In the competitive and costly world of recruiting, companies are doing everything they can to find out who they are hiring. They will spend sometimes thousands of dollars invistigating potential hires. I’ve known employers to do criminal background checks, calling neighbors, previous employers and even current employers. Some even want to know the status of your banking accounts and student loans.

With the popularity of social media, many people have some sort of online persona. Sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, micro-blogs like twitter and Plurk, and all the other social media tools give users a place to share information about themselves. This information is, for the most part, available to anyone.

There are currently few companies who have looked into this area of background checking, but it is coming. As the wave of users of the social media sphere becomes larger, as they become older and begin to fill up the demographic charts, we will see more and more companies doing a little extra bit of homework.

If you are not using social media, I would make sure that you at least look for yourself and see what employers might find if they were to look for you. If this area is old hat to you, I would make sure your house is clean before sending out that resume.

There is, of course, bound to be a LOT of controversy ahead regarding this area of hiring, but it is going to happen.

So, you think you aren’t concerned? Not looking for a job? What, you have a great job? Congratulations. Did you know that in most states, you can be fired for having inappropriate content on your social media sites? Something to think about.