Columbus Metropolitan Area (Central Ohio)

Anchored by Ohio’s state capital, the Columbus metropolitan area is the smaller of the region’s two metro areas with its neighbor Cincinnati just a hundred miles to the southwest. With a population of two million, the region is also known as “Central Ohio” based on its constituent counties, which form a cluster in the center of the state. These counties include Delaware, Franklin, Fairfield, Hocking, Licking, Morrow, Madison, Pickaway, Perry, and Union. 

While the largest employers in the region are the state and federal government, Central Ohio also boasts a diversified economy home to big names. The financial services sector is well-represented with businesses including JPMorgan Chase and Nationwide Insurance, and Honda maintains a manufacturing presence in the region. Even fast-food giant Wendy’s has its headquarters here. 

With two major interstate highways crossing through Central Ohio, the area’s economy draws in job seekers from near and far. As a result, businesses can expect to encounter more applicants from outside their county. There are benefits to this trend, including the opportunity to find more qualified candidates than before. With Cincinnati nearby, the job market also creates some unique challenges for businesses, and it heightens the importance of a thorough, measured approached to employee vetting and background checks. 

What if you already use background checks in your hiring? Businesses based in Central Ohio should still consider refining and updating their policies. Examining records from only Franklin County when vetting an applicant, for instance, could mean missing the opportunity to review criminal acts committed in Delaware County. These oversights can be costly and damaging to a business’s reputation.

To address that risk, a metro-wide background check policy is the best choice. With a broad look at the whole region, you can develop more confidence in your hiring decisions. To deploy such a policy successfully, businesses must take care to abide by all state and local fair hiring rules. 

The state of Ohio does not strictly limit how employers structure their hiring practices. While many “ban the box” rules are in place for public employers, no private employers in Central Ohio are prohibited from making initial inquiries into an applicant’s criminal history. Ohio allows for the consideration of both conviction and arrest records, although background checks typically do not include arrests. In addition to state rules, employers must adhere to federal fair hiring rules, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the FCRA.

With new guidelines in place, selecting the best tools for the job is your next order of business. offers several products to help improve your hiring processes, including our US OneSEARCH, which provides instant record results for Delaware, Franklin, Fairfield, Hocking, Licking, Madison, Pickaway, and Union counties. Morrow and Perry counties do not have instant results available, but direct courthouse searches provide access to records held there.

To look at the whole state at once, a state-specific background check is ideal. To include the entire Cincinnati metro region and nearby states as well, customize your regional OneSEARCH to include up to 5 states. 

Information for criminal background checks in Ohio comes from multiple sources. These include the Ohio Department of Corrections (updated monthly), county-level 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

Employing a metro-wide background check policy in Central Ohio offers businesses the opportunity to hire from a more diverse labor pool with confidence in the results. Explore how can enable your company to find qualified and trustworthy candidates. 

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