After having extensively written on whistleblowing;
Many asked how to select a reliable, trustworthy provider. It’s not easy answering to such question as there are many serious businesses out there; you just need to find the one that satisfies your needs.
One-fits-all solutions cannot be taken into account. That being said, there are some aspects you should consider while shortlisting suitable services;
- Real (trained) operators. A simple call centre or an answer machine will not probably fit the purpose; whistleblowers want to be listened, besides, a trained operator is able to retrieve relevant information (very useful in case of anonymous whistleblowing),
- Multilingual support. Necessary if you operate internationally and/or rely on foreign workforce. Please make sure operators are fluent/native speakers; you don’t want information to be ‘lost in translation’ ,
- Number of available channels. Hotlines are important but for many writing is more comfortable than talking, consider this.
- Confidentiality. I always negotiate for my clients audit rights so they can actually see how information are handled by the provider. It’s always a good idea having the provider informing you about the technical measures offered to make a fruitful comparison with other competitors. In Europe, also in light of the GDPR, it would be preferable using services in line with the privacy by design principle. If your hotline operates remotely, always check the local applicable laws to make sure such data transfer operates lawfully.
- Time zone coverage. Do not forget details. The best known services operate 24/7, this would allow anyone within the organization (and beyond) to reach the hotline effortlessly.
As you may have noticed there are many details to consider while outsourcing this service, however, please allow me two final considerations;
Always check the local laws
As you have to operate lawfully.
Consider the budget but not just the budget
You want a trustworthy company to handle your sensitive information.