Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook & Employee Background Checks

employee background checksHave you ever composed an email or blog post and clicked send or submit and then realized you should have added something? Yeah, been there done that.  And it has just happened to me two days ago. I spent an hour last Friday composing a blog post on Social Media Background Checks and explaining how determining authenticity on the internet is extremely difficult.  How common names can belong to many different people.

Hit publish.

Then I saw a news report on Mark Zuckerberg and knew I had missed a big story on name confusion.

Guess what?  Not so common names can also be shared by many different people and cause problems with employee background checks.

Just ask the real Mark Zuckerberg who was defriended by Facebook last Wednesday.  Yeah, that’s right, shut down and disconnected from all of his friends.

Well, I am not talking about Mark E. Zukerberg, 27, CEO & Co-Founder of Facebook but Mark S. Zuckerberg, 48, bankruptcy attorney from Indianapolis.

It seems the elder Mark Zuckerberg went through a lengthy process in 2009 which included providing a copy of his driver’s license, birth certificate and his Indiana Bar Association license after he was initially denied a Facebook account.

So what does this have to do with employee background checks?  Actually, this is a great lesson and example of the challenges of matching criminal records and personal identifiers.

First, social media giant Facebook cannot even distinguish between their CEO and an attorney from Indianapolis even with a copy of his driver’s license, birth certificate and Indiana Bar Association license.

So how are you going to determine the identity of your applicant’s while navigating social media sites?  Very difficult.  And most of your applicants will have more common names than Zuckerberg.

Secondly, there is a much larger lesson that applies to employee background checks.  The courts are redacting personal identifiers from public view which means it is becoming more challenging to verify criminal records.

On a daily basis, we send researchers back into courts across the U.S. to find a driver’s license number, address, SSN or partial SSN or any piece of information we can use to link the applicant to the record.

The bottom line is you must have a trusted background screening partner who can navigate the criminal record systems and ensure your adverse hiring decisions are based on solid data.

Are you confident that your current partner is providing this level of authentication?  If not, contact us today for a FREE evaluation of your background screening program.

Your Turn:

Have you ever received a criminal background check report with a record that belongs to someone else?