How to find somebody’s place of employment

After running a background check on a potential employee, something doesn’t add up. Or maybe you are about to sign a contract with a freelancer, and you want to find out more about them.

Finding where somebody works should be fairly easy unless they are purposely hiding it. And even then, it is easy to find out where someone does not work or has never worked. Regardless of the reasons, here are some easy tools to help you out with your search to find somebody’s place of employment.

Google search by name

Searching someone by name is the first and easiest step to find out where someone works. Most companies will have a staff directory. If this is not the case, aggregator sites may have collected company information that includes staff members. If you have information about where someone says they work, and you want to verify it, use a combination of search terms that include the person and the company’s name.

Social media

Your second-best option is social media. The first and most obvious choice is LinkedIn. Most people who are proud of a past or present job will display it there. If you find the company, but no information about the person or vice-versa, something may be wrong.

Other social media sites are also important. Try a search by name on each social media site, and see what comes up. Even when the place of employment or company is not displayed in someone’s personal profile, every interaction, post or tweet that may relate the person to the company is likely to appear.

Paid online search

The next step is to use services that use algorithms to crawl the web. This option requires you to pay a fee, but it is not significant. If nothing appears with this search, it should be considered an important red flag. Someone with no employment records is possibly not legally cleared to work or has something meaningful to hide.

A background check

If the above alternatives were not successful, an employee background check will likely show all the places in which someone has been legally employed. While this is a very useful tool, you must be aware of the fact that you need to get a person’s consent for the most extensive background checks. Because employment is not something that is on the public domain, privacy laws apply.

Calling the company

If you believe a potential employee has lied on their application, a very simple way to verify is to call the company and ask. Some companies will not disclose any information on past or present employees, but if someone has never been employed there, they may be able to confirm.

A private investigator

Depending on the reasons why you need to find a person’s place of employment, you may choose to use the services of a private investigator. For example, in cases of missed child support payments. It is important to understand that this should always be the last resort and that there are several legal implications to it. Professional private investigators are vetted by the government, so the first step is to find one that is licensed. This list provides information on licensed private investigators in most US states. One of the main problems of using a private investigator who is not licensed is the fact that you may not use the information that they found. And because they are usually not cheap, it is better to find the ones that are safe to hire.

Ethical considerations

If an initial Google search or social media search offers no data, and you don’t have a substantial reason to research any further, stop. You don’t know why someone wants to keep this information private, and you don’t know if your search will hurt them. While there may be legal matters associated, the person’s wishes should be enough to discourage you to continue.