Located almost entirely inland from the San Francisco Bay, the San Jose metropolitan area is one of California’s most important regions as it is home to Silicon Valley. With the nearby Bay Area metro to the north and the Los Angeles metro to the south, San Jose rounds out a robust urban corridor in southern California with a population of 1.8 million. The region contains just two counties, Santa Clara and San Benito. 

Though the portion of the metro that includes San Benito remains focused on agriculture, Santa Clara is one of the wealthiest counties in the nation due to the massive tech presence in Silicon Valley. Major employers in the region include Cisco Systems, Philips Lighting, PayPal, Adobe, Intel, and, of course, Apple, whose flagship campus resides in Santa Clara’s city of Cupertino.

Linked to San Francisco by Interstate 280 and connected by rail to many other destinations, the San Jose metro attracts job-seekers from near and far. With a thriving startup culture and the steady hum of Silicon Valley, companies operating in the area will typically receive applications from multiple residents of other counties. While this trend makes attracting valuable talent less difficult, it also highlights the need for employers to conduct thorough, metro-appropriate background checks while hiring.

Although many companies conduct background checks as a standard procedure, operating in a metro region may require retooling existing policies. Ask the question, how complete is the picture you have of your applicants? Could it be more detailed? If you’ve only ever conducted searches within Santa Clara County, for example, you may miss relevant records held in San Benito or elsewhere nearby. That oversight could lead to a hiring mistake with costly consequences.

Employing a broader metro-wide background check policy helps to prevent that scenario. With access to more information, you can do more to hire only the safest and most qualified individuals. 

Before changing or instituting new policies, you should first review all relevant local, state, and federal laws protecting fair hiring. 

For San Jose-area employers, California’s statewide “ban the box” rules are the most critical to incorporate into your procedures. Public and private employers are barred from making inquiries into criminal histories during the early stages of hiring. Only after you extend a conditional offer to an applicant may you request a background check. 

When reviewing the results, you must consider the nature of the crime, the age of the offense, and whether it relates to the job role at hand. Only then can you make adverse hiring decisions based on a background check. Applicants retain a right of repeal if they are denied due to a criminal history matter.

backgroundchecks.com offers several solutions to enable your business to make smarter, better-informed decisions during hiring. For both Santa Clara and San Benito counties, we provide access to a direct courthouse search. To include the nearby San Francisco metro area, or to just expand your scope to include all of California, a state-specific background check will yield even more results. We also provide a regional OneSEARCH, an instant multi-jurisdictional record search customizable to include up to five states. 

Information contained in these reports includes data from the California Department of Corrections (updated monthly) and the state sex offender registry (updated bi-weekly) as well as county court records (updates vary). Background checks based on data from these systems may include the subject’s:

  • Name and age
  • Offense
  • Sentence
  • Parole or release date

For San Jose businesses, metro-wide background checks are a simple solution to a complex problem. Take advantage of the hiring opportunities that a metropolitan area provides without shouldering unnecessary risks.

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