So, you need to verify where someone works. This can be an unfortunate situation, since it’s typically only necessary to find out where someone works once they’ve skipped out on some financial obligation.
Fortunately, there are ways to find out where people work, either on your own, or with some help. As a general rule, the method you use to find employment information depends on what you need the information for.
Place of employment searches are often part of:
- Child support payment collection.
- Fraud investigation.
- Identity theft investigation.
- Collection on court-awarded judgments.
- Routine background checks.
If you need employment information for serious, official use like wage garnishment or fraud investigation, the information needs to be verified.
For more casual processes, you can use data that’s not entirely guaranteed.
In any case, finding a person’s place of employment for free is difficult. It’s impossible, in some cases. However, if you have the right information and the right data sources, it can be done relatively inexpensively.
If you’re up to try it, here’s how to find out where someone works yourself.
How to Find Where Someone is Employed on Your Own
There are two ways to find out where someone works on your own:
- Basic internet searching, with a focus on social media.
- Searching government employer databases.
The first method is the easiest to use, and the most likely to give you information for free. But, this information usually isn’t reliable enough to begin wage garnishment or collections. The information can easily be out of date or falsified.
If you do a basic internet and social media search, start with LinkedIn. It’s the most likely place to find employment information, since users benefit from posting their work information there. Facebook is the next place to look. The social media profiles there tend to be the most complete.
Google, Instagram, and Snapchat are the least likely to yield results.
No matter which method you use, the first step in finding out where someone works is gathering basic information. The more personal information you have, the better. Name, address, and phone number are all super helpful.
However, the most useful piece of information—and the most difficult to get—is the person’s social security number. If you have this, locating and verifying your subject’s place of employment becomes much easier. It’s also mandatory for searching government employment databases.
Employers are required to report new hires to local governments. This data is aggregated. So there’s a searchable database of employers and who works for them.
However, it’s very difficult to search this database without a social security number. Obviously, there are going to be a lot of duplicate names, and you must verify that you’ve found the right person before wages can be garnished or collections can be made.
If your subject is an ex-spouse or a family member, you may have access to their social security number. In which case, you’ll be able to find them in an employment database.
Pro tip: before you use a social security number to find someone, verify the social security number.
The next challenge is getting access to employment databases. The best way to do it is through local government resources. Some city and state governments have online search tools. In other areas you may need to go in-person.
In both cases, the search won’t be free. But the cost is usually minimal, if you have all the necessary information. Additionally, you’ll need to prove that you’re party to an investigation or collections process and that the person you’re searching for is the debtor. This is to prevent people from abusing place of employment searches.
If you have the subject’s social security number, and the search gets a match, you can use that data to start garnishing wages or begin collections. Be sure to get physical verification that you’ve located the person’s place of employment. Usually this is a letter from the searching agency.
If you don’t have the social security number, you’ll most likely need to get it before the process can proceed.
Additionally, employers usually report new hires to the county or state government. Whether or not the information gets passed on to the federal government depends on the business (yes, all businesses report to the IRS. But you won’t be able to search the IRS database). Most of the time, only businesses that operate nationally report hires to the federal government.
So, there’s a good chance that you won’t find out where a person works unless you go to the local government where their employer is located.
Then, as if it weren’t hard enough to get information, some local governments only let other government agencies—like child protective services—conduct employment searches. So, you may not be able to search their databases at all.
If this sounds like a pain, that’s because it is.
The good news is that there’s a better, easier way.
How to Locate Someone’s Place of Employment
This method isn’t free. However, it’s still less expensive than searching government employment databases, when you add up all the time and resources it takes to do that, in addition to the government search fee.
The simpler method is to use an online data provider. These data providers proactively gather data from:
- Consumer lending applications
- Financial headers
- Contributory record account headers
- Credit reporting agencies
- Proprietary sources.
Then, they aggregate all this information, so that you can sift through it with a single place of employment search. You’ll still need some basic information about the person. The more information you have, the better. And having their social security is still a huge help.
A decent data provider will refund a portion of the cost if they find nothing. However, most often, they will return a match, if you’ve supplied adequate information for the search. The results may be all you need to get your money.
This will tell you where a person works, and the data is dependable. But, you may need better verification. For example, the state might not proceed with wage garnishments without stronger proof.
In these cases, a private investigator may be your only option. If you need a guarantee that you’ve found the right person and verified where they work, or if the person is particularly hard to find, a private investigator can usually track them down.
How to Verify Someone’s Place of Employment
The good news is that hiring a private investigator is easy. Online data providers often offer private investigator services for place of employment verification.
A private investigator often gets better results from a limited amount of personal information than an online search. However, it’s still best if you have a fairly complete set of personal information to hand over. A name, address, phone number, and social security number provide an excellent starting point for verifying someone’s place of employment.
These searches take a handful of weeks to complete. But, they’ll usually come back with absolute employment information that you can use for anything. Again, a quality data provider will refund part of the fee if they come up empty handed.
So, when you need usable employment information about someone, an online search or hiring a private investigator will be much easier than trying to do it yourself. A majority of the time, these services will also be less expensive than conducting your own search. Data providers know how to find information, and can do it faster and more efficiently than you.
Have you ever tried to find out where someone works on your own? If you have, what’s the best way that you know for getting employment data?
If you’d rather not go looking by yourself, check out the Searchbug place of employment search services.