food from a restaurant, clothes from a retailer or gas for their car.  No matter what the item is employee theft only happens if two things occur: the employer finds out and the employer cares.  The employer should care and care a lot, in fact 30% of businesses will fail because of employee theft.

What Constitutes Employee Theft

Some employers base their guidelines for theft on the value of the item taken, or in worse cases the unspoken rule, who took the item.  If you base your determination on these criteria you could end up facing a lawsuit.  If you fire one person for stealing who is a minority and then let the theft slide of someone who isn’t then you have discriminated.  Your company needs to establish clear cut policies about what is theft of company property.  Share that policy with employees and make sure it is clearly understood.  If at some point you make an exception to policy clearly document why you did it.

Investigating Employee Theft

If you as an employer believe a theft has taken place it is best to have someone investigate the case that is not responsible for hiring and firing.  The investigator should collect as much information as possible and if they must speak to other employees it should be done in the strictest confidence.  Make sure that any employee involved understands they could be subject to disciplinary action if they break confidentiality.  If you find enough information to actually accuse someone, confront the employee directly and gauge their reaction.

When to Fire an Employee for Theft

Can you still fire an employee if they deny the theft?  You always have the option of firing an employee, but you need to ask yourself if you should.  Do you have enough evidence to fire the best employee you have?  This should be the standard; if you would fire the best employee then you can fire any employee.  At this point it is still a problem with an employee not a court of law, you don’t have to hold to the standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt”.  The fact that is not a court of law also means that the employee is not entitled to have a lawyer present.  Firing should be a last resort and should be done according to the labor rules in your jurisdiction.