Read about a dearth of Background Investigators in a Clearance Jobs article. Let me explain the simple reasons why and how the problem will never be fixed and the final product will always be less than top quality.
The pay for a Contract Investigator (CI) or a Full Time (FT) Investigator is pathetic. For the type of clearance required, the training needed, the work load managed, the absurd due dates that produce quantity over quality; the pay is usually in the $24-$33 /hour range. It should be closer to $50/hour for the essential work a quality Background Investigation (BI) is and should be.
The CI hiring process is a disgrace. I was turned down by Paragon because my typing speed was not as fast as they would like and my grammar score was an 87 when they wanted a 90. Forget the fact that giving a high school type pre- hiring typing typing and grammar test is insulting, I have 17 years experience in both government and contract investigations spanning 13 credentials. Also, a seasoned CI should not have to go thru the full training course that is designed for a new CI. There should not have to be a ride along either. Just refresher training and then let the CI go to work closing cases.
There is such a lack of respect from the corporate side. Some recruiters, trainers, and especially case reviewers who have never been a CI have no idea what the job entails. They don’t understand the questioning required sometimes has to be more confrontational than friendly and conversational. If they don’t live in the DMV then they have no idea how to manage traffic, and phone interviews for those trained in proper phone interviewing techniques can be just as effective as an in person interview.
Finally, if you want talent, you have to pay for talent. More respect for the industry would not be a bad thing either.