A Private Investigator is commonly used in three scenarios, 1) To prove something (i.e., infidelity, harassment) for leverage over another person or company 2) To help win a court case or 3) To clear up an extended matter, such as a missing person or cold case.
Whatever the reason, hiring a PI can be an overwhelming task, especially if you’ve never needed one before.
Here is what you need to know when the time is right.
A Six-Point Checklist for Hiring the Right Private Investigator
- Hire only licensed Private Investigators from your state.
Do not trust that they have a license; ask for proof. PIs must always carry their credentials on their person. Licensed PIs are bonded and insured, thus taking the risk of being sued off your shoulders.
- Ask about their experience level with your situation.
Whatever your need, you want someone who has investigated your type of case hundreds, if not thousands, of times.
- Look for online reputation scores or reviews.
Due to the nature of the job, reviews for PI work is often hard to come by. However, some national organizations rate PI firms. SACS Consulting was recently recognized as one of the top three PI firms in Akron by Three Best Rated.
- Ask around your community.
Check references at the Better Business Bureau, local Chamber of Commerce, or SHRM organization via phone call or email. They can provide you with knowledge about the PI firm beyond what you will find online.
- Ask for their confidentiality agreement (or have one of your own).
Due to the sensitive nature of what you’re asking them to do, you need to ensure that all recordings, notes, photos, and videos are held in the strictest confidence between you and them. This is especially true for cases involving activities that are breaking the law. Make sure both parties sign it and keep your copy on file.
- Get the fee schedule out of the way in the beginning.
The last thing you need is to be “surprised” by the bill at the end of the investigation. Most firms work within the parameter of a limited number of hours at a set hourly fee. Once those hours are reached, the client must agree to more hours (if needed), or the investigator turns in their work product to the client. Some investigation firms can provide a fixed price, but the scope needs to be well defined ahead of time to do so.
SACS Consulting & Investigative Services, Inc. Has a Team of Investigators
We offer a whole host of services on our Investigative website page. Please check it out and call us at 330-255-1101 if we can be of service to you or your organization!