Formed from a cluster of counties around the Ohio River in three states, Greater Cincinnati's population of 2.1 million makes it the most extensive metro region in Ohio and a significant presence in both Kentucky and Indiana. Nearby metro areas, including Columbus and Indianapolis, link Cincinnati into the broader Great Lakes region. In total, the Tri-State Area comprises 15 counties. These include the counties of Brown, Butler, Clermont, Hamilton, and Warren in Ohio; Dearborn, Franklin, and Ohio in Indiana; and Boone, Bracken, Campbell, Gallatin, Grant, and Kenton in Kentucky. 

Experiencing strong economic growth year over year, Cincinnati has long been home to many big businesses; the region boasts nine Fortune 500 companies. Businesses with headquarters in Greater Cincinnati include Macy’s, Kroger, and Procter & Gamble. Other companies, including Ford, have large manufacturing plants based here. 

A regional crossroads, in Greater Cincinnati three interstate highways connect, creating a highly mobile labor force. Businesses not only encounter applicants from nearby counties but potentially from across state lines. Cincinnati's size and proximity to other metro regions create a broader talent pool from which to draw when hiring—but they also increase the need to exercise caution. Employers can implement a comprehensive policy for pre-employment background checks to prepare for a wide range of applicants.

You may already have a vetting policy reliant on background checks. However, if your current efforts only examine records from within Ohio, for example, you may not have the chance to consider records held just across the border in Indiana that are relevant to your next applicant’s suitability. A business’s credibility can easily be threatened as a result of mistakes in hiring.

Mitigating those concerns is simple with the implementation of a metro-wide background check policy. 

Taking a wide view of the entire region at once enables better research and well-informed decision-making. Before you can rely on such a policy, it is crucial to understand any applicable rules for fair hiring in the region.

Neither Ohio, Kentucky, nor Indiana impose broad limits on employer consideration of criminal records. Existing “ban the box” rules in all three states pertain only to governmental employers. While some states, such as Ohio, allow for the consideration of arrest records, these are not typically reported, and in Indiana, it is not lawful for arrests to appear on a background check. Fair hiring guidelines in Greater Cincinnati primarily stem from federal law, including the FCRA.

Upon establishing a compliant policy, the next step for employers is to secure access to the right tools for research. provides flexible solutions built to lend certainty and clarity to hiring pipelines. These include the US OneSEARCH, which yields instant criminal record results for: Ohio, Dearborn, and Franklin counties in Indiana; and Brown, Butler, Clermont, Hamilton, and Warren counties in Ohio. For counties in Kentucky, including Boone, Bracken, Campbell, Gallatin, Grant, and Kenton, direct courthouse searches will yield their records.

To look at only one of the region’s states, choose a state-specific background check. To include the region’s other metro areas and cover a wider area, use a custom regional OneSEARCH to add multiple states, up to 5 in total.

Information for criminal background checks in this region flows from several sources in each state. In Ohio, where the bulk of Greater Cincinnati's population concentrates, these include the Department of Corrections (updated monthly), common pleas and municipal courts (updated monthly), and the state sex offender registry (updated bi-weekly). Data pulled from these systems to generate background check reports may include the subject’s:

  • Name and date of birth
  • County of offense and offense description
  • Sentence and sentencing date

Information from systems in Kentucky and Indiana yield similar information from law enforcement and criminal justice agencies in those states.

Through a metro-wide background check policy, businesses in and around the tri-state can seize the opportunity to make more diverse hires without substantially increasing their risk. Find out more about how delivers innovative solutions for complex hiring concerns.


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