Client’s Challenge: A Key Position Opens Up in a Remote Mining Location

The call was from the HR leader of a U.S.-based, NASDAQ-traded international energy and mining company with operations in Mongolia and Turkey, as well as Guyana and West Africa. “Would Hillard Heintze conduct,” she asked, “strategic background investigations on two individuals working in our Guyana-based extraction operations?” One was a British citizen. The other was Malaysian. Both subjects had lived for extensive periods in foreign jurisdictions.

Our Solution: Pressing the Background Investigation Beyond the Normal Scope Uncovers Vital Information

The preliminary investigation did not identify any criminal records naming either individual in U.S. jurisdictions or in their native countries.

We identified two civil matters naming the first individual – a divorce in California and a recent personal injury suit in the U.K., apparently stemming from the individual’s time in Mongolia. We obtained a copy of the file and reviewed the suit. Key to the investigation was the fact that we didn’t rely on computer courthouse records which erroneously identified the lawsuit as a “personal injury” case. Instead, by requesting and reading the file, we quickly recognized that the court had mistakenly categorized the matter and that it was, in fact, a sexual harassment case.

During the second phase of the investigation, we conducted source inquiries regarding both individuals in Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Turkey and on one of the individuals in Malaysia. We also conducted local-language media searches for references to our subjects in Mongolia.

Impact on the Client: A Candidate With Strong Credentials – and a Few Secrets – is Taken Off the List

The results of this investigation helped the client better understand the personal and professional qualities of key individuals the company was considering for two critical and sensitive positions – and helped it avoid certain financial and operational risks at the site, country and regional levels.

Unplugged: The Project Manager's Post-Engagement Perspective

“This wasn’t a particularly complex investigation. But it spanned quite a few countries where these individuals had lived, worked and travelled over the past twenty years.

We followed the leads wherever they took us. Naturally, we initiated proforma inquiries in the various countries of citizenship, employment and residence.

But it would have been impossible to wend our way through the web of international leads that surfaced without tapping the significant depth and breadth of our international sources, relationships and intelligence networks.”

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