The Atlanta metropolitan region, also called simply Metro Atlanta, is a massive urbanized area stretching over nearly 9,000 square miles. Its population of approximately 5.9 million people makes it the ninth-biggest metro region in the US. Inclusive of more than two dozen counties, the city of Atlanta and the densest core of the region fall within the boundaries of Fulton and DeKalb counties. Clayton, Cobb, and Gwinnett counties form part of the core as well. Within this area are several other cities boasting large populations of their own, including Roswell, Marietta, and Sandy Springs.
As home to one of the most bustling business centers in the nation, Metro Atlanta attracts huge numbers of people from the surrounding areas looking for work. Major corporations call the area home, including Coca-Cola, Home Depot, and UPS. Owing to the widespread urban sprawl, few people who reside within the metro area actually live within Atlanta itself. Nonetheless, Atlanta’s infamous traffic jams and long commute times speak to the large volume of people seeking work in and around the city.
Employers anywhere within the Metro Atlanta region face unique challenges as a result of this mobile workforce and the unpredictable flow of individuals as they move from county to county. Conducting due diligence through the use of criminal background checks is a common practice business owners rely upon to choose the right candidate and to comply with the law when applicable. Due to Georgia’s large number of counties, and in particular Metro Atlanta’s large geographic footprint, background information can easily become spread across a number of disparate computer systems. Before considering solutions to this problem, however, it is vital to know how to use background checks correctly in Georgia.
For employers who wish to ask prospective employees about their criminal history on the initial application, there are no statewide “ban the box” rules in place to prohibit such a practice for private employers. Although the box is banned for state employers, as well as in some counties, no private businesses face restrictions on when they may ask about a criminal past. However, Georgia does take some steps to shield certain types of records from employer view.
Crimes designated as a “first offense” may be included in those prohibitions. In Georgia, those in the justice system facing charges for some types non-sexual and non-violent crimes are granted “first offender” status. First offenders who serve out a sentence have their records sealed immediately upon release. Employers may not ask about these sealed records, or any other offenses expunged by the court. However, beyond these restrictions, asking about and considering convictions and even arrest records is permissible in Metro Atlanta.
With a high level of vehicle ownership and frequently long commutes from home to work, your prospective employees could have history anywhere within the metro region. Limiting your search to only Atlanta or your suburb can miss important data. backgroundchecks.com can simplify the process of checking for an applicant’s criminal records across Metro Atlanta’s patchwork of counties. With a metropolitan background check, employers can quickly gather a reliable snapshot of an applicant’s criminal history. Searches include checks of county-level records, the Georgia sex offender registry, and more. Through the use of a helpful tool such as this, developing better, more thorough hiring practices becomes simpler.