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4 Critical Things to Consider Before Hiring a Private Investigator

Private investigators are hired for many different reasons, including security purposes, surveillance works, to find missing witnesses and persons, background checking, accident reconstructions and even to catch cheating spouse. The investigator you hire plays a significant role for the success of the investigation.

For instance, if the investigation is done for a criminal case, a good private investigator can potentially turn the tables. So, what can you do to ensure that the PI you hired is going to be worth it? Here are the key considerations to keep in mind when looking for a private investigator.

License
Here in Singapore, it is mandatory for legal private investigators to get a license. To be able to secure one, investigators need to undergo training, have considerable experience and has to undergo thorough background check. Therefore, a licensed PI is likely to have better skills and more experience, and has better understanding of the ethical matters involved in the compliance of the duty.

Upon meeting, ask the investigator to provide his license number, and then have it verified in the licensing agency to check whether the investigator is a licensed PI in Singapore.

Credentials
While investigators offer a wide range of private investigator services, most of them specialize in specific investigative fields. Some PIs have undergone formal training. Some might have work experience that lead to certain investigative jobs, such as being once an arson investigator, a police officer or an insurance investigator. The more experience and training an investigator have undergone that is relevant to his work, the more likely the expert is going to perform private investigator services competently.

In addition, a trained private investigator in Singapore is less likely to commit mistakes that can hamper the progress of the case, such as violating client confidentiality or taking investigative works that causes conflict of interest. A well-experienced expert within a particular field is also able to utilize resources and knowledge that may not be known to less qualified PIs.

Interview
Before finally hiring a potential investigator, make sure to interview them. After all, you would not expect getting a job without an interview, and this is not an exemption. Here are a few of the most important questions to include in an interview.

• What is your background of this job?
Asking this question will give you a general idea of their expertise. Are they retired police officer? Have worked in FBI? Other than knowing their work history, it helps you find out that they are retired officers, not fired officers. Termination from being a law enforcer could be due to poor performance or as serious as unethical or illegal practices—the information you must know before employing private investigator services.

• Who will be assigned for my case?
In order for an investigative firm to provide excellent quality service, they assign a team of investigators, each with different skills, backgrounds and experience in order to handle a case the best way possible. For such reason, find out the capabilities of every individual in the team and determine their strengths that can help in the successful investigation of your case. However, do not get offended if your case is not handled by the head investigator. Different experts in the organizations have specific sets of skills and contact that can help for the accurate and fast resolution of your case. Trust the experts assigned to you; they are the ones assigned to handle your case for a good reason.

• How long have you been a private investigator?
Like any other profession, before becoming a pro in your field, we have to start somewhere. But having less experience does not mean they are bad. Understand that employing a newer investigator is not a bad thing. However, it is also important to keep in mind that for more delicate matters, like custody cases and professional surveillance, experience is key. Moreover, investigators with excellent success records and practice ethical behaviour are more likely to provide you with great results. Just know, though, that hiring a respectable, qualified and newly licensed PI in Singapore is not bad thing either.

Private Investigator Fees
The fee that your investigator will charge will depend on the nature of the work for which the expert is hired. Some investigative works can be conducted on a fixed rate, such as basic background check or search of digital records for a missing individual. For more thorough investigative works, you are likelt to be charged with a higher rate.

Some investigator services are essentially costly, such as surveillance of a particular individual. As a rule of thumb, the more time an investigator commits to an investigation, the more the service will cost.

Another factor that can affect the pricing of a service is the extent of the expert’s experience, the complexity of the operations and the timeframe you demand. But always keep in mind that whatever arrangement you negotiate regarding the payment, have it stated in the contract. Include in the written agreement when the payment should be given and additional services and tasks included in the fee.

Private investigators are hired by people to find out the truth regardless of what you feel, expect or think about something. If you hire a PI to catch cheating spouse, but turns out after the investigation that they were not, then that is the truth. What you expect as a result of your case is not always what you are going to get after a thorough investigation. A private investigator cannot guarantee to give you the results you want. They can only assure that they will do their job well and provide you nothing but the truth. The outcome of the case? That’s another story.