Choosing the right investigator for a workplace investigation is an important decision. An investigator must be experienced, knowledgeable and have the necessary skills to conduct a thorough investigation while adhering to relevant laws and regulations. It is essential that organisations select an investigator who can handle sensitive information ethically and with discretion.

Do a brief assessment

Understanding the issue at hand is an important first step in any workplace investigation. A brief assessment will allow the business to collect enough data that will allow it to find a suitable individual. The company should have an idea of what it is dealing with before trying to look for a candidate. This increases the chances of finding the right person and conducting a successful investigation. A good way to do this is ask for people to come out with any information they may have on the incident in an informal way. This process is usually done when alongside the decision of whether to conduct an investigation in the first place.

Choosing the right investigator

The choice of who will be responsible to lead the investigation is one of the most important ones. Some things to consider are:

  • Identifying qualifications and experience
  • Evaluating investigator skills
  • Checking experience on similar cases
  • Assessing fees

Identifying qualifications and experience

When it comes to selecting an investigator, businesses need to ensure that they have the necessary qualifications and experience. The right individual must know all applicable laws and regulations and have experience conducting similar investigations in the past. They should also have the skills required to analyse evidence effectively, interview witnesses and handle sensitive information with discretion.

When evaluating investigator qualifications, organisations may consider their background in conducting workplace investigations and any professional certifications or accreditations they may hold. Businesses may also wish to inquire about any awards or accolades they may have achieved during their time as an investigator. Additionally, companies should make sure that the investigator is well-versed in relevant labour laws and has a deep understanding of all applicable legal requirements so that they can conduct a thorough investigation while remaining compliant.

While knowledge of laws and regulations is important, it is equally important to find someone who understands your organisation’s policies. Being compliant is not only limited to government rules but to company procedures as well. Sometimes, employers choose an internal investigator due to their familiarity with both external and internal requirements.

Evaluating investigator skills

Evaluating communication skills is an essential component of selecting the right person for a workplace investigation. Strong communication skills are necessary in order for investigators to convey information effectively, document evidence, and build trust with stakeholders. An investigator needs to be able to interact with witnesses and other parties involved in the investigation in a respectful manner while also staying focused on the task at hand.

In addition to having good verbal communication skills, investigators must also be adept at writing reports that are clear, concise, and accurate. Good report writing is important as it serves as a basis of evidence that can be referred to during litigation if needed. Furthermore, good report writing provides an investigator’s findings and recommendations in an organised and detailed way so that the business can make informed decisions based on the results of the investigation.

Investigators must also have the ability to handle sensitive information professionally and confidentially. As such, organisations should ensure that their investigator has experience dealing with confidential data such as employee records or other sensitive materials during past investigations. Companies might also enquire about any protocols or measures taken by the investigator when handling sensitive information to ensure that all applicable privacy laws are adhered to throughout the process.

It is also crucial for organisations to verify if their investigator has any certificates related to data protection or cyber security that demonstrate their expertise in this area, and that they use systems that can securely manage confidential information. These measures help safeguard confidential information from being exposed or used maliciously during an investigation. Many investigators use Polonious for handling sensitive data and information as we are ISO27001 certified and comply with strict international standards.


Checking experience on similar cases

Finding an investigator with a proven track record in similar cases is essential for organisations looking to resolve workplace issues quickly and effectively. Companies should ask the potential candidates about their experience level and any past cases they may have taken on that are similar to the business’s current situation. This will provide insight into the individual’s ability to handle similar situations, as well as their familiarity with applicable laws, regulations, and protocols. Additionally, it is important for organisations to assess the investigator’s success rate in prior cases; this will help inform their decision of whether or not to hire them.

Companies might also request references from previous employers to gain better insight into their work ethic and capabilities. These references can give valuable information regarding the investigator’s professionalism, communication skills, and overall effectiveness at resolving issues. Employers need to also make sure to ask if the investigator has successfully handled similar types of investigations before and what strategies they used in order to achieve successful outcomes. Inquiring about how long it took for them to complete similar investigations is another way organisations can get an idea of what kind of timeline they should expect when working with a particular investigator.

Another thing to consider is reviewing any letters of commendation or testimonials given by clients who have worked with them before as these can provide further insight into how effective an investigator may be in resolving an issue. Past cases can also highlight an individual’s knowledge of the industry as well as indicate how quickly they adapt to new environments. By undertaking proper due diligence when hiring an investigator for a workplace investigation, companies can rest assured knowing that they have chosen an individual with a proven track record who has what it takes to bring resolution quickly while ensuring fairness and impartiality throughout the process.

Assessing fees

When examining fees, costs and other expenses associated with the investigation process, businesses may consider several factors to ensure that the investigator is the right fit for their situation. Firstly, employers should look at the investigator’s experience level and past cases they may have handled to get an idea of what type of fee they may charge. It is important to note that more experienced individuals will likely charge higher fees than those who are just starting out in the field. However, the quality of the process is more likely to be higher as well as they are fairly experienced.

Any costs associated with conducting a thorough investigation such as travel expenses, report writing fees and additional research costs need to be considered. The investigator’s hourly rate can also be impacted by the complexity of the case and any other special requirements needed during the investigation process. Hence, it is essential for organisations to assess their own needs when it comes to fees and make sure that they are comfortable with any additional costs incurred throughout the process.

Businesses should also factor in any legal or administrative fees incurred as a result of hiring an investigator. While some investigators offer these extra services on a pro bono or reduced cost basis, organisations must still consider any extra paperwork or procedures required during the investigation process such as filing documents or obtaining witness testimonies.

To ensure accuracy and reliability throughout the entire investigation process, companies may need to hire outside experts such as labour lawyers or independent auditors who can assist with providing legal advice or evaluating evidence collected by an investigator. This could potentially increase overall investigative costs so it is important for organisations to plan accordingly when budgeting for such services.

If an investigator is found to be negligent in their duties or fails to successfully complete a workplace investigation, then this could lead to financial losses for an organisation due to wasted time/resources and potential legal issues arising from non-compliance with applicable laws/regulations. Businesses should check if the candidate has insurance that covers such costs to minimise the risk of potential financial damage.

Few things to remember

Understanding the importance of workplace investigations is essential for any organisation. A workplace investigation provides an opportunity to identify and address issues in a fair, impartial, and confidential manner. It can help protect an entity from legal liabilities or reputational damage that could arise from allegations of misconduct or unfair treatment in the workplace. Furthermore, it allows organisations to respond quickly and effectively to complaints while upholding their standards of professionalism and integrity. By having a clear understanding of the importance of workplace investigations, organisations can ensure that they are adequately prepared when faced with potential allegations or issues.

Polonious assists various businesses with conducting a fair and confidential investigation. Our system follows high-quality standards to provide the best experience for both the investigator and the company. Automatic case updates, flexible workflows and easy accessibility are just a few of the benefits that Polonious offers. If you want to hear more, request a demo!