Jelle Oorebeek, ZyLAB: 15+ Key Skills Corporate Investigators Need To Be Successful Today [A Checklist]

Extract from Jelle Oorebeek’s article “15+ Key Skills Corporate Investigators Need To Be Successful Today [A Checklist]”

Corporations must always be ready to investigate people and situations that may lead to reputational damage or financial harm. Employees, from the rank-and-file to the C-suite, seem to constantly find new ways to cause problems, including interpersonal issues such as harassment, theft of intellectual property, and mismanagement of finances.

Then there are the ever-present possibilities of illegal conduct or regulatory noncompliance, from discriminatory hiring practices to environmental violations. And investigations aren’t always reactive; companies must also be prepared to proactively investigate new high-level hires and complete thorough due diligence in the event of a merger or acquisition.

Investigations may be on the rise again this year. According to the NAVEX 2022 Hotline & Incident Management Benchmark Report, the overall volume of internal reports held steady in 2021, at 1.3 reports per 100 employees. However, there was a steady upward trend from April 2021 through the end of the year, indicating that we may be in for an uptick as employees return to the office after working remotely for the previous year. In particular, reports about financial concerns, including accounting and audits, rose substantially, from 3% in 2020 to 5% in 2021.

Many businesses are hiring new investigators to keep up with the workload. But what are the core skills and traits of a successful corporate investigator? That’s the question we’ll consider in this blog, both in general and for specific types of internal investigations. First, though, let’s take a step back to review the basics of internal investigations.

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