Believe it or not there are a ton of ways private investigation services can be helpful for businesses. Many of these are going to be things you’ve probably never even considered hiring a private investigator to do. This is because Hollywood has entirely distorted the occupation of professional private investigators and people tend to only think of the theatrics rather than the actual, practical ways to put these skilled professionals to use.
Here’s one you likely never considered: Secret shopper. Suppose you have received a couple of complaints about one of your sales or customer service agents, but the allegations don’t line up with your perception of the employee. You need to take the complaints seriously, however you also want to know if the complaints are valid before punishing your worker. Hiring a PI can be the perfect way to put that employee to the test in a way that ensures they approach the situation like any other customer and don’t pander to your expectations. Have the PI pose as a customer and give you an evaluation of the employee. This will help you maintain a record for great customer service in the long-run.
Another rarely thought about, but practical private investigation service helpful for businesses is employee efficiency monitoring. Suppose you have a delivery driver or employee who works mostly on the road or in the field. You want to make sure that employee is taking the most direct routes, taking appropriately timed breaks, and not misusing the company vehicle for personal errands. Hiring a private investigator to follow this employee for a few days will get you an evaluation of whether they are following all of your rules. This can save you money by giving you the information you need to improve efficiency with that employee.
Other more common private investigation services helpful for businesses relate to human resources. These included thorough background checks, workers’ compensation claims, and termination services.
First let’s look at background checks which are typically done pre-hire, but can also be routine checks. Private investigators can provide civil and criminal record searches, bankruptcy information, credit reports and driving records. If you’re planning a merger or acquisition then you can hire a PI to provide detailed background checks on the other company as well as the employees, owners, and partners. This can protect from getting into a deal that may tarnish your reputation.
Workers’ compensation claims are another area where these services can be extremely helpful to businesses. Similar to the employee monitoring for efficiency, PIs can conduct employee monitoring for honesty. If an employee is costing you money to stay home due to a supposed injury, but you have doubts, then hire a PI to keep an eye on them. If the claim is that they hurt their back, make sure they aren’t moving furniture. Also, with these same claims, a PI can be hired to interview employees to determine if the injury did indeed occur in the workplace and whether it happened due to a disregard for safety protocol. This can save you legal fees, insurance premium increases, and settlement costs. Not to mention protect you from possible OSHA violation investigations.
Terminations may seem like an interesting assignment for a private investigator, but it is actually a very practical use of their skills. If you’re firing an employee, but don’t have security services, a PI can escort them from the building and follow them home to ensure they leave the premises. If this is a particularly disgruntled employee then the PI can monitor them for a few days to alert you to any risks, red flags, or safety concerns. Moreover, if the employee has company property at home you can send the PI to collect it so this is done by a third party, making the interaction more formal and less likely to lead to an altercation.
These are just a handful of the many ways private investigation services can be helpful for businesses. If you’ve got an assignment you think might be right for a PI give AEGIS a call and we’ll walk you through the process.