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Check 'Em Out on MySpace

Social networking sites spark unofficial background checks.

This story appears in the August 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

When Tim DeMello is hiring, he visits popular social sites like MySpace and Facebook to see what, if anything, applicants have posted there.

Searching for someone's online footprint from the comforts of his office is quick and easy, says DeMello, 47, founder and CEO of Ziggs, a 2-year-old, 15-employee Boston company that runs an online search directory and community for professionals. It's also cost-effective. Online searches can save entrepreneurs the money they would invest in a traditional third-party background check. And they help entrepreneurs sketch an applicant's character.

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