This Episode: The CEO Investigator with Jim Moore

Lucinda is joined by HR expert Jim Moore from Hamilton Nash, who discusses the challenging task of conducting investigations into tricky people problems.

 Jim shares his experiences and provides valuable insights and tips for HR professionals and managers who may find themselves in the position of investigating sensitive allegations or grievances. From dealing with high-profile cases to navigating the balance of probability, Jim emphasises the importance of creating a safe and inclusive culture, training investigators, and seeking external support when necessary.

Key Takeaways

  • Investigating tricky people problems requires a skilled and impartial approach. It is important to have a neutral investigator, especially when dealing with sensitive allegations or high-profile individuals.
  • The majority of investigations rely heavily on narrative-based interviewing techniques, as most allegations are based on personal accounts and anecdotes. Building rapport with individuals and encouraging open communication is crucial in gathering information and identifying inconsistencies.
  • Balancing factual evidence and narrative-based information is essential in reaching a conclusion. While factual evidence may only make up a small portion of the investigation, it can provide important insights and support the overall findings.
  • The standard of proof in workplace investigations is the balance of probability, rather than the criminal standard of innocent until proven guilty. As long as there are reasonable grounds and a reasonable investigation has been conducted, disciplinary actions can be taken based on the balance of probability.
  • Creating a positive and inclusive culture is key to preventing workplace issues and grievances. HR departments should focus on managing the culture at all levels, ensuring that unacceptable behaviors are not tolerated and that employees feel safe to speak up without fear of recrimination. Training investigators and providing support for neutrality can also enhance the effectiveness of investigations.

Best Moments from

This Episode: The CEO Investigator with Jim Moore

“There’s no formula, there’s no algorithm. And so you really can get into diagnosing what went on, figuring out what the narrative is, how did we get to where we are, and hopefully trying to find a route to resolution.”

“Most of the things that I get involved in typically involve very sensitive allegations and or very senior people… They need to have the perception of impartiality and independence.”

“As long as you tick all of those reasonable boxes, then yes, your actions would probably be supported.”

“One of the big problems with grievances and formal complaints is that there’s a winner and a loser… The working relationship remains damaged. Someone always comes away unhappy.”

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About The Guest, Jim Moore

Jim has worked with both large corporate and SME clients, specialising as a workplace investigator handling grievances and disciplinary issues that involve C-level Executives or senior leaders. Jim is regularly quoted in the media.

His background also includes over two decades of people management and leadership experience in a major multinational corporation, where he was responsible for an organisation spanning across EMEA and APAC.

Jim is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), a qualified mediator with the Civil Mediation Council (CMC), and also a Fellow of the British Computer Society (BCS).

Why Jim Moore gets called in – the reasons why HR Directors want someone independent to investigate: conflicts of interests; impartiality; not wanting HR departments investigating their own boss.

Practicalities – how the investigation works, how Jim interviews senior leaders, tricks he uses to get to the truth 

Outcomes – what are the resolution options, the difference between a decision and mediation, how many cases avoid legal process, and how to make sure the outcome is legally robust.

Hamilton Nash is an HR consultancy specialising in employee relations that loves helping businesses solve their ‘people problems’.

For more information visit

About The Host

Lucinda Carney is a Business Psychologist with 15 years in Senior Corporate L&D roles. Lucinda also has a further 10 as CEO of Actus Software where she worked closely with HR colleagues helping them to solve the same challenges across a huge range of industries. Certainly, it was this breadth of experience that inspired Lucinda to set up the HR Uprising community to facilitate greater collaboration across HR professionals in different sectors, helping them to ‘rise up’ together.

“If you look up, you rise up”

How To Be A Change Superhero – by Lucinda Carney

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