If you’re collecting a debt or you need to verify employment, it’s helpful to know where a person works. The internet is a good resource for finding answers, but it’s easy to get a lot of false positives.
You have to learn to get specific with your searches and where to look for relevant information. From social media to public search records and background checks, you’re sure to find out whether someone is currently employed, where, and for how long.
3 Tips to Find Where Someone Works
1. Check Social Media First
Many people are very open about their employment, often for pride or just as a way of sharing more about themselves, and will post this information on social media. You can check the major networks first, like Facebook and LinkedIn. Twitter, Instagram, and others may still contain this information, but you’re more likely to find it by checking the bigger two first.
Facebook and LinkedIn have open slots for this information, so a user typically enters this data when he fills out his profile. By contrast, Twitter and Instagram don’t ask for specific information.
You need to log into your accounts (Facebook and LinkedIn) to see much of the relevant data. It’s important to remember that both networks will log the search you did and may recommend your profile to that person in the future. This can tip off savvy users that someone is trying to learn more about them, so make sure your subject is informed that you’re conducting a background check.
You can also use Google search operators to help narrow your search, with some of the more popular operators listed below:
- “Quotes” around the search term specify phrase matches
- [Brackets] specify exact matches
These operators can be used with names and locations to help narrow your search results. Image searches are also useful if you know what someone looks like.
2. Public Record Searches and Background Checks
The best and most comprehensive option is to order a background check of publicly available records related to the subject. This will also help verify previous places of employment, which can be useful for a variety of reasons. For debt collection purposes, background checks would also supply someone’s last known address in addition to a credit and bankruptcy check.
However, some forms of background checks require a person’s Social Security Number (SSN) to verify identity and release the proper records. Essentially, background checks come in two flavors: those with and those without an SSN. The difference is in the quality of the information received. Duplicate names, similar addresses, and other qualities are easy to mistake for a false positive. Matching by social security number is not a simple matter to fake.
3. Hiring a Private Investigator
A private investigator will use some of the methods described here but may have access to additional databases. They will also visit public offices to sift through records directly. Hiring one is an extreme measure, typically only undertaken by debt collectors, but they can produce results.