Agency hoping to demystify snooping

PUBLISHED : Friday, 03 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 August, 2012, 10:54pm


Solving mysteries as a private detective catches many people's fancy, as they imagine shrewdly gathering information and surreptitiously taking photos.

But the profession can also seem shrouded in mystery. Few people seem to know how one trains for or gets into such work.

Now a local private detective firm is trying to clear away that mystery.

'In the past the business has seldom used recruitment ads,' said Philic Man Hin-nam, investigation director of Global Investigation and Security Consultancy. 'And even when they do, you get a phone number to call but not the name of the company that is hiring. It's just a tradition.'

Another tradition, she added, is simply hiring friends and relatives of people already in the business, a practice that hampers the development of the trade.

Now Man's agency is about to overthrow tradition. It is holding seminars tomorrow afternoon to explain the duties and career prospects of private detectives - followed a week later by a recruitment day.

'Our company is aiming to recruit fresh graduates from secondary schools, whether they are A-level or HKDSE graduates. On our recruitment day, next Saturday, we hope to fill 30 positions with full-time, probationary detectives,' said Man.

Starting salaries can be as high as HK$12,000 per month, the highest in the city, she said.

Young recruits will get on-the-job training in various areas, including investigative skills and strategies, Man said. Detectives working out their probation periods will be assigned to participate in operations as apprentices, an option never offered by detective agencies in the past, she added.

'We want [the profession] to have sustainable development, and that's why we're recruiting young blood,' Man said.

Since her agency was launched in 2009, parents have increasingly paid it to spy on their own children, worried that they may be involved with drugs or trading sexual favours for cash. Such investigations rose from 177 in 2010 to 298 last year, a 68 per cent increase.

'[It is] easier for a young detective, who's of similar age to the target, to successfully blend in and get close to the target to investigate cases,' said Man.

She hopes to standardise the skills of detectives, making their work more transparent to the public in the hope of drawing young recruits. '[Traditionally, agencies] didn't care how you do it; they just wanted you to get the job done,' said Man.

'It is a profession that is worth joining and working hard to make it your long-term career,' said Man.

The agency will give two seminars tomorrow afternoon in Wan Chai. Interested parties can call 22648303 for more details.


The number of positions Philic Man Hin-nam's Global Investigation and Security Consultancy is looking to fill