5 Questions to help you determine whether to hire an External Workplace Investigator

Depending on the size of your business, it can seem much more cost effective to use internal managers to investigate grievance, capability or conduct allegations. However, when the case is not straightforward, or there are no managers available with the capacity to dedicate the time to properly investigate the situation, an external investigator is often the best option.

Key questions to consider when deciding whether or not to hire an external investigator:

1. Do you provide training to managers enabling them to undertake grievance/ disciplinary investigations?

2. Do any of your trained managers have the capacity to undertake the investigation at the moment?

3. Are the allegations numerous and/or against more than one person?

4. Is there a lot of documentation accompanying the allegations?

5. Do the allegations indicate that a number of people will need to be interviewed?

If your answers to questions 1and 2 are no, and to questions 3-5 are yes, then the benefits of hiring an external investigator can definitely outweigh the cost. 

These will include:

Allowing internal managers to focus on business critical tasks; 

Providing credibility and reassurance that the investigation will be conducted in a thorough, impartial and timely manner, and

not influenced by internal culture, relationships, politics or bias;

If there is a lot of background to the situation then a fresh pair of eyes can often provide perspectives and recommendations

not previously considered;

The investigator will be a dedicated resource with more time available to consider large amounts of information, and document all

stages of the process to minimise risk, and better equip you to respond to appeals or Employment Tribunal claims.