The Greater Portland metropolitan region includes counties in both Washington and Oregon and is the latter state’s most prominent urbanized area. On the Washington side, Greater Portland includes Clark and Skamania counties. In Oregon, the region includes Columbia, Clackamas, Multnomah, Yamhill, and Washington counties. These seven counties contain a population of roughly 2.4 million with many making their home in the region’s largest cities of Vancouver, Beaverton, Hillsboro, and Portland.

Portland’s geographic location has made it an important economic hub in the region for some time, and many well-known brands and businesses make their home in the region. Athletic wear giant Nike resides in Washington County, and other major companies employing individuals in the region include Fred Meyer, Dr. Martens, and Intel. 

With a diverse population and a strong startup culture, economic opportunity in the region is plentiful. Because Greater Portland spans such a large area, however, businesses hiring in the area are likely to receive applications from nearby counties. Expanding talent acquisition to encompass the entire metro can make it simpler to find more qualified applicants, but proper vetting procedures must take center stage. 

Though you may already use background checks to evaluate candidates, operating in a metro region requires expanding the scope of those efforts. 

In Greater Portland and other major metros, job seekers often ignore county lines in their search. Restricting background checks to consider only records in one county runs the risk of missing important data stored in another county’s databases. For that reason, metro-wide background check policies are essential for making sound hiring decisions. 

To ensure fair and legal hiring practices, businesses must be mindful of the background checking rules in place throughout the metro. Oregon features ban the box rules at a state level. This law stipulates that employers must delay all criminal history questions until the first interview. Portland has a citywide rule that goes one step further: applicants must receive a conditional offer before they undergo a background check.  

As of March 2018, Washington state has also implemented a statewide ban the box rule applicable to private employers. All background checks and criminal history inquiries must wait until after determining an individual is "otherwise qualified" for the desired job role. Washington's law further stipulates that criminal records cannot be an automatic disqualifier. equips employers with all the tools necessary for rapid record searches across Greater Portland. For all seven constituent counties (Clackamas, Columbia, Multnomah, Washington, Yamhill, Clark, and Skamania), our US OneSEARCH provides instant access to results from a criminal record search. 

Each report draws from databases from all 50 states plus Guam and Puerto Rico. For more granular searches, regional OneSEARCH options allow you to tap into county and state records for up to five states. For a focused report, start with an Oregon-only search

Instant reports available for the Oregon counties within the region include data pulled from several state sources, including the Office of the State Court Administrator (from 1986), the Department of Corrections (from 1987), and the state’s sex offender registry, which began in 2000. State Court records cover the entire state and stretch from minor traffic violations to felonies. 

Information reported from these systems may include the subject’s:

  • Name and month/year of birth
  • Offense type
  • Incident and sentencing dates
  • Current offender status

The right tools can enable a business to develop a fully-informed picture of applicants based on a thorough search of criminal records. With this information, choosing the strongest candidates is a simpler task. With a bustling pool of job seekers in Greater Portland, now is the time to explore how you can improve confidence in hiring through better background checks.

Learn more about our county background check options

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