Being an equal employment opportunity (EEO) investigator can be quite a rewarding career. It offers purpose. It gives you a sense of actually creating a space where people can tell their story. I got involved in investigations almost thirty years ago. One of the things that I learned immediately was that people want to be heard. As an EEO investigator you can make a difference for an employee just by listening to their story and telling their story to someone that can help.
What Does An EEO Investigator Do?
The EEO Investigator’s job is to help individuals tell their story when they believe they’ve been treated unfairly in an organization. Each employee has the right to have a place they can go to file a complaint and tell their story to someone who will hear it and actually gather the information accurately. This is what an EEO investigator does. In this role, you will gather information from the complainant but also from others that have a role in the situation. Your job is to paint a picture of all of the factual activities that took place around this employee’s complaint. Doing this job well is the way to add value to any organization.
What Are The Characteristics Of A Good EEO Investigator?
There are two top characteristics that I believe make a really good investigator. First, is objectivity. As an investigator, your job is to gather information, but not hearsay. Everything you gather must be factual and unbiased. Having an approach of objectivity is the only way that you can help your organization make an assessment of the situation that is both fair to the employee and fair to the organization.
The second characteristic is having great interpersonal skills. Part of your job is speaking with the employee, understanding their claim, and gathering all of the pertinent information about their claim. It takes a skilled investigator to gather this information while also creating a safe space where an employee is comfortable to share their story with you.
What Training Does An Investigator Need?
Investigators need to invest in personal development just like any other role. If you have the top characteristics that I mentioned above, you are on the right path to become a good investigator. However, there is usually room for more. Until you have a few years of experience under your belt, you may need training on asking the right questions, conducting a proper investigation, and reporting your results. These are just a few of the items you can improve upon through training. Keep in mind that as an investigator, you are in charge of each investigation and it’s important that you know how to effectively get the facts and the truth as you lead the investigation from the beginning to the end.
In my nearly three decades of working in this space, I know how important it is to be effective and efficient around handling investigations. Your overall goal is to determine whether or not illegal discrimination occurred or whether there was a violation of policy. In order to determine this, you must be skilled at being able to gather the information objectively so that the appropriate recommendation can be made. If you are able to accomplish this, you are on the right path to having a rewarding career as an EEO investigator. My team at Amediate offers EEO Investigator training throughout the year. If you are looking to sharpen your skills as an investigator, I encourage you to check out our course and see if it’s the right fit for you.