Background Checking with Internet Search Engines

Posted on March 29, 2007

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If you are like many employers today, you may supplement your usual background-checking by searching for additional information on applicants by using Google or other Internet search engines.  Keep the following tips from the Employment Law Bits blog in mind the next time you use an Internet search engine to do background checks:

  • There could be others with the same name, making it difficult to determine which information applies to your applicant.
  • The person’s name could also be a verb (or noun, adjective, etc.) which will yield too many results to weed through. Examples: Brown, or Pebble.
  • Anyone can post to a website using someone else’s name. A person who wants to post anonymously might make up a name that is the same as your applicant’s, whether intentionally or not.
  • The information is trivial, has no bearing on the individual as an employee, or is outdated. You may get a lot of hits that have nothing to do with the individual’s qualifications, such as his/her high school track record.

If a thorough background-check is desirable, it is advisable not to cut corners by trying to do it on your own.

Courtesy of Employment Law Bits blog: Employers:  Be Frugal When You Google!

N. DeWayne Pope, DeWayne Pope LLC

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