Do you know who your employees are?

It always surprises me when I hear that business owners have hired or are considering hiring an employee that they haven’t thoroughly researched.  Regardless of the size of your company, it’s important to know who you are bringing into the fold, to protect your rights and interests, minimize risk, and pick the best possible candidate for the position you are seeking to fill. 

When I hire employees I’m aiming for long-term relationships that benefit both the employee and my company.  The more time I put into finding the right person, the higher the likelihood is that I will meet that goal. 

A significant amount of our time each day is spent at work; there is no reason to keep a bad player on your team.  A toxic personality who doesn’t mesh with others can easily spread gloom throughout an office and lower morale. A cheerful team player will have the opposite effect, helping to make your place of employment feel like a second home, somewhere you are genuinely happy to go each day, and be productive while you’re there. 

Before moving into our building, my current officemates and I had several informal meetings where we expressed our expectations and hopes of having an office where all of us could be productive, while also maintaining a positive workspace that fosters goodwill. This is crucial to us (and everyone else, I imagine) as each one of us is involved in the legal community and we tend to be workaholics. It was, and still is, important to us all to have open lines of communication and address any tension before it becomes a problem. 

Finding the right support staff was and remains a high priority.  Law offices are generally fast paced and there are daily fires to put out.  There are times we are literally dealing with life and death situations.  The work can be stressful, but is also extremely rewarding.  Common sense is a must, as is integrity, quickly admitting to a mistake and finding a solution to fix an issue is hugely important, and a sense of humor is highly valued and essential. 

For some, experience may be high on the list of qualities you are searching for, and for others a willingness to learn and good attitude might be key.  As in any relationship, it’s important to prioritize what qualities your employees must have and know what your deal breakers are before you begin the search for a new employee. 

In the age of social media it’s not hard to do your due diligence and flesh out potential employees.  Take Facebook for example, if your future employee is posting he or she hates their current position, has daily photos of cocktails before noon, posts hourly selfies and updates, or is clearly a job-hopper you may want to pass on that person and check out your next candidate.  Those habits are not likely to change when they are working for you.  There’s nothing quite as frustrating as seeing an employee play on the Internet when you are trying to meet a deadline. 


Related Information

Know your employees with an investigation before you hireBy Kelly Madsen
Madsen Investigations specializes in the investigation of criminal cases of all kinds, as well as civil and domestic litigation. We provide a broad range of services, including witness interviews and locates, skip tracing, asset searches, public records and database searches, court searches, and searches of businesses and licensing databases.


We’ve all either experienced or heard stories of an employee who dipped into company money, quit without any notice, isn’t timely, takes sick days to go skiing or golfing, etc.  You are not necessarily going to stop that from happening, but knowing who your future employee is can arm you with information on whether that person will be a good fit for your company.  I’m the first one willing to give someone a chance, but I need to know upfront what I am dealing with so I can make an informed decision. 

It’s amazing what snippets of information people will post on social media.  As an investigator, I’ve been able to serve a subpoena when a man announced the address of a hot tub party he would be attending that night, find witnesses and birth parents, discredit false witness statements, etc.  If an individual announces he/she was just released from jail or prison, you’ll be armed with enough information to take a pass or dig a little deeper. 

If you aren’t Internet savvy, or don’t want to take the task on yourself, investigators are a great resource; they are skilled at research, can give you a new perspective and hit the ground running.  Background searches are high on the list of tasks we do regularly.  Investing time or money into a background search before hiring someone can save you multiple future problems and stress.    

As licensed investigators, we’re able to access information that the general pubic cannot.  Depending on the nature of your business, you may want a complete background search, including former addresses, court searches, businesses, debt, etc.    

Several years ago my office conducted a background search and discovered the man we were investigating had gone on a multi-state crime spree, and there weren’t many states he hadn’t been charged in.  His scam was to target lonely women with money, which he then quickly disposed of, and then he’d leave town, often before they knew what had happened.  He left a lot of misery and angry women in his wake.  He may have continued on that path if his past hadn’t caught up with him. 

In addition to online searches, pick up your phone and make calls to the references potential employees have listed.  Sometimes people are banking on employers being too lazy or busy to call. It’s amazing what people will tell you if you are friendly and ask nicely.  Find your inner investigator or ask an investigator to make the calls for you. 

I started my investigative business in 2000, after working as a subcontract paralegal and investigator for lawyers and other investigative firms. My intention had been to go to law school, but the investigative work I did while in college was fun and fulfilling, so I changed course and have never regretted it.  I get to meet interesting people, tell their stories and put pieces of puzzles together on a daily basis.  I’m lucky to have a job I love and never take it or the people I work with for granted.   

By Kelly Madsen

Twitter: @KellyMadsenPI

Madsen Investigations specializes in the investigation of criminal cases of all kinds, as well as civil and domestic litigation.  We provided a broad range of services, including witness interviews and locates, skip tracing, asset searches, public records and database searches, courts searches, pre-employment and rental backgrounds, and searches of businesses and licensing databases.