Unlike hiring plumbers, mechanics, or electricians, hiring a private detective is not something most folks regularly, if ever, do. People looking for investigative assistance with important, private, or sensitive matters may not know where to look or what to look for. But given the trust (and the money) that you will place in your private detective’s hands, it is critical that you make the right choice and hire an honest, reliable investigator.
Hiring a private detective the right way does not need to be complicated or intimidating, no matter how unfamiliar you may be with the world of private investigations. Here are eight tips that can help you choose among the many Colorado private detectives who offer their services to people just like you.
1. Know Why You Want One When Hiring a Private Detective
PI’s provide a variety of services for their clients, including skip tracing, background checks, electronic and video surveillance, and litigation consulting, just to name a few. But not all private investigators do everything or have the resources or equipment to perform certain services. Similarly, a task that may be a particular specialty of one detective may only be a once-in-a-while job for another.
Even though you may not know precisely what you want the investigator to do or how they will do it, having a general sense of your goals will help you narrow your search to those candidates best suited to achieving them.
2. Ask For Referrals
Even though, as noted, most people don’t have a PI on speed dial, they may know people who hired a private detective in the past. Put the word out to friends and colleagues that you are in the market for a private investigator and see if they provide you with any names.
3. Do Some Homework
If and when you do have the names of private investigators you are considering, engage in some preliminary internet research. Look at their website, but more importantly, check out what others have to say about their experiences with the person on third-party review sites like Yelp!
4. Make Sure They’re Licensed
In Colorado, private investigators must have a license from the state to do business. To obtain a license, private investigators must meet specific education and experience requirements, including passing a rigorous test called the Colorado Jurisprudence Exam.
You can check whether an investigator has a valid and current Colorado license by looking here first to ensure that they have a license. If they don’t have a license, look elsewhere.
5. Ask About Their Background – And For References
When you speak or meet with an investigator, don’t hesitate to ask them about their qualifications. Specifically, inquire about their experience handling engagements like yours. Ask for examples of the results they’ve obtained for their clients and have them describe how their background makes them suited for your job.
Also ask them for references you can speak with who can vouch for their skills, character, and professionalism as well as tell you about their experience working with the detective.
6. Find Out How They Bill For Their Services
Nobody likes writing a blank check or experiencing sticker shock when they get a bill for services. Ask upfront how much your engagement will cost, how the investigator bills for their services, whether and how they will charge you for expenses, and how often they will send you an invoice. Many private detectives bill by the hour, though some may charge per service.
7. Be Ready to Discuss Your Case
At your initial meeting, be prepared to discuss the particulars of your case. Bring any documents, photos, or other information that may be relevant or helpful. The investigator will likely have several questions for you, so provide as much information as you can so they can have a full understanding of the task at hand.
8. Think About How You Feel, Not Just What You Know
Once you are satisfied with a private detective’s experience, qualifications, and way of doing business, you need to give some thought to how you feel about the person, not just what you know. Do you feel comfortable around them? Do they inspire confidence? Do they seem attentive and interested in your problem and what you have to say? Do you feel you can trust them? If you have doubts about a candidate after meeting with them, you may want to continue your search.
Considering Hiring a Private Detective? Consider the Trusted and Experienced Professionals at BrightStar Investigations
When Coloradans need a private detective, they look to BrightStar Investigations to provide trustworthy, effective, and attentive investigatory services. No matter what your situation or objectives, we encourage you to call us to learn more about how we can serve you.
Contact us today.