How Private Investigators Interview to find “Bad Guys”

How many companies with security problems use their own internal resources to investigate employee theft, industrial espionage, etc. ?  I think the answer would probably be; “the majority”. 

HR Departments have traditionally been the ”go to” people within corporations to conduct interviews.  Proprietory security personnel have also been used for these tasks. My question is; “what specialized training or experience have these folks received that equips them for such roles? 

Having conducted interviews totalling in the thousands around the world, I can share with you that it takes many years and probably thousands of hours of interviewing to develop not only a certain comfort level, but the ability to be able to pick up on things like eye movement, breathing, body shifting, hesitation, etc. 

What experienced investigators know is that simply talking to a person and taking notes is not enough.  The interview process begins way before that.  A good investigator will conduct research and prepare questions before the interview ever begins.  They know that there are a number of important factors to consider, such as planning on where the interviewee will sit.  Have you previously considered this?

Some other questions to consider are; “do I know the right questions to ask?”, ”what are the signs of stress?”, “how can I make a person tell me what I need to know?”, “how do I follow-up?”.  Unfortunately, you won’t find all the answers you need in a blog or a book.  It takes time, training and putting that training into practice. 

Corporations should not feel like they have to “do it all”.  In-house security personnel may be quite capable of taking care of many of the day-t0-day security tasks that arise, but they probably should not be asked to conduct investigations involving employee theft, sexual harrassment, workman’s comp, fraud cases etc., where extensive interviewing is needed. 

Credentialed and experienced professionals can not only save a company millions of dollars in lost revenue and or litigation/law suits, but protect their reputation from being tarnished and damaged.  The question then becomes; “what value do you put on your reputation?”. 

Do you know who your employees are?

Do you really?

The Financial Times in London ran an article which illustrates the risks posed by disgruntled IT professionals. According to a recent survey, 88% of redundant IT administrators claimed they would steal valuable and sensitive information from their company if they were ever fired.

A real-life example of this is the systems administrator with the Dept. of Technology who earlier this year created a password which locked officials out of the network because he feared he was losing his job.

While it is very difficult to know if an employee is thinking this way, proper background checking and screening would likely discover if they ever did anything like this to a previous employer.

When a termination is imminent, employers should close all of the employee’s accounts and recover devices such as Blackberries, laptops, elctronic key cards and I.D. When we are called in to assist with terminations, we always advise emloyers and supervisors of the need to do this.

Surprisingly, many employers are not in a rush to get back laptops and other devices as they fear “upsetting” the termianted employee. If this is the case, turn over the responsibility to a professional outsourced security consultant who can take care of these duties and the company does not have to worry about being right in the “middle” of the process.

Careful – you just might be hiring a "brutal rapist".

So, you want to hire a bodyguard? Who should you call – your brother-in-law, your high school buddy, a sexual predator? I can hear you gasp in shock eventhough the ink has barely had time to dry on the paper. Read down through this blog and you will see how some people make strange hiring decisions.

Ricky Hatton is a boxer from Britain. He has hired another boxer to be his bodyguard, or as they often say in the U.K., his “minder”. Ricky’s “minder”, John Paul King, was unable to accompany his employer to Las Vegas last weekend for Ricky’s WBC welterweight bout against Floyd Mayweather. The reason King could not attend was due to his having to stand trial for triple rape during the time when he was working for Hatton. King will not be attending any other fights any time soon after being handed down a life sentence.

Shame on Ricky Hatton and anyone else who hires a guy based on his size and/or brute strength. This is what separates the amateurs from the professionals. Hiring a thug is bound to lead to trouble – costly lawsuits and bad publicity are but a couple of examples. It is no wonder that Kevin Hallinan, the former Major League Baseball security director warns against hiring bodyguards, because many “hire their brother-in-law or a friend of a friend”.

While we understand Mr. Hallinan’s comment, he should have gone on to say that if you need to hire an executive protection agent, make sure you hire one with credentialed training and experience. If someone broke their leg, of course they shouldn’t go to a “friend of a friend” to reset it, (unless that person is a qualified doctor)but at the same time, they should not be warned against getting their leg set in place.

Indiana Pacers guard Jamaal Tinsley, recently decided that there are too many dangers out there facing professional athletes today. He now has a Personal Protection Specialist accompany him everywhere he travels. How does it make him feel? “It’s a blessing”, he was recently quoted as saying.