Strongsville, Ohio Ramps Up Background Checks for Solicitors

By Michael Klazema on 6/2/2016

Strongsville, Ohio—a suburb of Cleveland—has been cracking down on door-to-door solicitors for years. According to, the city has had an ordinance in place since the 1990s that requires solicitors to register with the city and go through background checks. Those requirements are already more rigorous than those solicitors face elsewhere in the country, but according to the same report, the requirements are only going to get more rigorous. Going forward, all solicitors will face more in-depth background checks, and some will even have to pay a small fee to work in the city.

Door-to-door salespeople are frequently looked upon with skepticism, annoyance, or even fear—no matter the location or situation. Countless businesses and homes nationwide bedeck their doors with "No Soliciting" signs. In Strongsville, it sounds like the bulk of the trouble with door-to-door solicitors has occurred in residential areas rather than in relation to commercial businesses. The city reportedly first imposed regulations on solicitors in the 1990s after local homeowners complained about having salespeople show up at their doors late into the evening.

Per the report, that 1990s ordinance hasn't exactly deterred solicitors in the Strongsville area. On the contrary, after a hailstorm left many homes in the area with damage a few years ago, solicitors went door-to-door in Strongsville's residential areas, setting up repair plans with residents. Most of those repairs were never completed. Resident complaints also indicate that, despite Strongsville's regulations, solicitors are becoming more aggressive lately. Typically, companies that perform cold calls teach their salespeople to "never take no for an answer." As a result, a solicitor just trying to do his or her job can come across as vaguely threatening—particularly to homeowners who have “No Soliciting" signs or poor prior experiences with salespeople.

New regulations are meant to keep solicitors from harassing homeowners who are clearly not interested in what they are selling. For years, Strongsville has required solicitors to register with the city and provide an array of personal and professional information. Among the pieces of information that solicitors have to provide on their city applications are Social Security numbers, vehicle license plates, information about the companies they work for, and details about what they will be soliciting and where.

Previously, the city only ran local background checks on these solicitors. Going forward, Strongsville will expand the process to include checks through the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and the FBI. Applicants will have to provide fingerprints.

Some solicitors will need to pay a small fee of $25 if they wish to operate legally in Strongsville. This requirement will not apply to all salespeople. Rather, the $25 fee is exclusive to door-to-door solicitors who are asking for donations to promoting a specific cause. Salespeople promoting a product or service will not have to pay the fee.

Ultimately, this type of program is a smart one that other cities and towns might consider implementing. As mentioned above, door-to-door solicitors often mean no harm and are just trying to do their jobs. However, these types of salespeople also often employ tactics that can make their prospective customers feel annoyed, harassed, or downright threatened. The updated ordinances in Strongsville should help to create an atmosphere in which solicitors know to be more respectful of people who are not interested in their products, services, or causes.


Tag Cloud
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • June 20 Repeat background checks are becoming more common, with companies in India leading the charge. What does this trend look like, and how can employers embrace it now to stay ahead of the curve?
  • June 19

    Every federal job involves a background check of some kind. These background checks and how they are evaluated vary based on job, department, and security clearance level.

  • June 18

  • June 14 Ban the box laws aim to improve opportunities for employment. Could they have the opposite effect instead?
  • June 13 Jacobs Petroleum Products is a regional petroleum company that operates throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and Maryland. Apart from their employees carrying much responsibility and have frequent contact with customers, the company’s hiring also tends to be segmented since individual store managers are responsible for hiring talent for their own stores. In this employment landscape, Jacobs Petroleum Products needed a reliable and effective way to screen its new hires for criminal infractions and other red flags.
  • June 12

    The University of Wisconsin System may tweak its hiring and reference check processes. The potential changes come after one of UW’s assistant deans was accused of sexual harassment.

  • June 07 Stories of abuse by coaches in youth sports leagues continue to crop up around the country, but rules and guidelines remain patchy and enforcement is often lacking. The struggle to implement an effective system continues nationwide.
  • June 07 Financial background checks, usually referred to as credit history checks, can be an effective way to find out if a candidate is fit to handle accounts, financial data, and other assets at your business.
  • June 06 The Society for Human Resource Management and the Charles Koch Institute recently commissioned a survey to find out how willing employers were to hire people with criminal records. The study indicates that managers, HR professionals, and employees themselves are becoming more comfortable with the idea of hiring and working with ex-offenders.
  • June 04 Are fingerprint background checks the gold standard for employee screening, or are they overhyped? We look at some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding these checks.