Thieves and Spies Can’t Hide from Facebook or LinkedIn


Make-believe can be a charming children’s game, but a job applicant pretending to be someone else is bad news for your business.

Small businesses, who have a lot to lose, have had to become very sophisticated and Internet-savvy when hiring.  Verifying an applicant’s identity is a vital first step. Thieves masquerading as employees are a real danger for small businesses. So is industrial espionage, which can occur when individuals pose as employees to gather information about your organization.

These spies might be planted by competitors, or they may be individuals planning to launch rival enterprises using your operational methods. In all cases, you want to root them out before they cause damage.

In this, the Internet is an employer’s best friend. While applicants may be using falsified documents to establish their identity and suitability for the position, they can’t hide from Facebook or LinkedIn.  Most employers will check Internet sources as a matter of course; even a quick Internet search can help to verify the identity of job applicants.

You will also want to ensure that applicants are not falsifying or exaggerating their qualifications. Contacting references and former employers is still a must; however, employers are also tapping into online resources for corroboration.  LinkedIn profiles, in particular, enable employers to ensure that descriptions of previous jobs match what’s stated on applicants’ résumés.

Lastly, background searches of public records are being used more frequently; employers are paying for this “insurance,” because the cost is well worth the peace of mind it brings.

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