Human Resources as a Detective
Being an Huma Resources professional requires you to be something of a detective. A large part of your responsibilities is investigating job candidates and determining whether or not they’re telling the truth about themselves, after all. However, there are situations where your role as a detective will be more literal and less figurative. There may come a time where you’re tasked with leading an investigation into some kind of misconduct in your workplace. HR professionals can spend as much as 60 percent of their time resolving disputes in the workplace, and resolving these disputes frequently involves conducting an investigation.
Whether you have to investigate suspected instances of corporate fraud, sexual misconduct or drug use by an employee, a big part of your responsibility as the HR representative is knowing how to respond to the allegations and conduct a proper investigation. In most cases, handling these investigations improperly can lead to serious damage within the organization and possibly open the company to further liability.
Have a Plan and Be Transparent
Conducting a workplace investigation is a highly sensitive process with a lot at stake, so it’s important for HR professionals to have a solid plan in place when they begin one. Although you may have the basic structure in place — beginning with interviews, evaluating the evidence and then taking decisive action based on the evidence — you may not take the critical step of remaining open and transparent to all parties during the investigation, which can lead to an aggrieved party seeking outside counsel and bringing an attorney into the proceedings.
Given the importance and sensitive nature of conducting a workplace investigation, HR professionals need to be aware of how to conduct one properly that will resolve the issue and leave no room for further disputes. Refer to the following guide and make sure the next time you need to be more of a detective in your workplace environment that you do your job well.
Guest blogger Bob Arden has been a licensed private detective in Illinois for over 30 years withArkus, Inc. He has provided investigative services to Fortune 500 companies, attorneys, insurance companies as well as private individuals. His experience and knowledge leads to successful results for his clients.