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Subcontracting a Private Investigator: The Pros and Cons

Tuesday, January 26, 2021 7:50 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

As your reputation grows and your demand for work increases, you may find yourself in the position of having to hire a private investigator to be a part of your team to fill in for existing work you may have, but may not be able to cover. In order to not let your clients down and turn down a potential client, private investigators oftentimes turn to other PIs to work for them as a subcontractor. However, having an extra set of hands on board has its pros and cons. Let’s explore the benefits and downsides to subcontracting a private investigator.


The Pros of Subcontracting a Private Investigator

Subcontracting a private investigator when you’re overloaded with work should not be the only reason why you should consider subcontracting, as there are many benefits that can help your private surveillance business to grow.

  • Expanding Your Business

One of the smartest moves you could make to expand your business brand as a private investigator is to offer services in different areas. Subcontracting a private investigator will allow you to offer services in different regions, states or provinces and even different countries.

  • No Payroll Hassle

Subcontracting gives you the opportunity to provide work for other investigators while growing your own business. While investigators jump the fence from being freelancers to having their own company, it’s important to keep costs down as you explore what works best for your business. Subcontracting gives you the freedom to count on the help from different PIs in different regions, without the need to have them on payroll, until you get the ball rolling and can hire your own full-time investigators.

  • Ability to Provide Specialty Services

As every investigator has their niche of expertise, subcontracting could open the door for you to be able to provide services of different specialties, that perhaps you did not offer yourself in the past as they were out of your area of specialization. This is especially helpful when you want to be able to provide a plethora of options for prospective clients.

The Cons of Subcontracting a Private Investigator

Although the pros of subcontracting a private investigator are significant, you must still be aware of the negative aspects that you could encounter while working with subcontracted private investigators.

  • Different Ethics and Values

One of the biggest assets a private investigator has in the eyes of a client is their ethical outlook. When a client speaks with a private investigation firm, what they want to know is that their ethics and values are aligned. When working with a subcontractor, your values may not match, which would cause you to clash professionally or disagree on the route to take during an investigation. As a contractor, you’ll have to either compromise and work with people of different values than those of your own, or choose to only work with private investigators who share your ideals, as this could definitely reflect on the result of an investigation.

  • Branding

When subcontracting an investigator, you’ll have to be open and honest about their role in the investigation or within your company. Otherwise, you may find that some private investigators put their own branding or watermark on surveillance and findings. If you present the results of an investigation to a client and they see someone else’s logo on the recordings, you will look unprofessional and it will be obvious that you worked with a subcontractor rather than with someone directly under your supervision, which would definitely upset a client or two.

  • Unreliability

There’s a wise saying that states that “if you want something done right, you should do it yourself.” This couldn’t be more true when subcontracting, as those PIs may not take responsibility as seriously as you, which would only make you look bad. Make sure that although anyone you subcontract will not be an employee, you still follow an interview or a hiring procedure with a formal contract, that will establish terms of work from the beginning of the labor relationship.

In Contrast

As you can see, the pros of subcontracting a private investigator outweigh the possible cons, which can easily be avoided by working carefully and keeping a close eye on those who you choose to work with. As with any job that you may create, it’s important to not give so much freedom and give specific instructions of your work standards, expectations and rules before choosing to work with anyone to protect yourself, your business’ reputation and the outcome of your client’s investigation.


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